May IDEA Talk to Feature Student Innovators and Microelectronic Manufacturing CEO

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The May Klamath IDEA Talk will feature Jessica Gomez, founder and CEO of Rogue Valley Microdevices, Inc. in Medford, Ore. and two teams from Catalyze Klamath on Wednesday, May 22 at 5:30pm at MC’s on Main.

Gomez founded the first microelectronics manufacturing company in Southern Oregon after relocating to the Rogue Valley in 2003. Gomez developed a love for high-tech entrepreneurship after holding positions at Standard Microsystems in the 1990s, and then Integrated Micromachines, Inc. in 2001.

“We’re really excited to have a high-tech entrepreneur like Jessica share with us this month. Her story is particularly relevant and timely. Just coming out of the Catalyze and Badger Venture season, innovation seems to be on everyone’s mind,” said Ben Blanchard, Klamath IDEA entrepreneur concierge.

Gomez is a very active member of her community and is dedicated to supporting economic development. She currently serves on the Oregon Institute of Technology board of trustees, was appointed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to serve on the Oregon Business Development Commission, serves on the Oregon Business Council’s board of the directors, the Chamber of Commerce Medford/Jackson County and chairs the Rogue Workforce Partnership.

Gomez was also recently nominated by the Republican and Independent parties for Oregon Senate District 3. While she did not win that race, she is still very dedicated to talking, learning, sharing and being active with southern Oregonians. 

This month’s IDEA Talk will also showcase two teams of local student innovators who will be competing in the InventOR Collegiate Challenge Finals. After winning awards at Klamath Community College’s Badger Venture and Oregon Tech’s Catalyze Klamath Falls Challenge, these teams will represent Klamath Falls in Portland at the final round of competition in June. To participate in InventOR, teams must have won in preliminary contests and have a prototype of their invention to present to the judges in Portland.

“We’re so proud of our students’ innovative participation in Catalyze Klamath and Badger Venture! This will be a great opportunity for our community to celebrate their efforts and hear more about their winning projects. I do hope people come out to cheer them on as they prepare to pitch at InventOR!” said Klamath IDEA Director Kat Rutledge.

The InventOR Collegiate Challenge is a statewide, college-level prototyping competition designed to increase the number of inventors and entrepreneurs in Oregon. Projects address innovative solutions to important social and economic challenges from across the state, including pressing community needs experienced in Oregon’s urban and rural regions.

Klamath IDEA is committed to creating a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem to increase opportunities for wealth and prosperity in South Central Oregon. Klamath IDEA is a community initiative consisting of organizations, events, and individuals cooperating for a common purpose: entrepreneur-based economic development. 

The 2018-2019 IDEA Talks season has been generously sponsored by the Klamath Community College Small Business Development Center, Craft 3, Coldwell Banker Holman Premier Realty, and Klamath County. IDEA Talks are also supported in part by Oregon lottery funds, which are administered by the Oregon Business Development Department (Business Oregon).

IDEA Talks are gatherings designed as a networking opportunity for those with an entrepreneurial mindset interested in learning, connecting, and being inspired. Each gathering features one or more guest speakers discussing an inspirational or educational entrepreneurial related topic. IDEA Talks bring together entrepreneurs of all ages, founders, business owners, innovators and support organizations under one roof to hear about and discuss opportunities, needs, and great ideas for starting a business, expanding a business, or getting support in the process.

MC’s on Main is located at 617 Main St. in downtown Klamath Falls. Appetizers prepared by MC’s on Main and a non-alcoholic beverage ticket are included in the cost of entry. A no-host bar will be available. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m. and the presentations will start at 6 p.m. Those interested in attending this event can purchase discount tickets in advance online at or on Klamath IDEA’s Facebook page for $15. Tickets will also be available at the door for $20, cash only.