Coming into its own: Over the past five years Portland's TechFestNW has grown into a destination tech event

It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since we held the first TechFestNW. Back then, we called it the Portland Digital eXperience or PDX, and it hosted a small contingent of tech faithful at both the Leftbank and Ziba Design, late in the summer of 2012. This week, a bigger, better—and independent of MusicFestNW—TFNW filled the Armory in Portland with activity, energy, and a view into our tech future.

Over the course of the life of this ever-changing event—and its iterations and maturation under the guidance of Willamette Week’s editor-in-chief Mark Zusman—the gathering has taken place at Leftbank, Ziba, OMSI, Washington High School, and the Armory. It spawned a “Startup Crawl” that has taken on a life of its own sending hundreds of people around Portland to visit the offices of the startups here. It has brought incredible founders to town to talk and—even more importantly—highlighted the amazing founders we have here in our midst. It’s been referred to as “the next SXSW.” It provides a platform for young startups to pitch their concepts to investors and media. And, perhaps most importantly, it has served as a call to action for Portland startups.

Not bad for five years.

If you missed this year’s event, it’s been incredibly well covered by a bunch of folks. Here’s a sampling of articles on the event:

For more information, visit TechFestNW.

[Full disclosure: I am the cofounder of TFNW and I continue to advise on the project every year.]