Looking to get involved in Portland Startup Week? Don’t stress. It’s not as difficult as you think. (And it’s not too late.)

It’s starting to get exciting now. As we draw closer to the beginning of Portland Startup Week, I always get a bunch of inbound requests from amazing Portland folks who are interested in doing something. Which is awesome. What’s not awesome is when folks are stressed about what to do. Sometimes they’re struggling to come up with a concept or event that works. Sometimes they believe that it’s more difficult to participate than it is. Sometimes they’re not even clear on what the options are. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to provide some examples of what other folks are doing.

Portland Startup Week is a celebration of all things startup, here in the Rose City. It’s a weeklong series of events, the vast majority of which are completely free to attend. The week features programming from the newest startups to the most established companies that are interested in supporting the Portland startup community. And it’s not just tech. In the past, the week has featured consumer products startups like food & beverage and apparel & outdoor. It’s also featured service providers who support our community. Even retail locations who support early stage founders have opened their doors for events.

So it’s a pretty expansive scope. Which, at times, can make it hard to figure out what to do. I get it. So here are some ideas to stimulate your creativity:

  • IDEA #1: Run the event you usually run, when you usually run it. If it happens to fall during Portland Startup Week (April 2-6 and the weekend following), let us know that it’s happening. We’ll add it to the Portland Startup Week calendar. Simple as that. Good examples of that are Startup Weekend Vancouver, WA and TechfestNW.
  • IDEA #2: Do a special version of an event you usually run, but do it for Portland Startup Week. Like the Design Reality Meetup is doing with Immersive Startups – A conversation with AR/VR founders.
  • IDEA #3: Hold a meetup at a local coffeeshop, bar, or coworking space. A great example of this is Coffee w/ Co-Founders meetup which takes place the Tuesday of Startup Week.
  • IDEA #4: Open your office space to the community by having an open house or offering up free coworking hours, like CENTRL Office, NXT Industries, and WeWork Portland. Or simply have folks swing by for a happy hour with your team.
  • IDEA #5: If you’re looking to show off your office space to hundreds of people or get a bunch of prospective employees in the door, there’s no better way than hosting a Portland Lunch 2.0. You buy lunch. Folks show up. Every year, CENTRL Office has hosted a Lunch 2.0 for Portland Startup Week, and this year is no different. They’ll be buying you lunch on the Wednesday of Startup Week to introduce folks to their newest location in the West End.
  • IDEA #6: Host a large evening event with speakers and presentations, like Pitch Latino is doing.
  • IDEA #7: If none of these ideas work for you or you simply just want to support the Portland startup community, consider sponsoring Portland Startup Week—a nonprofit that’s volunteer organized—to help make other events more successful or to provide scholarships for folks to attend some of the ticketed events happening during the week.

Inspired? Want to get involved? It’s never too late. Simply fill out the Portland Startup Week event form so that we can review your awesome event and consider adding it to the calendar.

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