There have been any number of fundraising announcements in the past two weeks. And as compelling as that news is, it’s even more exciting to see the companies putting that money to work. Like Rigado, for instance. Which recently raised $15 million. And that led to a bunch of open jobs. Like nine of them.
Yes. $200 million. For a Portland startup. It’s really really easy to blanche at that number. I get it. It’s a big number. Especially for a homegrown Portland company in the software world. And were this earlier in the life of Silicon Florist, I could have easily focused on the number, cheered for a company raising that much, and moved along my merry little way.
There was a time when Portland was at the forefront of access to civic data. Then we lost some ground. Maybe a great deal of ground. But we’re having a renaissance of sorts. With the Smart City PDX effort. And with Hack Oregon’s announcement of the new Civic platform.
Every once in a while, you get to be present to witness the establishment of a widespread platform. A platform that provides the means of making a market. Sometimes, it’s the first to market—like the iPhone or Roku. Sometimes, it’s a fast follower—like Microsoft Explorer or Google. We’ve seen it happen time and time again. With the Web and Mobile and Streaming Media. But it’s rare to see that happen locally.
If you’ve been around Portland and, well, the Internet for any amount of time, you’ve likely heard rumblings about XOXO, the experimental festival for independent internet artists and creatives that—from the start—was a must-attend event. And even as it grew exponentially, the unique festival remained true to its founding roots which kept folks coming back—and looking forward—year after year.
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing or how awesome it is. Funding is difficult. That’s why I’m always intrigued by folks finding different ways to raise capital to bring their dreams to life. So I was super excited to see my favorite kids’ science show—The Fab Lab with Crazy Aunt Lindsey—looking to our community to help support the next season of production.
These days, it’s hard to believe there was a time when the Web wasn’t driven by community. But hasn’t always been like this. And in the early days of the Web, one site in particular—which happens to have Portland ties—stood out as a engaging, nontoxic, supportive community. A role it still plays even today. That site is MetaFilter. And they could use our help.
In what now seems like ancient history, the Portland startup community used to have a gathering called Beer and Blog. Back when the community was smaller. And when people actually used to blog more regularly. Back then, it was the way to meet folks from our online community, offline.