weatherford awardRyan Hildebrand never set out to define himself as an entrepreneur, and Tim Hildebrandt doesn’t necessarily think of himself that way, either.

Labels aside, their innovative excellence has earned each of the College of Business graduates a 2015 Weatherford Award.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Hildebrand said. “I’m very humbled.”

Added Hildebrandt: ““It means a lot to me,” he said. “The past winners are so accomplished, I don’t think I’m in the same category as those guys yet. But I’m honored to be recognized, and excited.”

Hildebrand is a cofounder of Seed, an online and mobile banking service for startups headquartered in Portland and San Francisco. Prior to Seed, he was vice president of finance for Simple Finance, a similar type of company whose target clientele is 18- to 30-year-old consumers; while at Portland-based Simple he hired Hildebrandt to be the company’s controller.

Hildebrandt and Hildebrand worked together on the $117 million deal that saw the startup acquired by Spanish banking giant BBVA.

“Some people say they want to be entrepreneur, like it’s some kind of title, and it often ends up having a connotation based around ego, and that’s not what I believe in,” said Hildebrand, who left Simple to try his own startup, Seed. “Some people are not meant to start their own companies but they can be effectively innovative within their organization or doing whatever they’re doing. For me, entrepreneurship is starting something new, whatever it is — thinking through how the status quo is and trying to change it for the better.”

That mission statement also describes Hildebrandt, who now has Hildebrand’s old job at Simple.

“Tim is an excellent accountant, and what he was able to do was take those excellent skills and experiences and bring it into an innovative environment and apply it directly to something that didn’t exist,” College of Business Dean Ilene Kleinsorge said.

Hildebrandt and Hildebrand will be honored May 11 in Portland at the college’s annual Celebration of Excellence, along with the rest of the 2015 award winners as well as the retiring Kleinsorge.

The evening begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards presentation. For more information or to register, contact Elsa Frey at or call 541-737-6648, or register online at

For more on the event and the honorees, follow the College of Business blog as the countdown to the celebration continues.


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