It’s no secret. Portland is a behind the scenes, business to business kind of town. Our most successful startups tend to be the names bandied about developer break rooms and user groups rather than household names. But that’s just fine. We’re good at that. And it fits our culture. And now, we have a Startup Weekend to reflect that strength: Portland Startup Weekend B2B.
For this spring’s Portland Startup Weekend (May 1-3, 2015), we were challenged to do something unique, while maintaining the culture, experience and purpose of the event. We chose to focus exclusively on B2B entrepreneurship for three key reasons.
Culture: Too many young “companies” are doing what Paul Graham refers to as “playing house.” They are mimicking everything they see successful companies doing on the outside, like getting an office, making slick business cards, handing out T-shirts and stickers, building slide decks and websites… but they aren’t doing the one thing that is often hidden from view, calling on clients with real problems and real budgets, asking how they can serve them. That is hard work, its not always fun or glamorous… but it is what separates inventors from entrepreneurs.
Revenue: Funding that never has to be paid back. There are very few individuals who will pay hundreds of dollars a month for any service, so building consumer focused businesses often means borrowing massive sums of money. However there are millions of businesses that will pay real money, to solve real problems, right now.
Diversity: While many people reading this have the relationships and experience to raise money, many early entrepreneurs do not. We believe this lack of access is a contributor to a disparity in the ethnic, age, race and gender makeup of our industry, as compared to the communities we serve. While others strive to improve that system of early stage fundraising, we want to show aspiring entrepreneurs how to build a business that can sustain itself without any outside funding or permission from the establishment.
Sound interesting? Well clear your calendar for the first weekend in May. Portland Startup Weekend B2B will take place May 1-3 at CENTRL Office, home to a bunch of startups in its own right. Tickets are $100 for which you get a ton of food, drink, mentorship, and camaraderie.
For more information or to reserve you spot, visit Portland Startup Weekend B2B.