April 13th, 2011

Oregon Y Combinator companies CarWoo and Cloudkick to help launch Portland Seed Fund


Oregon Y Combinator companies CarWoo and Cloudkick to help launch Portland Seed Fund

Since its inception, the Portland Seed Fund has held with it the promise to fill a much need role in the Portland startup scene—the ability to provide small amounts of capital to burgeoning young startups that might not yet be ready for larger rounds. And while I’ve been critical of the some of the original positioning around the Fund, I’ve eagerly awaited and supported the Portland Seed Fund team as they’ve worked to put the program together.

Now, the Portland Seed Fund has reached the point that they’re ready to accept applications. And to open with a bang, they’ve brought a couple of former Oregon companies—who also happen to be Y Combinator alums—to help celebrate the milestone.

Hold the phone. What’s the Portland Seed Fund, you say?

Portland Seed Fund (PSF) will stimulate exceptional entrepreneurial growth in the Portland metro area and throughout Oregon. Bridge City Ventures, led by Fund Managers Jim Huston and Angela Jackson, has been selected to manage PSF. Over the course of the two-year active PSF fund life, managers will implement a proprietary, milestone-based system of capital and coaching, making 10-15 investments per year ($25,000 – $50,000 initial investment) in capital-efficient, highly-scalable businesses across a variety of industry sectors.

Sounds pretty cool right? Want to hear more? Good. Show up on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM at Urban Airship.

Portland Seed Fund managers Angela Jackson and Jim Huston declare the Fund open for business to entrepreneurs. Learn how to apply, what to expect, and likely types of investments.

Hear from these rockstar Oregon expat companies who once flew south in search of capital and mentoring. They return to toast the Portland Seed Fund launch, share their Y Combinator experiences, and reflect on how the Portland entrepreneurial scene has changed since their departure.

That’s right. Oregon Y Combinator graduates CarWoo and Cloudkick, too. So Portland Seed Fund questions and Y Combinator questions will both be on the table. It’s like twice the seed funding and accelerator fun.

The event will be co-hosted by PIE and PIE-alum Urban Airship, who is graciously donating space for the gathering. The event is free but space is limited. You can RSVP and reserve your spot on Eventbrite.

Can’t get in? From out of town? We’re working on figuring out some ways of capturing the event for those who can’t make it in person. Please stay tuned.

For more information, visit Portland Seed Fund.

(Image courtesy congaman. Used under Creative Commons.)

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13 Responses to “Oregon Y Combinator companies CarWoo and Cloudkick to help launch Portland Seed Fund”

  1. Jmartens says:

    So is the fund investing in CarWoo and Cloudkick?

  2. Rick Turoczy says:

    No. CarWoo is beyond the level of investment the fund supports and Cloudkick was acquired by Rackspace.

    My understanding is that they’re going to describe the reasons they left Oregon to build their startups and how something like the Portland Seed Fund might prevent that from happening with new companies.

  3. Jmartens says:

    Nothing against those companies, but do we really need to be reminded? Anyone with a beating heart knows the problem.

    What turns me off is bringing in people from outside of Oregon to “reflect on how the Portland entrepreneurial scene has changed since their departure.”

    What do they know about how things have changed? THEY LEFT! Let me hear from local companies that have and haven’t made it. How would it have been easier for them if an early stage fund existed. Stuff like that.

    Okay, stepping off soap-box now.

  4. Ryan W says:

    Do you think they’d care if we crash the event? The eventbrite tickets are sold out.

  5. Rick Turoczy says:

    Ryan, It’s a space issue. We can only wedge so many people in there. :/

  6. Ryan W says:

    No, I understand, that Makes sense, I’m just thinking if it’s going to be like the lean startup event that was “sold out” but sounded like not nearly as many people that had signed up actually showed up. Good problem to have for the community though, booking these events up.

  7. Rick Turoczy says:

    Also, we’re working on at least recording and potentially livestreaming the event.

  8. Jeff, CarWoo founders and I go back a ways.They are doing this as a personal favor. We had many conversations when they lived here about the PDX ecosystem and changes needed. Fast forward two years.. this is a happy story! So much good has been done by so many. I think we can all agree there is a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on – Portland Seed Fund is just a part of it. :)

  9. Jmartens says:

    @Angela I see the connection with CarWoo and Cloudkick…if there was an early stage fund in place when they started, they may never have left. Makes perfect sense.

    Just a bit of a turn off to read that people from out-of-state are going to tell us how the funding landscape looks in Portland today. How long have they been gone? What is their activity level in Portland now?

  10. @Jmartens. I don’t plan on focusing on talking about how the funding landscape has changed since we went South. I’ll leave that to the experts. I will talk about the things I’ve learned over the past few years that the PDX community has completely in their control to give Portland the best chance to be a great startup city.

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