The past couple of years, I’ve been lucky enough to get invited to the Kauffman Foundation’s ESHIP Summit. A chance to gather and learn from folks who help entrepreneurs, participate in economic development, and generally try to make the whole world of startups more accessible to both founders and the mentors that they need.
As the year draws to a close, it’s only reasonable that we start looking to the new year. And planning for ways to improve and strengthen the connections in the Portland startup community. And given some of the feedback I’ve received throughout the year, I can’t help but wonder if we should reboot Portland Lunch 2.0 as something more than a Portland Startup Week activity.
Everyone knows that Apple can be a little stringent when it comes to approving applications and content for the App Store. So it’s no surprise that Portland startup Torch has had to make a couple of attempts to get some content approved. But the reason they’re getting rejected? That’s what’s interesting.
If you’ve spent any time on this blog, you’ve no doubt heard me bemoan — or maybe even wax poetic — about the fact that it’s very rare for Portland or the region to have a a succession of exits or liquidity events. They generally happen as one offs. Or blips. But with recent activity for Cozy and Radar followed quickly by news of Mirador and Dakine, I’ll be darned if I’m not getting a wee bit optimistic about breaking that curse.
There was a time that there were nearly a dozen startup accelerators in Portland. All with demo days of various flavors. Some were targeted at investors. Some at corporations. Some at community. But what they all had in common was celebration. Celebrating a group of founders and the companies they were building.
[UPDATE] Unfortunately, an unforeseen travel conflict for the speaker is going to require Design Museum Portland to reschedule this event.
In the cannabis industry — where it often seems that 90% of the dispensaries have chosen green as their main color — the case for imbuing the industry with more creativity and design talent is a compelling one. Because, as we’ve seen before, enabling consumers to differentiate among brands in a increasingly crowded marketplace may be the difference between success and failure — especially for startups.
For startups, each and every potential customer seems like a must-win situation. But sometimes winning the account can be even worse than losing it. Or can waste a ton of time — your most valuable resource — for your company. But how do you tell who to qualify and who to disqualify? A few folks from the startup community are seeking to help answer that question with Ongoing Disqualification as a Sales Differentiator.
Speaking of sharing business books that aren’t just a list of homogenous authors, a new book by Portland author Rhodes Perry, an LGBTQ business owner who consults on inclusion, has hit the virtual bookshelves. And given the conversations we’re having and the concerns in the Portland startup community, the timing couldn’t be better. So if you’re looking for some business book reading during your holiday downtime, you might consider Belonging At Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take to Cultivate an Inclusive Organization.
I know I’ve said it before, but of all the inspirational folks with an entrepreneurial spirit here in town, few compare to the folks at Street Roots. Calling their business pursuits “life changing”? A staggering understatement. And like any founder or small business person, they could use our help. And there’s no easier time of year to help than now, thanks to the efforts of Business for a Better Portland.