Hillsboro Entrepreneurs Have a Free Coach: Laura Kubisiak, Venture Catalyst
Have an idea for starting your own business, but don’t know where to get started?
It may be time to meet Laura Kubisiak.
Budding entrepreneurs from Hillsboro and Washington County can get support and encouragement from Kubisiak, who is serving as the area’s Venture Catalyst as part of a partnership between the City of Hillsboro and the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN). The partnership was inspired in part by the recommendations from the 2017 Hillsboro Civic Leadership Academy graduates who focused on identifying new ways to support Hillsboro entrepreneurs and grow new businesses.
“Working with the OEN to bring Laura’s talents to our community is a win for everyone who recognizes the need to help develop entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Dan Dias, City of Hillsboro Economic Development Department Director. “Hillsboro has engineers, designers, and many others with back-of-the-napkin ideas who will benefit from Laura’s understanding of what it takes to develop a business plan and move forward.”
Kubisiak is focusing on specific industry clusters, including high-tech manufacturing, software and media services, biotechnology and medical devices, digital health, and cleantech. In addition, Kubisiak is working with related traded-sector industries with high levels of manufacturing, software, data analytics, and advanced materials.
“I look forward to leveraging my business experience to support scalable businesses, not only in Hillsboro and Washington County but also in support of the Venture Catalyst network across the state,” Kubisiak said. “I am thrilled to be aligned with OEN and their long-standing support of entrepreneurs.”
Kubisiak starts as Hillsboro and Washington County VC with more than 20 years of experience in sales and marketing. She has held executive positions at companies ranging from startup to Fortune 500, including Eastman Kodak, Planar, PacStar, and CP Medical. More recently, Kubisiak served as the VP of Business Development and Corporate Marketing for Qualis Health, where she drove revenue growth that resulted in $13 million in new contracts.
“The City of Hillsboro and VertueLab (formerly Oregon BEST) understand the tremendous value a Venture Catalyst can add to the regional ecosystem,” noted Maggie Finnerty, President & Executive Director of OEN. “With Laura also leading the statewide coordination of our growing Venture Catalyst network, we will be able to utilize these positions in ways we’ve never been able to do before.”
Building on OEN’s initiative to spur economic growth throughout Oregon via entrepreneurship, Kubisiak will work with scalable startup companies in the traded sector at three levels:
- The Enterprise Level: Providing direct services to entrepreneurs and connecting them to specific people and programs based on their needs;
- The Ecosystem Level: Helping to fill resource gaps in the region, including the creation of seed/angel capital, accelerators, and other infrastructure necessary to support the overall ecosystem; and,
- The Strategic Level: Raising awareness about entrepreneurship and helping to coordinate resources among economic groups, local governments, higher education, and industry.
From July 2016 to June 2017, OEN Venture Catalysts in Central Oregon, South Willamette Valley, and Southern Oregon assisted 516 companies and entrepreneurs. Those companies created 345 new jobs and raised $31.8 million. The total economic impact was $48.5 million, with a Return on Investment (ROI) of 80X.