December 13th, 2011
Teacher says every time a company IPOs an angel gets its wings. But sometimes it takes six months.
One of the things about which I tend to carp isn’t a lack of capital in the Portland startup scene. It’s an issue of maturity of the Portland startup scene. Because we simply haven’t had a bunch of serial entrepreneurs with successful exits plowing money back into the next generation of startups.
But we’re getting there. It’s starting to happen. Slowly. And today, we got a huge boost. Jive Software had their IPO today. The first IPO in our region in quite some time.
And it was really successful. And for that they deserve congratulations. Because it’s a big deal. This is huge for these folks. And a bunch them live in Portland. So, that, in turn is big for the Portland startup scene.
Jive made it happen. I could have sworn they were going to be acquired. But they made it to the Street. And that’s an amazing and gut wrenching journey. But mostly amazing.
And Portland should be proud. And we should also be slightly anxious. And champing at the bit.
Because there on the horizon… is our startup scene’s glimpse of maturity. A very very real opportunity for people with startup experience—tech startup experience—to have some disposable (read: invest-able) cash. Some cash they’re willing to risk. To help their friends or their coworkers take a chance on the next big thing.
But that, my friends, is a few months out. Six to be exact.
Why six months? Well, for those of you not familiar with the whole IPO thing. (I mean, it’s been years. Who can blame you?) There’s a little thing called a “lockup period” that stands between us and the next generation of the Portland startup scene.
You see, generally, when a company goes public, the existing shareholders—primarily current employees and former employees—enter into an agreement to not sell their stock for a set period of time. Sometimes it’s three months. Sometimes it’s six months. But whatever the case, it’s a time period where people have stock—or options—but can’t do anything with them. But be patient. And wait.
Once that period expires, they’re free to do what they want. But that waiting period? Well, it can be a little nerve wracking to say the least.
So please, let’s take a moment to bask. To join in reveling in Jive’s accomplishment today. But then, put June 13, 2012, on your calendar. Because that’s six months from today. That’s when the lockup expires. And then get ready. Because if the company can continue to perform, there’s something big coming. A whole bunch of new angels—and potentially startups—for the Portland startup scene.
Here’s looking forward to an interesting summer.
And again, congrats to Bill, Matt, Dave, and all of the other Jivers, past and present. You done us all proud.