What the Portland startup community needs more of… and less of

Editor’s note: Hanging out in the Portland Startup Slack, Kathryn Brown opined that many of the events and organizations trying to support founders in our community seemed a little misdirected. I asked her to elaborate if she could. What I got was a great list of things we should be doing more of… and things we should be doing less of. With her permission, I’m republishing her Slack posts, here.


Here’s what we need more of…

1) More collaboration / interaction with the Portland business community at large

Early startup founders can really benefit from the connections that come from good ole’ executive networking.

2) Startup financial planning mentorship

Help with growth planning, financial modeling, etc.

3) Founder-run startup scene (as Brad Feld says)

Many leaders of entrepreneurship orgs. in our community have never founded a company. How do they know what it’s like / what entrepreneurs actually need?

4) Exited founders mentoring and re-investing

This makes for a mature and dynamic ecosystem. Why did FB acquire Instagram, seemingly out of the blue? Kevin was an early intern at FB and knew Zuck personally.

5) Software / tech shouldn’t be lumped with consumer goods / food / apparel

Most pitch contests here make software companies compete against noodle companies and peanut butter companies, and it’s completely flawed because the biz models and needs are vastly different.

6) Startups supporting each other / startup partnerships

Let’s use each others’ products, yo!

7) Risk-taking

Investors here are funding the most boring startups while the best and most ambitious startups are leaving our city for better opportunities i.e. Chroma. Their product is very compelling.

Here’s what we do not need more of…

1) Pitch events + pitch practice

Great, you can pitch, but it won’t get you anywhere here in PDX because the likelihood that you will “win” more than a few grand in a competition is slim.

2) Local startup competitions

Waste of time.

3) “Mentors” who actually have no practical experience

4) Happy Hours

Happy hours are fun! But we have so many of them. Let’s focus on helpful events.

Thoughts? Come discuss in the Portland Startups Slack or ping @kathrynmbrown and @turoczy on the Twitters.