Many innovators and entrepreneurs that go through Invent Oregon find themselves on a unique path after finishing up. Many go on to tackle new projects, continue building their networks, but most importantly, they continue to reach new milestones, and for LoveHate Athletica, reaching new heights is nothing new.
LoveHate Athletica was founded by Jensen Barnes, a student at the University of Oregon studying Business Administration with a focus on entrepreneurship. The story behind LoveHate Athletica stems from a need for tennis apparel that is both visually appealing and functional for female athletes between the ages of 16 and 35.
Since competing and taking the win in the 2022 Invent Oregon competition, Barnes has been making great strides in scaling the business and refining LoveHate’s key product; the “Serving Looks Dress.” In addition to continuing to build LoveHate, Barnes has taken on various pitch competitions including the Oregon Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards (GSEA).
GSEA is a worldwide competition for undergraduate students who own and operate a business while attending school. Students compete against their peers from around the world in a series of local and national competitions, hoping to qualify for the finals with a grand prize of $50,000.
Last Thursday, January 26th, 2023, Barnes had the opportunity to compete in GSEA’s Oregon regional qualifier and took home the top prize! Furthermore, LoveHate has made huge strides in expanding its reach by partnering with Icon Source. A company that connects brands of all sizes with professional athletes looking for marketing and endorsement opportunities.
In addition, we got the chance to see Invent Oregon Alumni Denver Backus from Backus Agrilabs, and Blake Turner from Turner Automotive showcase their companies once again. Since participating in Invent Oregon, both founders have been working hard to grow their companies and participated in competitions. For example, Backus Agrilabs has been hard at work doing multiple pitch competitions on campus at the University of Portland.
As for Turner, he’s been hard at work mentoring the next generation of innovators. He’s currently helping 2023 Cleantech Challenge participants develop their pitches and leads the Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers program at Portland State. Furthermore, he’s currently pursuing a degree in communications at Portland State; all while working on Turner Automotive.
We would like to congratulate all the teams who took the stage and presented their businesses. Additionally, we would like to congratulate Jensen Barnes from LoveHate Athletica, for all the progress they’ve made. We are excited to see what’s next!