Make Sweet Potato Soup with Black Bean Salsa - Portland Monthly
OTBC Startup Winners

 By Malia Spencer - Portland Inno

A pair of consumer apps, crafting kits and sauce makers make up the latest cohort of the West Side Startup Challenge.

The program, run by the Oregon Technology Business Center and sponsored by the City of Beaverton, offers companies a $25,000 investment as well as mentoring and office space for a year.

Five companies were selected from an applicant pool of 49.

Here are the winners:

  • CampsEZ, is an online tool to help caregivers find and register children for camps, sports and other activities.
  • DIY Bar, is a bar and craft workshop that has materials, tools and tutorials. During the Covid-19 pandemic the company has started shipping craft boxes with activities to consumers and businesses.
  • Howl at the Spoon, makes artisan sauces in small packets that are easy for home use or for camping and travel.
  • Khalsa Salsa, makes a fusion salsa that includes Indian spices.
  • Sport Source, is an app that connects coaches, athletes and trainers to people who have athletic spaces to rent and allows private owners to rent their spaces.

Over the last six years, companies that have participated in the challenge have gone on to raise more than $70 million in additional funding. In addition to the city of Beaverton the challenge also works with the West Startup Fund, which raises money for investment in the companies.

“This is our seventh annual Startup Challenge Competition and we are proud to support these entrepreneurs and their companies,” said Jim McCreight, executive director of OTBC, in a written statement. “We were able to raise over $152,000 this year to invest in these promising young companies.”

The application cycle for the next cohort will open in August 2022.

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Veronica Carter, Oct 5, 2021

I’m a salsa lover for sure!    The stuff in a jar just doesn’t cut it for me.  I like fresh, chunky authentic salsa.   I checked out one of this year’s winners of the Oregon Entrepreneur Network‘s EMERGE AWARD.  Khalsa Salsa is the brain child of Sukhdev Singh.  He came to the United States from India in the 80’s and tried chips and salsa at a party for the first time.  He says he was blown away by the flavors so he decided to start making his own salsa.  His wife Rippy got involved and pretty soon their salsa was the hit of every party.  They started selling it at Farmer’s Markets and are now in several stores including New Seasons, Market of Choice, Chuck’s Produce in Vancouver, and Green Zebra.

As far as the taste:  It’s AMAZING!   It’s a unique blend of authentic Mexican salsa with bold Indian spices.   It’s great with chips, or adding it into other dishes.  I made eggs and potatoes over the weekend and put some of the salsa on top and it was super delicious!

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Portland, Oregon – September 28, 2021 – Khalsa Salsa was recognized by Black Founders Matter with a $5000 grant through the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN), Oregon Angel Food 3rd annual event; which focuses on investing in emerging and growing food and beverage businesses in the Pacific NW. The Emerge Award recognized 3 companies to invest in their growth and stability as they expand deeper into the region. Read more here...


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Portland, Oregon – Aiming to disrupt the salsa category by bringing a new flavor twist to a predictable category, Portland-based start-up Khalsa Salsa celebrates their new packaging launch. Salsa is a snacking staple, for dipping a chip to adding heat and dressing up a dish with complex, fresh flavor. Read more here..


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May 6, 2021- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Khalsa Salsa, Portland Based BIPOC Woman-Owned Business Wins 2021 Good Food Award for Indian Fusion Salsa Khalsa Salsa’s Mango Habanero Salsa Takes the Win for Best in Flavor at San Francisco Good Food Awards & Will Donate $1 For Every Salsa Sold To COVID Relief Efforts in India. Portland, Oregon – May

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