March 20th, 2009

Geek Bat signal: Oregon entrepreneurs need to act now! No, really. I mean right now.


Last night, an endless volley of entrepreneurs and would-be startups stepped up to a mic at Nedspace and provided a 2-3 minute pitch on what they would do with $250,000 over the next year.

And man, were there some incredible ideas—some incredibly cool, some incredibly wacky—but all incredible nonetheless.

There was only one problem: I didn’t see you up there.

I can watch the video again, just to be sure. But I’m fairly certain you won’t appear.

Live video by Ustream

I mean, sure. I got to see Ron Barrett, Carolynn Duncan, Dave Howell, Scott Kveton, Sasha Mace, John Metta, Chris Logan, Bob Uva, Ken Westin, and Steve Woodward. I love all of those folks. And I’ll applaud anyone who gets up in front of a crowd to speak, because I certainly don’t relish it.

Heck, somebody from the Office of the State Treasurer for Oregon even showed up.

But I didn’t see you. And that made me kind of sad.

But, then again, I’m all about second chances. So how about this? How about you take a few seconds to provide some details about one, two, or 12 of your current side projects? Take a moment to reflect on what you could do with $250,000 in the next year, to help bring your product or idea to fruition.

Don’t think you’re worthy? Not interested in getting funding? I’d still encourage you to take a few moments to respond. Really, what could it hurt?

The point is this: rising water floats all boats. And our state treasurer needs convincing that we have a viable entrepreneurial environment filled with viable startups just waiting to take form. What’s more, if these folks can pull off putting together a $100 million fund for Oregon startups, it’s going to help all of us.

But don’t just take my word for it. David Abramowski has some great insights about what funding Oregon startups could do for the local economy.

Come to think of it, I don’t even care if you live in Oregon right now. If you’d be willing to relocate to Oregon to start your business, you’re more than welcome to fill out the form, as well.

So maybe you’re trying to build a music service or a calendar aggregator or a niche social network or a new form of CRM or an iPhone agency or a mobile development shop focused on usability or a better support tool or charting where you’ve been or figuring out where your friends are or providing space for your peers to work and socialize or archiving the Web or finding happy hours or producing a weekly podcast or providing information about every Web site ever.

Maybe what you’re really interested in doing isn’t even geeky. Maybe you’re more interested in building out a photography business or covering the Portland scene or building some tangible product or creating a new kind of agency.

I don’t really care. We just need smart people like you to share their ideas about what could be done, if the money was there.

And I know you’ve got some ideas.

But here’s the catch: you need to respond, now. And I mean right now. The team pursuing the fund wants to get this information assembled by Wednesday, March 25.

So take a deep breath and dive in. I’ll keep this form open until Wednesday at midnight. Then, I’ll gather up all of the responses and ship them off to the folks working on this. They, in turn, will crate them up and dump them on the Oregon Treasurer’s, the Governor’s, and the various Mayors’ desks.

Remember, there were some cool ideas pitched, last night. But none of them were as cool as yours.

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Background that may help (or may not)

22 Responses to “Geek Bat signal: Oregon entrepreneurs need to act now! No, really. I mean right now.”

  1. [...] If you missed the event yesterday and want your voice heard, go to the Silicon Florist blog and fill out the form.  Hurry up, the info is needed by the team in the next few days. Possibly [...]

  2. Harvey says:

    Great recap & kick in the ass, Rick!

    The more ideas we get, the better our chances for getting these funds.

  3. [...] Geek Bat signal: Oregon entrepreneurs need to act now! No, really. I mean right now. [...]

  4. max says:

    Could you please provide more detail about how this form data will be used? And, whether it will be public, confidential, on- or off- line?

    While it can be completed without any NDA/NCA type detail (which makes me wonder how valuable it is?), still, even for those in stealth-mode, we don’t want to share too much information or have it circulated in an open forum while in pre-Beta or Beta.

    Thanks.

  5. Rick Turoczy says:

    @Max Given that the folks who originally provided this information did so in front of the crowd and were captured in the video above plus the fact that this information is going to be put on the desks of a number of public officials, I would work with the assumption that any information your provide will all be unequivocally public information.

    As far as the value of the information goes, I believe this is designed to show intent—how many startups in the Silicon Forest would use the money to hire Oregon resources—rather than a means of acquiring the funding, itself.

    This is just a first step to prove that tehre is a need.

    Long story short, it all comes down to whether the opportunity to vie for a $250k investment is worth exposing your project to the public.

  6. max says:

    Um, “vie for a $250K investment…”

    There isn’t any real money, right? So, we aren’t vying for anything, just expressing our interest IF there ever is money.

    Very chicken/egg.

    The problem (seems to me) is that no one believes there will be money. If there were real dollars available, there would be a long line-up of submissions and people moving into the State to try to avail of the resources. Other States are getting aggressive with infrastructure, tax credits, etc. Oregon is, let’s face it, a terrible start-up environment.

    Disclosing a business plan to the public, even in a minor way, for a start up can be a kiss-of-death if they are dealing with VCs or Angels where part of the Due Diligence can involve requirements for NDA’s/NCA’s, demonstration of managing trade secrets, etc.

    I think there may be a less invasive approach to demonstrate the community’s interest in seeing Oregon improve as a technology start up climate — Just showing how many of us are looking at moving to more pro-active regions (talent and job creation drain) might send a more compelling message?

    And, yes, nice as it is here — many of us are looking to exit to greener pastures.

  7. [...] Turoczy of Silicon Florist is encouraging entrepreneurs who did not make the meeting to fill out on online form he set up that [...]

  8. Does anyone have a link for the Green Goose company that presented? I can’t find the founder or the company anywhere on the web, which is too bad because I know some VCs that would love to talk to them about investments!

  9. Brad says:

    I think this is great. I live in Bend so I wasn’t able to attend. I have an existing web development business that’s doing pretty well but could use some capital to hire some help.

  10. to: Max, Did you read the fields in the form? There is no IP related questions. Only data points about employment. I don’t think all fields are required either so you can leave out name if you want. Just FYI for those that may have ip concerns ( I did as well)

  11. [...] a reminder that the submission form for “Startup Now” will close today at 11:59 PM. How about you take a few seconds to provide some details about one, [...]

  12. @ Patrick Lightbody : The Green Goose founder is Brian Krejcarek. Green Goose url is http://www.greengoose.com/ (you have to put in the “www”).
    I have Brian’s contact information if you need it. I didn’t want to post it publicly. Feel free to email me: justin@mugasha.com

  13. [...] a reminder that the submission form for “Startup Now” will close today at 11:59 PM. How about you take a few seconds to provide some details about one, [...]

  14. [...] But I got a call late last night that we had some more breathing room to fill out the Startup Now Oregon form. [...]

  15. [...] But I got a call late last night that we had some more breathing room to fill out the Startup Now Oregon form. [...]

  16. [...] side project always makes an amazing contribution to Portland—even if you’re not signed up for Silicon Florist’s $250,000 Geek Bat Signal Call (and you really [...]

  17. [...] all the talk about the Oregon Investment Fund (OIF) and the new $100 million entrepreneurial fund that Nedspace and Harvey Mathews are trying to start, I have found myself with a unique—and completely unexpected—opportunity: I get the [...]

  18. [...] all the talk about the Oregon Investment Fund (OIF) and the new $100 million entrepreneurial fund that Nedspace and Harvey Mathews are trying to start, I have found myself with a unique—and completely unexpected—opportunity: I get the [...]

  19. [...] up-and-coming Nedspace: They recruit tenants through online networking, word of mouth and a startup event they hosted last month. Early residents are developing iPhone applications, an online rental payment service, board games, [...]

  20. [...] up-and-coming Nedspace: They recruit tenants through online networking, word of mouth and a startup event they hosted last month. Early residents are developing iPhone applications, an online rental payment service, board games, [...]

  21. [...] words, we need to find the solutions that are designed to solve the problems. Solutions like the Startup Now Oregon [...]

  22. [...] words, we need to find the solutions that are designed to solve the problems. Solutions like the Startup Now Oregon [...]


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