I don’t want to jinx anything, but… we just experienced a super interesting series of events in Oregon that felt strangely like momentum. I mean, I can’t be sure because momentum hits so rarely around here. But I’m pretty sure it was momentum.
And it’s mostly a story of numbers that have been revealed over the last month or so:
- $37 billion: Precision Castparts acquired by Berkshire Hathaway
- $5 billion: The Standard acquired by Meiji Yasuda
- $275 million: Dave’s Killer Bread acquired by Flower Foods
- $157 million: Leyard moves to acquire Planar Systems
- $6 million: Little Big Burger acquired by Chanticleer Holdings
And while none of these fall into the realm of “tech startup”—okay fine, all told, tech startups likely spent $6 million dining at Little Big Burger—it’s still important to the Portland startup ecosystem. Because it’s a signal.
It’s a signal that Oregon can build start and build interesting companies. And that those companies can achieve meaningful exits. And create wealth for their employees. So that they can invest. Or pursue other opportunities. So that they’re given the financial freedom to do what they want to do.
And that’s important for all of us. For two reasons.
First, that signal lends credence to what we’ve been trying to do with this generation of tech startups. Start companies here. And build companies here. And a few of them have even managed to create meaningful exits.
And second, that means that we’re beginning to build a base of local capital that has the ability to fund other efforts. Not just at the Friends & Family level. Or at the much needed Angel level. But maybe, just maybe, we’re on the verge of creating more capital at the Institutional level.
And that’s when the real magic starts to happen. That’s where self-sustaining ecosystems start to thrive. And the rising water floats all boats.
It’s still early. And we’ve got a lot more potential waiting in the wings. But something tells me that as these tech startups hit the next stage, they’re going to have a momentum all of their own.
I have the distinct impression that it’s going to be an interesting 2016. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes from here. Especially with tech.
(Image courtesy Marina Perevezentseva. Used under Creative Commons.)