A few ways to engage with the Portland startup community: A refresher for a fresh start to 2019

While the Portland startup community does its best to be incredibly collaborative and welcoming, we’re not always so good with communicating how best to engage with the community. And that can be a tad bit frustrating for folks who are looking to help — and even more frustrating for those who are looking for help.

So I thought I would take a couple of minutes here at the start of the year to help document a few resources that may be helpful as you work to get more connected to the Portland startup community.

Portland startup community resources

These are some of the main online resources for quickly connecting with the community.

  • Calagator is the aggregated tech calendar for Portland. If you’re looking to meet people. Calagator is the easiest and most efficient way to stay up-to-date on all of the scheduled events in our community. And if you’re organizing events targeted at the startup or tech community, it’s the best way of getting the word out. Bar none.
  • Portland Startups Slack has the most wide ranging selection of conversations and participants in our community. As of this writing, it has more than 4000 folks on it. It’s totally free and largely community managed. If you’d like to join, all you have to do is sign up for Portland Startups Slack.
  • If you’re specifically looking for help or have something to offer, Portland Startups Switchboard can be a great way to connect with the folks. The free site is designed to help people make asks and offers that can be of use to the Portland startup community.

Startup and tech jobs

Sometimes the best way to get connected is in the workplace. But to have a workplace, you need to have a job. So here are some resources that may help in that regard.

  • Mac’s List is one of the most active job boards in the area. It’s got way more than just startups, so if you’re looking for any sort of gig it’s a great place to start.
  • Another active job board can be found at PDX Pipeline. Again, this tends to highlight jobs for all sorts of companies, but you can find startup and tech jobs there with a little filtering.
  • If you’re only interested in startup and tech jobs, the Silicon Florist job board tends to be a good resource in that regard. Not a very wide range of types of gigs, but if you’re a developer it can be a great place to start your search. And if you want to pitch your skills to would-be employers, you can create a profile to make it easier for them to find you.

Startup and tech news

If you’re interested in getting a better understanding of what’s happening in the Portland startup community, there are a couple of news outlets that do a good job of covering the latest.

  • The longest running and widest ranging coverage of the Portland tech community — from massive tech giants to the smallest of startups — can be found in Silicon Forest from The Oregonian.
  • The Portland Business Journal covers a wide range of small business news. If you’re particularly interested in startup news, then Malia Spencer is the best journalist in town for that sort of stuff. The biggest challenge here is that a lot of the content lives behind a paywall. So you might consider subscribing to get complete access.
  • If you’re more interested in pure startup news and events, then look no further than Startup Digest Portland, the weekly email that keeps you up to date on what’s happening here in town. You can follow them on Twitter, as well.

Stuff I’m working on…

Finally, I try to do my best to write about interesting stuff, highlight the incredible work that others are doing in our community, meet and connect as many folks as I possibly can, and start new projects or events that help close some of the gaps in our community.

If that sounds interesting to you, here are few ways you can keep track of that sort of stuff.

  • I’ve worked on Silicon Florist (You’re soaking in it!) as a side project for more than a decade. Mostly as a way to give back to the community. And partially as an ill-fated attempt to improve my writing skills. If showing up on a regular basis isn’t part of your workflow, you can keep track of what’s happening by signing up for the Silicon Florist weekly newsletter or following along on Twitter, Facebook, or to a lesser extent Instagram. If you prefer reading stuff on Medium, I try to republish most stories there, as well.
  • Most of my time is spent on PIE, an ongoing experiment to figure out how we can provide more support for startups in town — now entering its tenth year. It’s part startup accelerator and part community development effort. And while a lot of the work is focused on the startups in the PIE and PIE Shop programs, I’d like to put some effort into ramping up the community facing efforts, as well. So please feel free follow along if you’d like to be involved. And if you’re interested in news about accelerators and the like, we try to share a much as we can on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And on Instagram every once in a while.
  • In 2019, I’d like refocus efforts on more community building through events and other experiments that get people in the same room. Some of the most immediate opportunities are through existing Meetup groups like Demolicious and Portland Lunch 2.0. If you’re interested in participating, please consider signing up.
  • If you’re less interested in tech and more interested in consumer products, then you’ll want to follow along with our efforts over at Built Oregon. That’s where we’re working to help consumer products companies around the state. And quite frankly, where we tend to crank out some pretty sweet swag.
  • I try to engage, share, and amplify a bunch of the above as much as I can through my personal social accounts. Be forewarned that it’s not always a high signal to noise ratio. But hopefully, there are a few gems, here and there. If that’s of interest to you, I’m most active on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
  • And lastly, I’m continuing to experiment with Patreon because I’m convinced that there has to be a more sustainable way for folks to support the people in their respective communities who are also trying to do this sort community building and ecosystem development kind of work. Be they in Portland or elsewhere. Last year, I was humbled by more than 100 people who were kind enough to engage in this experiment with me. This year, I’d like to see if we can double that. And make it a more valuable experience for everyone involved. So if that sounds like something you’d like to do, please join us over on Patreon.

And of course… Happy new year, gentle reader. I look forward to running into you in person or on the interwebs, this year.