Getting the band back together: Rigado reunites a Portland startup rarity… serial entrepreneurs

Ever since I promised Bill Lynch that I would stop publishing pure “we got funded” sorts of stories, I’ve had a challenge. You see, people tend to drop press releases when they raise money. So it’s a good time to cover them. But if I chose to act on those releases, my posts couldn’t just be about the funding, I promised Bill. There had to be another angle.

Luckily, today’s funding announcement by Rigado was a bit of a softball in terms of me having more to say about the story.

Yes. They raised some money.

But the more important part of this news is just below the surface. And that slightly obscured story is that we’re at one of those times where we are witness to the siting of one of the rarest of breeds around these parts: the serial entrepreneur team. A team embodied in the combination of Greg Rau and Kevin Tate.

I first encountered Greg and Kevin when they worked across the parking lot from my gig at Digimarc. They were at Unicru. But then they left. To do their own thing.

That thing was StepChange Group, one of the first companies I covered on Silicon Florist. After some fits and starts, StepChange happened to catch the Facebook application wave as it was forming. Which led to an acquisition that eventually led to the StepChange crew being part of Dachis Group.

Then, they did another thing. It was called Upstart Labs. And like the company before, they were early adopters. Participants in a new generation of incubators and accelerators in town. Who approached the problem more creatively than many of us. By providing resources, capital, and smart hands that helped those companies find their footing. Founders helping founders. In every sense of the phrase.

But they still had that drive to be in the thick of it. So then they did another thing. Shuttering Upstart Labs to spend more time focused on one of their promising alums, Chirpify. Where both Greg and Kevin took leadership roles in helping continue to push the company forward.

You’d think the story might end there. But no. Entrepreneurs will be entrepreneurs. And so, the team has moved on to new things. In the world of the Internet of Things and connected devices. With Rigado.

It’s rare to see serial entrepreneurs around these parts. Rarer still to see teams of serial entrepreneurs trying new things, again and again. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what this team does this time around. And I’m looking forward to covering their pursuits for another decade.

But most of all? I’m looking forward to this serial founder and serial team stuff to become less of a rarity. And more of a successful string of repeat performances for a bunch of folks around here.

For more on the funding:

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