Lundquist Center Startup Success Stories

One of the center's biggest points of pride is the amount and quality of startups born at the University of Oregon.

Entrepreneurship students have many routes to success, including the opportunity to participate in business plan competitions to earn recognition and funding. Products by our students are on the shelves of your stores, making the news in your social media feeds, and helping people around the world.


This Oregon MBA student's commitment to the environment and women's health sparked an idea for the creation the ultimate menstrual travel-pack for active women. Animosa's mission is to provide the tools to empower women to explore the world. Animosa launched their first menstrual product pack in May 2017.

Year Founded: 2016
Founder(s): Kate Blazar, MBA '16
Website: | Crunchbase

Aulaine Enterprises LLC

Aulaine Enterprises is an all-natural skin care line of products. Their first product, Ink Defense Tattoo Care, is an all-natural product to promote healthy healing after getting a tattoo.

Year Founded: 2017
Founder(s): Austin Rieger '16, Elaine Pandolfi

Bespoke Bride

As an all-encompassing bridal service, Bespoke Bride offers brides help with anything from wedding planning to finding the perfect dress and everything in between. The first Bespoke Bride boutique opened in 2018 in Bend, Oregon.

Year Founded: 2017
Founder(s): Jenn Albertson '17

Captain Soup

U.S. Army officer and founder Brian Gaudette started this business to offer healing and healthy foods. Captain Soup has developed a national customer base and is available through the company website. Gaudette now also teaches at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Year Founded: 2017
Founder(s): Brian Gaudette, MBA '19


A goofy hat idea turned into a thriving business. The Cowbucker was born out of three former MBA students' determination to create a hat that satisfied all conventional hat needs and so much more. Cowbucker partners with the largest college teams and breweries across the nation to design their hats. Cowbucker was acquired by Pacific Headwear in 2018, which was subsequently acquired by Augusta Sportswear in 2019.

Year Founded: 2014
Founder(s): Chris Watkins, MArch '14, MBA '14, Derek Schloss, JD '14, MBA '14, Whitney Alexander, MBA '14


Floragenex is a biotechnology company that provides solutions for genomic analysis in human, plant, and animal systems. With multiple offices along the U.S. Pacific coast, they are able to investigate and analyze genomes at unparalleled levels. Floragenex merged with Sedia Biosciences in 2016 and continues to offer genomics services to customers around the world.

Year Founded: 2006
Founder(s): Nathan Lillegard, '98, MBA '06, Eric Johnson
Website: | Crunchbase

Manage My Co-Op

Manage My Co-Op is software for cooperatives and buying clubs to manage their group buy. They provide the platform for people to aggregate their demand to buy products at wholesale or lower prices. The company successfully exited in 2017.

Year Founded: 2013
Founder(s): Nathan Gustafson '06, Kimmy Gustafson '05
Website: ManageMy.Coop | Crunchbase

Orchid Health

Orchid Health was founded by two entrepreneurs with the belief that Oregon's rural communities deserve to have the same high-quality healthcare as the rest of the population. Their successful business model strives to connect primary healthcare to rural communities, while allowing patients to form meaningful relationships with their providers.

Year Founded: 2013
Founder(s): Oliver Alexander '14, Orion Falvey '13

Original Grain

Two brothers inspired by their Pacific Northwest roots created a watch that emulates the woods they grew up around. Original Grain watches have mastered an exquisite watch design of combining natural hardwood and stainless steel.

Year Founded: 2013
Founder(s): Ryan Beltran '11, Andrew Beltran
Website: OriginalGrain | Crunchbase

Perpetua Power Source Technologies

Perpetua Power Source Technologies was founded around the purpose of providing high-quality, easy-to-use, and cost-effective renewable energy products. These products remove the need for battery replacements and are made to match the lifetime of the product it is charging.

Year Founded: 2005
Founder(s): Jon Hofmeister, MBA '05

Picky Bars

Triathlete Jesse Thomas wanted the ultimate energy bar, balanced with whole foods and clean ingredients—so that's exactly what he created. Picky Bars is there to satisfy your snack needs without compromising your health, giving you the energy to live an active lifestyle. Picky Bars was acquired by Sisters, Oregon-based Laird Superfood in 2021, and their products continue to be sold in retail channels and direct-to-consumer.

Year Founded: 2010
Founder(s): Jesse Thomas, MBA '09

Product Hunt

Product Hunt surfaces the best new products every day. It's a place for product-loving enthusiasts to share and geek out about the latest mobile apps, websites, hardware projects, and tech creations. The company successfully exited in November 2016 to AngelList.

Year Founded: 2013
Founder(s): Ryan Hoover '09
Website: | Crunchbase

Red Duck Foods

Red Duck Foods was founded by three hungry Ducks' desires to bring more zest to the condiment aisle. Red Duck Foods was acquired by BG Specialty in August 2020, and their products continue to be sold in stores across the country.

Year Founded: 2012
Founder(s): Shannon Oliver, MBA '13, Karen Bonner, MBA '13, Jessica Zutz Hilbert, JD '14, MBA '14
Website: | Crunchbase

Revant Optics

Oregon MBA Caleb Iorg teamed up with Jason Bolt to build a business selling licensed sunglasses. After selling the licensed business Society 43 in 2015, Revant Optics has continued to thrive with a replacement lens business.

Year Founded: 2009
Founder(s): Jason Bolt, Caleb Iorg '10, MBA '11

ROAM Fitness

ROAM Fitness aims to provide the ultimate stress reliever in one of the most stressful places there is: the airport. Ty Manegold created this airport gym to cater to frequent travelers or those who are just looking to let off some steam in-between flights.

Year Founded: 2014
Founder(s): Ty Manegold, MBA '15, Cynthia Sandall, MBA '15
Website: | Crunchbase

Science Inc.

Science Inc. is a venture capital firm which supports and funds successful startups, including the Dollar Shave Club, Grove, HelloSociety, Liquid Death, and many more.

Year Founded: 2011
Founder(s): Michael Jones '97
Website: Science Inc.


Skyward has the first operations management solution for commercial drone businesses. The platform connects all the people, projects, and equipment involved in a drone program into one efficient workflow. Skyward was acquired by Verizon Wireless in February 2017.

Year Founded: 2012
Founder(s): Eric T. Ringer, MBA '14, Dana Maher, MCRP '12, MS '12, Jonathan Evans, Steve McKeon '00


Stacey Gose's dream was to empower women in the manual labor industry and supply them with the apparel to succeed. From this aspiration, TOUGHER was born. TOUGHER strives to design apparel that looks good and feels good for hardworking women everywhere.

Year Founded: 2015
Founder(s): Stacey Gose, MBA '16

Townshend's Tea Company

Townshend's Tea began at the University of Oregon as a class project aimed to bring together a casual coffeehouse atmosphere with premium tea. In 2019 Townshend's Tea closed their tea house locations to instead focus on production and sales of their popular Brew Dr. Kombucha product line. Founder Matt Thomas was named EY's Pacific Northwest Entrepreneur of the Year for 2021.

Year Founded: 2003
Founder(s): Matt Thomas '02


Userplane, a pioneering instant messaging and chat tool, served as the foundation for many web-based chat services used today. It was acquired by AOL for $40 million in 2006.

Year Founded: 2000
Founder(s): Michael Jones '97

Wheyward Spirit

Food scientist-turned-CEO Emily Darchuk started her sustainability-focused spirit brand in 2018. The smooth tasting alcohol, made from whey waste acquired from the dairy industry, is now available online and in a growing number of restaurants and bars nationwide.

Year Founded: 2018
Founder(s): Emily Darchuk, MBA '18