A few years back, I would have a hard time even fathoming that Portland would even appear on a list of startup cities. So let’s just start there. It’s awesome to see Portland listed among the top 25 startup cities pursuing “Innovation that Matters.” But now that we’re on there… c’mon Portland. We can do better than this.
The report—compiled by 1776, Free Enterprise, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation—features rankings of cities around the United States who exhibit an intriguing blend of technology, startups, capital, and community required to “capitalize on the inevitable shift to a digital economy.”
Portland ranked 13th. Middle of the pack. But it’s progress.
And we even got called out and taken to task for things that we could be doing better.
Maybe I’m a little biased (maybe?), but I can’t help but think we’ve got the opportunity to make something happen here. Because if this doesn’t sound like Portland, nothing does:
A city will thrive in the digital economy by mastering both the technical and community domains, and by maximizing the engagement from every corner of the community. Everyone must play a role: the entrepreneurs already doing the heavy lifting to create new companies; city government “startup advocates” who focus on strengthening the local entrepreneurship community; city government “innovation leads” who work with the startup community to improve city services; chamber of commerce “entrepreneurship directors” who serve as a bridge between established businesses and startups; private sector “startup reps” who lead entrepreneur groups and organize broad discussions about the future of the startup community; and university innovation and entrepreneurship program leads who connect universities to the community by facilitating student entrepreneurship programs, developing external partnerships and spearheading technology commercialization.
Communities that succeed will embrace technology’s disruptive presence and unify around a shared vision that emboldens everyone in the city to carve out a role that advances the collective goal. The resulting momentum can bring fresh life to the city, enable creative initiatives to take root and drive the community to a leadership position in the digital era.
For more information or to download the report, visit Innovation that Matters 2016.