Techlandia Issue 5- 2021/2022 - Page 57

“We wanted to unlock the full potential of human exploration.”

It’s easy to associate major tech brands and businesses with hubs like Austin, Atlanta, and San Francisco. However, you may be surprised by the number of technology brands in our backyard.  

Oregon has a remarkable number of local tech-enabled companies accomplishing some revolutionary things and making national waves for their innovation and ingenuity.

Let’s dig into it.


You wouldn’t be doing OROS justice if you referred to them as simply a cold-weather outerwear company. In fact, OROS is a technology company at heart and deploys a full team of chemists and engineers to develop the most scientifically innovative thermal materials on the planet. They use this tech to create high-performance, low-impact outerwear that equips humans to experience our world unencumbered. 

Co-founder Michael Markesbery first conceived the idea for OROS in his sophomore year of college when he went on a European backpacking trip. During his adventure, Michael climbed one of the tallest mountains in the Northeastern Swiss Alps. While summiting was a fantastic experience, Michael had one gripe — the sheer weight and discomfort of his bulky, heavy outerwear. This was the lightbulb moment that led to the inception of OROS. 

OROS’ patented technology, Solarcore, replicates the heating qualities of traditional cold-weather apparel, but without the bulk. The lightweight, comfortable material uses a technology called aerogel, which is 99.8% air. NASA traditionally uses aerogel to insulate spacecraft in temperatures in extremely low temperatures. In short, the technology was perfect for an apparel line; it just needed to be retrofitted for avid cold-weather adventurers.

After several years of experimentation, Markesbery and OROS co-founder Rithvik Venna created Solarcore, their aerogel iteration custom-built for apparel. The invention led to the launching of OROS and their first clothing line. Since then, business has been booming.

Unsurprisingly, the Solarcore innovation quickly caught the attention of major businesses and organizations as they realized its limitless possibilities.


 “We wanted to unlock the full potential of human exploration,” said Markesbery. And unlocking it, they are.