Month: April 2009

Gorge Angel Conference extends deadline for submissions

Gorge Angel ConferenceI’m the first to admit: I don’t cover as much stuff in the Gorge as I should. There’s a ton of cool stuff happening out there. And fortunately, we’ve got a diplomat like John Metta who exposes us to it.

Today, he let us know that the Gorge Angel Conference was extending their deadline to April 10.

What’s the Gorge Angel Conference?

The Gorge Angel Conference is an educational, investment and networking event for angel investors and early stage entrepreneurs. Early stage companies will compete for a minimum pooled investment prize of $100,000. The Selection Committee, made up of the group of investors, will be reviewing and judging each application in search of the best investment opportunity. Companies must have good growth and profit potential. Early stage deals are preferred. Companies should be seeking capital within the range of $100,000 to $1,000,000 and planning to locate in the Columbia River Gorge region.

So, if you’re a startup in the Gorge—or you’re interested in relocating closer to Full Sail to the Gorge—you’ll want to take a look at this event.

The even will be held May 19 at the Hood River Inn. For more information or to download the forms, visit the Gorge Angel Conference.

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What would you ask CreditSuisse about the Oregon Investment Fund?

Um Oregon Investment Fund?With 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 chance to chat with the folks at CreditSuisse who are in charge of managing the OIF, Friday morning.

For those of you not familiar with the OIF, it was a fund established by the state of Oregon in 2004 to reinvest a portion of the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund (OPERF) in Oregon and Pacific Northwest businesses—to the tune of $158 million in potential investment.

Or, according to the OIF:

In 2004, the Oregon Legislature passed HB 3613 that allowed the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund (“OPERF”) to develop a fund-of-funds strategy specifically to take advantage of the private equity opportunities in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest (“PNW”). Managed by CFIG, the Oregon Investment Fund (“OIF”) commits capital to private equity and venture capital funds (“Underlying Funds”) that will, in turn, invest in companies located in the State of Oregon as well as the PNW.

Comprised of combined commitments of $150mm from OPERF ($100mm in Fund 1 and $50mm in Fund 1A) and approximately $8mm by CreditSuisse ($5mm in Fund 1 and $3mm in Fund 1A), the $158mm, return oriented program seeks to build successful, innovative enterprises for the benefit of its investors by:

  • Fostering the creation and growth of young and maturing companies in Oregon and the PNW
  • Encouraging the development and growth of a vibrant Oregon and PNW private equity community
  • Facilitating public and private partnerships within the State of Oregon

And one of the areas in which CreditSuisse has authority to invest? That’s right, you guessed it: high tech.

The high tech industry represents more than 50 percent of Oregon’s economic output and includes leading semiconductor manufacturers as well as makers of computer components. Semiconductor companies with operations in Oregon include, Intel, ESI and TriQuint, among others. These companies make up 10 percent of the annual semiconductor production in the U.S. Oregon’s computer component companies include digital projector manufacturers, electronic design automation leaders and liquid crystal display (“LCD”) makers. InFocus, Mentor Graphics, Planar Systems and Hewlett-Packard are among the corporations who represent the State’s computer components sector. Each of these companies presents a breeding ground for creative innovation to spur the development of new businesses and a growth economy.

Yeah, I hear you. I don’t see much about open source, Web applications, or Mobile development, either. And “InFocus, Mentor Graphics, Planar Systems and Hewlett-Packard… [presenting] a breeding ground for creative innovation to spur the development of new businesses and a growth economy”? Seriously?

Help… ?

Now, as anyone who has read Silicon Florist can attest, I’m not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. So this is where you come in. (See? Dangling preposition. I repeat: not sharp.)

I realize it’s terribly short notice. But I was wondering if I could get some of your input?

What would you like to ask CreditSuisse about the OIF?

Please feel free to comment or ping me on Twitter. I’ll do my best to ask your questions along with my own.

And rest assured, that once I’m done with the interview, I’ll no doubt blather on about it here, as per usual.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

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Like to use the same username everywhere? FriendsCall.Me can help

Friends Call MeSpend any time on a social network where you’re identified by a username or handle—be that Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, Flickr, Shizzow, Gmail, or a multitude of other sites—and you’ll rapidly become associated with that name.

Need an example of this in action? Just show up to a Portland tech event. I can all but guarantee “What’s your Twitter name?” comes up at some point in the conversation.

But like anything online, once you’ve found a name you like, it becomes a matter of consistently using—and reserving it—on sites that you may use. Just so everyone knows that it’s you.

We all get very defensive about our username. And we’ve been dealing with this issue since the days of BBS—actually maybe even CBs, good buddy.

And then there’s the confusion when you have folks who use the same name or who switch identities from service to service. Are you the @aaron from Twitter or the @aaron from identi.ca?

Worst of all? What happens when someone else snags your identity and uses it against you? Like the situation with which the folks from OurPDX were dealing with on Twitter.

To date, the best defense has been the “new social network land grab.” It’s a lemming-like rush to the cliff of every new social network site that crops up. We all sprint over, register our preferred username, and squat on it—just in case we decide to use that social network at some point in the future.

Oh my. Who knew social networking would end up being so much work? I just want my friends to know me, wherever I happen to be. Why does that have to be such a pain in the ass?

Well, thanks to Portland-based FriendsCall.Me, it just got a lot easier. Built by DariusMonsef and PureForm—the duo behind COLOURlovers—FriendsCall.Me cures a whole bunch of the headaches surrounding social network identity management—and it gives you a beautiful new profile/lifestream to boot.

Friends Call Me Turoczy even though they can’t pronounce it

Or, in the words of FriendsCall.Me:

We’re living in the age of the social web. Just about every website you join has a profile for you to fill out. A huge number of really great sites will come online in the next few years and every one will have another profile… this disconnected mess of profiles is going to become more and more of a pain to manage. We’re paving the first steps on the way to helping you organize all those profiles. In the comings days and weeks we’ll be bringing online features that not only allow you to check a username, but register a profile and sync it with all your other profiles… and along the way show you some interesting sites you might not have known about.

So the problems I mentioned above? Owning your chosen username, letting people know you’re you even though your usernames may be different, and getting alerts when new social networks come online? Done, done, and done with FriendsCall.Me.

Want to see where your username is being used? Just run a username check and you’ll see all the spots where it’s living.

If you’re looking to consolidate your profiles under one roof, sign up for an account. Then, you can add a bunch of your social media and social networking accounts to your profile page. Your new FriendsCall.Me profile aggregates all of your identities in one spot.

Finally, if you’re looking to keep control of that identity, you’ve got a bevy of options on how you get alerts. Want every site that comes online? Fine. Just want photo sites? Fine. Mix and match the alerts to meet your needs.

What’s that? Your favorite site isn’t there? That’s easily remedied.

Seen this before?

I’m sure you have. FriendsCall.Me is sure, too:

You may notice that FriendsCall.Me works a lot like some other sites you may have seen… that’s because some of the features we provide aren’t exactly new. The username checking susernameervice was well executed by Jon Sykes before he turned his site off… and several clones have popped up since. In that way, our features are a little “Me Too” but we’re not much for simply copying an old idea and rebranding it. We saw an opportunity to take a few concepts and stir them all together to create a new and much more useful service.

But I like the way these guys think, they’ve got a ton of experience in dealing with social networks, and—let’s face it—I’m going to give any Silicon Forest startup the benefit of the doubt.

I’d love to hear what you think. Give FriendsCall.Me a try and let me know.

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Twitalyzer: Top 100 Twitter types in Portland by influence

TwitalyzerPortland-based Twitalyzer has released a new feature that allows users to rank Twitter folks for a demographic region by certain metrics, like influence, signal-to-noise ratio, generosity, velocity, and clout.

How do the Twitter types in Portland fare? Let’s take a look at the listings for today.

Here are the Top 100 Twitter types in Portland based on influence as of about 9:00 AM, today (but it has already changed—yay for dynamic data!):

  1. tweetpenguin
  2. mikeklingler
  3. stephstricklen
  4. chrisguillebeau
  5. fishfire
  6. TheSquare
  7. brampitoyo
  8. caseorganic
  9. emmortal
  10. erictpeterson
  11. theonetruebix
  12. italylogue
  13. atlanta978
  14. turoczy
  15. lynnelle
  16. ethobullion
  17. CarriBugbee
  18. 1080group
  19. SisterDiane
  20. jakks
  21. jkvirtualoffice
  22. matthewrayscott
  23. robsellen
  24. kellyrfeller
  25. lorelleonwp
  26. ravenme
  27. sabrinafina
  28. wendymaynard
  29. xolotl
  30. BikePortland
  31. jeanannvk
  32. bryanrhoads
  33. seschloss
  34. curtjonestweets
  35. cvelis
  36. jabancroft
  37. mike_ace
  38. betsywhim
  39. NBANoise
  40. selenamarie
  41. timorousme
  42. amyrsward
  43. PDXJobs
  44. haroldPDX
  45. georgeholland
  46. dieselboi
  47. znmeb
  48. DianaOfPortland
  49. girlgraphix
  50. evilspinmeister
  51. radiogretchen
  52. kentjlewis
  53. sheagunther
  54. AbbieKendall
  55. feedia
  56. macgenie
  57. pdxlilly
  58. carterlusher
  59. RobSalzman
  60. semaphoria
  61. justinkistner
  62. kimtoomey
  63. donpdonp
  64. psingleton
  65. Transitionqueen
  66. jandroid
  67. kaykas
  68. danielbachhuber
  69. brianclayville
  70. Aleta
  71. jamesshore
  72. morecontrary
  73. unclenate
  74. heathred
  75. ginarau
  76. jaycosnett
  77. aaronblew
  78. SocialMediaPDX
  79. widmer_brothers
  80. thorprichard
  81. BeverlyHogue
  82. adronbh
  83. bobhyatt
  84. lonefir
  85. ryanbuch
  86. sleeve
  87. smbguru
  88. adamboettiger
  89. jenmaxwell
  90. abrahamhyatt
  91. DrewColeman
  92. EdSchoaps
  93. ryansnyder
  94. sugarpuss
  95. JulieMorgan
  96. fredericl
  97. foodbizstartup
  98. ECdavies
  99. neddotcom
  100. pmarzullo

And while there are a number of folks missing from the list whom I would expect to be there—like Marshall Kirkpatrick and some of the Top 30 tech Twitter types from the Portland area from last year—this is still a great way to discover some local folks who you might want to follow.

For the latest rankings, metrics, and the ability to slice and dice the lists for Portland—as well as a number of other geographic regions—visit Twitalyzer.

(Hat tip Nate “@xolotl” Angell #29)

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REMINDER: Portland Web Innovators Demolicious is tonight

Interested in seeing some of the newest projects in the Portland Web scene? Then don’t miss Portland Web Innovators Demolicious. It’s a night of demos of some cutting edge projects from our peers here in the Silicon Forest.

Who’s up? Benjamin Stover with “I Need to Read This!,” David Abramowski with “MioWorks,” Jason Glaspey with “Black Tonic,” Sam Grover with “Avatari,” and Richard Forbes with “VoteFair ranking.”

The event will be held at Jive Software, starting at 7 PM. For more information (including how to get in the locked door), visit Demolicious on Upcoming.

So SoMe: Social Media Awards launched to coincide with InnoTech

Social Media AwardsLooking for a little recognition of your prowess in social media? I have an award for you, my friend.

The Social Media Club of Portland, SEMpdx, the Software Association of Oregon (SAO), and InnoTech have joined forces to launch “SoMe Awards: Your Social Media Awards,” an award designed to recognize “outstanding social media projects and the people who created them.”

No, despite the date, I’m not joking. I did that already.

Oh okay. So here’s one more little joke and then we can get on with reality.

Social Media prowess

The SoMe Award (whose URL someawards.com reminds me of someecards, which prompted me to use the image above) will be held Thursday, April 23, at InnoTech.

Want to register yourself, a client, or a friend? Simply head over to the SoMe Award nomination form before midnight on April 11. Categories include Superstar, House Party, Next Big Thing, Scrappy, Sugar Daddy, Bloviater, and Wildcard.

What are they looking for?

We encourage nominees to make it EASY for the judges to review your work and provide as much detail as necessary. We advise a landing page or micro-site that explains why your project is award-worthy and walks the judges through the elements you want them to be aware of (no word-count limitations here). This is the place to make your pitch! Highlight your creativity, ground-breaking ideas, coding artistry, marketing effectiveness, statistics – whatever is most award-worthy about your project. Don’t assume judges will click through elements you have not highlighted as important! Be clear about what they should look at.

Note: the judges are from another state and likely will not know the nominees to make the process as impartial as possible.

So get all your social ducks in a row and fill out the form. Or get your clients to nominate you. I think you could use a new trophy on your desk. Or to haul around with you from coffee shop to coffee shop.

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Oregon and Portland-area florists, floral arrangements, and flowers

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Okay, okay. So I may have made a mistake when I chose this domain name. It was like 2 AM. And I admit, in hindsight, my reasoning may have been a bit flawed.

Silicon Forest + The Rose City == Silicon Florist

Really? What was I thinking?

Well, over the past year and a half I’ve learned a thing or two. First, covering Silicon Forest side projects and tech startups is a great gig—but it’s not exactly paying the bills. Second, people clearly want to hear about florists. Especially florists in Oregon.

So, I’ve decided that it would be wise to expand my coverage a bit. I mean, florists can be startups, too. Right? That’s right.

So from now on Silicon Florist will not only be providing you with the best information about Portland-area and Silicon Forest startups, it will also be your premiere spot for finding the latest cutting edge information on florists in Oregon and southern Washington. And florist ads.

I mean, I think the florists in the area could use a little more tech. And the tech types? They could clearly use some more flowers and floral arrangements.

So here’s my inaugural post on some of my favorite Oregon and Portland-area florists.

City Flowers of Portland

I’ve used City Flowers for about as long as I can remember. Helpful people, creative flower choices, and brilliant arrangements.

“Catering to the style-conscious clientele of downtown Portland, business-to-business flowers is the focus of our work. City Flower’s success in this area reflects its attitude toward customer service: It must be the best for it to be outstanding in our field. Every order we design and deliver is viewed as a commitment to the customer. We will deliver the freshest flowers possible designed with artistic flair while also providing the highest level of customer service possible. Your satisfaction is our primary goal.”

Inbloom of Corvallis

“We are a real Flower Shop, FULL of Flowers, located in Corvallis, Oregon – not just a phone number of an office somewhere, or just a URL on the web. Calling us directly, via our toll free number 24 hours a day (1-800-405-5666), saves you expensive relay fees and assures you will get full value for your money. We are Florists first, marketers second. Most importantly, we live and do business in the city we serve (Corvallis), and care about our reputation and your continued business. Our goal is to provide you with exemplary service and outstanding products and turn you into another one of our satisfied returning customers. as well as providing your recipient with quality of flowers and design that will make them also want to use us as their personal florist.”

Enchanted Florist of Ashland

“Our Mission: Offer one of a kind floral arrangements by using fun, rare and unique flowers as well as other mediums such as fruit, twigs, leaves, vegetables, pods and anything else to create the perfect arrangement. And even more important, show courtesy and respect to all people in and outside of our floral shop.”

Beaverton Florists

“Ralph Beck’s dream of opening a flower shop started in 1943 over on Lombard Avenue next to his greenhouse that he used to grow his product. After 18 years Ralph and Vi opened in ½ of our current location on 2nd and Watson Ave. in central Beaverton. In 1962 they sold the business to Paul and Delores Jakobson. During the 60’s and 70’s Paul and Delores grew the business and remodeled the building. In 1980 they decided to retire and sold the business to Richard and Florence Hill who continued to expand and grow the business adding space by taking over the entire building and increasing sales. Keith & Sheri have continued to grow and keep Beaverton Florists in the Top 100 florists in the nation ranked by FTD.”

Tommy Luke Flowers and Gifts of Portland

“Flowers Tommy Luke proudly serves the Portland/Vancouver area. We are locally owned and operated. We are committed to offering only the finest floral arrangements and gifts, backed by service that is friendly and prompt. Because all of our customers are important, our professional staff is dedicated to making your experience a pleasant one. That is why we always go the extra mile to make your floral gift perfect. Let Flowers Tommy Luke be your first choice for flowers.”

Oregon blog about florists

Of course, my list wouldn’t be complete without a blog from Prineville, OR, featuring the Posie Girls. Blogging and flowers? Clearly hitting close to home for me.

More Oregon florists, floral arrangements, and flowers

This is just the first of many posts covering the world of flowers in the Silicon Forest. If you you’re not seeing what you’re looking for, the following links may help.

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Or maybe you have some local Oregon florists you’d like to suggest? Feel free to comment.

(Hat tip to Avante Gardens for the idea and to GRMFWKLSNAXP for showing me the errors of my altruistic ways)

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