Techflash: Eugene's 'tech renaissance' taking hold

Techflash: Eugene's 'tech renaissance' taking hold

I recently spoke with Mike Biglan, CEO of Twenty Ideas, a Eugene-based agency that designs and builds software tools and web applications using big data, modern user experience design and other data science techniques to solve interesting problems.

Biglan is an example of a repeat entrepreneur in the growing Eugene technology ecosystem. He has been with other prominent Eugene companies such as Concentric Sky and Palo alto Software in addition to starting his own ventures.

Over the past two years, Twenty Ideas has nearly doubled in size, and is enjoying the challenges of growing in capacity and talent.

"The focus now is infusing the individual voices of our talented team into our company culture and projects," says Biglan. "When you add new team members, it forces you to re-evaluate your values and culture, and provides the opportunity to reconsider the human and software systems to drive value and innovation to our clients."

The company was founded in 2014 and, in startup fashion, its first office was in the back of Barn Light coffee shop in downtown Eugene. The company now employs 16, the majority of which came from the local community.

“A tech renaissance has taken hold in Eugene, which is a great place to live with many wonderful opportunities for tech professionals,” Biglan said.

More growth is planned this year as its portfolio continues to expand, he added.

Twenty Ideas customers include the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Department of Education and the University of Oregon Center on Teaching and Learning and Avant Assessment, a language assessment company.

“We see the services we provide to our clients as a collaborative partnership," explains Biglan. “This allows us to bring what we're best at — user experience design and digital product development —alongside our clients’ domain expertise. By acknowledging our clients' strengths we can help to amplify their impact digitally."

Its project with Avant Assessment created an algorithm to score writing assignments. The tool worked better than human graders and has become an important part of Avant’s business.

Click this LINK to view this article in the Portland Business Journal

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