You can’t make this stuff up. It just happens in Portland. And it’s part of what makes this place so amazing. It’s part community. Part collaboration. And a whole whopping lot of serendipity.
So, the PDC has been doing a great job of working to expand the diversity of our startup scene beyond the realm of caucasian males. The #I3PDX events have been drawing an eclectic collection of entrepreneurs from a far broader scope of Portlanders than I’ve ever seen before.
Standing at one of these events, recently, I was chatting with Shashi Jain, one of the amazing community organizers around here who has truly helped the Portland startup scene get to where it is today.
Well, in addition to his passion for startups, Shashi has a passion for something equally geeky: 3D printing.
So he was excitedly running me through some of his latest projects. One of which was a 3D printed prostheses project, where 3D printer operators are collaborating to reduce the costs of prosthetic devices, thereby making them more affordable and prevalent. It’s called e-NABLE.
“I’m working on printing this 3D hand. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could find a way to print some of these for people?”
And then—as they like to say in the world of Upworthy headlines—you won’t believe what happened next.
"You need a hand? I print 3D hands!" My mind was just blown @pdxdevelopment #I3PDX & @turoczy is my witness pic.twitter.com/C49vTritxi
— Mara Zepeda (@marazepeda) April 11, 2014
“I could use a hand,” chimed in Jordan Nickerson, a developer from PSU who attended the event.
And we all just kind of stood there. Kind of in shock. Due to the amazing serendipity of the situation. And of Portland.
“Did that just happen?” asked Mara.
Indeed it did. Because Portland.
For more on the story—and, yes, what happened next—see Malia Spencer’s writeup in the Portland Business Journal.
(Image courtesy Intel Free Press. Used under Creative Commons)
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Awesomely cool, Shashi! You rock!
Very very cool Shashi. Love what you guys are working on.
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