The Coolest Thing Contest Explained

Now in its second year, the Coolest Thing Made in Oregon contest allows Oregonians to nominate their favorite Oregon-made products, then participate in a bracket-style competition to choose the winner. The winner of the Coolest Thing Made in Oregon contest is announced at OBI’s annual Vision Oregon Event in the fall.

Step 1: Nominations

The first step in the contest is the nomination process. From May 15 to July 12, Oregonians may nominate Oregon-made products for the contest. Anyone can nominate a product, and manufacturers are encouraged to do so. Nobody knows how cool a product is more than the people who make it. To nominate a product, click the button to the right. It will take you to the nomination site managed by our Coolest Thing partner, Here is Oregon.

To be eligible, a product must be substantially manufactured in Oregon and be legal to buy in all 50 states. For more eligibility information, click the FAQ button to the right.

Step 2: Finalist Selection

After the nomination window closes on July 12, a committee of industry experts will discuss the qualifying products (there will be hundreds) and choose the 16 coolest. These will be paired randomly in a competition-style bracket that will be released in early September.

That’s when the fun really starts.

Step 3: Voting … and More Voting

Beginning with the release of the top-16 bracket, Oregonians will participate in a series of votes to narrow the field. Updates will be posed at Here is Oregon and on OBI’s website. The manufacturers of the final two products will be invited to OBI’s Vision Oregon Event on Oct. 23, where the winner will be announced. Last year’s finalists were the A-dec 500 Dental Chair and the eventual winner, Freres Engineered Wood’s Mass Ply Panels.

If you don’t think dental equipment and forest products are cool, you clearly don’t know Oregon.

Step 4: Bragging

The company that wins the Coolest Thing Made in Oregon contest enjoys unique bragging rights for an entire year. Who will it be in 2024?

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Oregon Business & Industry is the Oregon affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers.