One of the things that has defined the maturity of the Portland startup community has been a notable lack of serial founders, folks who have had the experience of building and exiting from a company who then take the opportunity to build their next company. Slowly but surely, that’s starting to change. Take, for example, Portland startup Streem.
If you run in early stage startup circles, you’ve likely come across Product Hunt, which over a relatively short period of time has become the de facto place to launch a product—and now, if they’re physical products, ship them as well. What you may not know, however, is the Product Hunt has an Oregon connection.
I love startup folks. They’re creative. And resilient. And optimistic. And when one path doesn’t pay off, they’ll quickly start right down another one. So it should come as no surprise that two Portland founders—both representing notoriously under funded demographics among the ranks of venture capital funded startups—would look for an opportunity to fund their companies in new way. Meet Fund a Founder.
One of the challenges of the Portland startup community has always been momentum. We sometimes have great—at times even fantastic—startup news, like an exit or a major announcement. But more often than not, that happens as a solitary instance. And then it’s some time before the next major announcement. So it’s rare to have a day like today where both Torch 3D and Vacasa have major news.
Way back when… as a previous generation of the Portland startup community was starting to come together, Raven Zachary launched something called “Portland on Fire.” It was a project that played a critical role in helping introduce members of our community to one another — and provided a starting point for deeper personal connections among various folks Portland. He called the process “slow social networking.”
Used to be that Portland had a regular cadence around Startup Weekend. And while that cadence seems to have slowed, we still have our fair share of amazing opportunities for would-be founders to engage with a host of mentors in an effort to test their startup concepts. In fact, there’s exactly that opportunity this weekend with Portland Startup Weekend Latino.
As motivations for startups and more sustainable business models continue to evolve, there are an equal number of organizations rethinking the support structures for those founders and their businesses. One of those organizations has been working on the problem for half a decade. And they’ll be in Portland tonight. Meet Happy Startup School Portland.