If you’ve talked to me about markets that have a lot of potential in Portland, we’ve no doubt discussed reality of some flavor or another. Virtual, Augmented, Immersive, Experiential… whatever you want to call it, folks in Portland have been exploring creating content with those technologies for years. And now, XR is inspiring a new crop of products in town that enable folks to create that content more easily.
PitchBlack is the premier local pitch event for black and brown founders. Built Oregon is striving to be the voice for consumer products in Oregon. So when you put the two together, you get an interesting night of pitches on consumer products from some of the most promising entrepreneurs in the state. And it’s all happening as part of the Built Up Festival.
[Editor’s note: The following is a guest post from Duane Benson of Screaming Circuits.]
Oregon has a long history with electronics hardware design, going back to the early days of Tektronix and Intel. Those two technology pioneers begat hardware startup companies like Radisys, InFocus, Planar, and a host of others. But over the last two decades, the local tech startup scene has been much more about the Internet and software than it has been about chips and solder.
If there’s one thing that always intrigues me about modern business, it’s the constant creative fragmentation that makes things more and more accessible to individuals on an as needed basis. Cars, housing, stuff, workspace… it’s happening on any number of fronts.
With funds raising larger and larger rounds, the economics of cutting smaller checks for seed stage companies get more and more lopsided. And that leaves a gap for the youngest and most vulnerable of companies. That’s why it’s always nice to see folks raising funds specifically targeted at early stage companies. Like Seven Peaks just did.
I get it. You’re busy. You’re building your company. And you meant to get those startup accelerator applications done last weekend. But time just got away from you. Well, you better carve out some time this weekend, or you’re going to miss out altogether.
For all of the hype around tech and tech startups, we seem to be sorely lacking in events that celebrate all of the amazing consumer products that call Oregon home. That was the motivation behind last year’s Built Up Festival. And it seems to have gone pretty well. So well, in fact, that it’s happening again, September 28-October 5, 2018.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: OTRADI has built the best incubator in the city, the Oregon Bioscience Incubator. Likely the best incubator in the state. Potentially in the northwest. And incubators are hard. Really hard. (That’s part of the reason PIE chose to morph into an accelerator.) So when there comes a chance to celebrate their accomplishments? I’m all over it.