We’ve come to the end of another Black History Month here in Portland. And if you’ve been following along with Stephen Green on Twitter, then you’ve likely caught his efforts to feature a bunch of awesome black businesses in Portland throughout the month. I tried to grab them all in case you want to have them all for quick reference.
It’s always nice to see Portland companies featured in national media. Especially when it’s folks who you know have been hard at work, building amazing companies, with little to no media recognition for what they’ve been doing. Like Walker Tracker, which was just featured in Forbes as an example of the participants in the XXcelerate Fund.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that I spend a lot of my time focused in a hyperlocal sort of way. On startups. Usually Portland. Sometimes other places in Oregon. But usually Portland. And usually tech. So it’s always nice to get the opportunity to muck around with more macro data. Or datasets that provide a broader context and indicators for what’s happening here around entrepreneurship.
Hopefully, you’ve all been tuning in to Stephen Green’s tweets highlighting some amazing black entrepreneurs in Portland. It’s become a tradition designed to help celebrate Black History Month. This year, however, the celebration isn’t just virtual. On the last day of the month, there will be two in person opportunities to celebrate Black History Month and the black entrepreneurs in our community.
As always, I’ll start this with the caveat that I promised Bill Lynch, cofounder of Jive, that I wouldn’t just write posts that celebrate funding for the sake of funding. Which is actually more work. (Thanks, Bill.) But in the long run, I’m hoping my bag-full-of-cats startup-history brain full of tangential facts and likely little known context can be helpful in providing a broader picture of why these funding events are important.
Like the return of spring, it’s always nice to see the return of activity to the Portland startup community. As we shake off the slow down of the holidays, quickly lose that new year smell, and get back to full speed ahead. And this year, it may just be me, but March and April seem pleasantly even more crowded than usual.
Portland makes its way on to any number of lists. Some good, some not so good. So it’s really nice to see that a recent report by LendingTree has Portland ranking #6 — just behind Seattle at #5 — for successful entrepreneurs of color. And that’s even more relevant when you take into account that four of the top ten cities are in California.
It’s a little weird when you meet someone who shares your birthday. It gets even weirder when that birthday is the exact same day. Like day, month, year. Same, same, same. And then, what if you were both working a similar sort of job? Now imagine putting those two — Libras, mind you — together on a podcast. And that’s pretty much what you get with Saul Colt’s “We now join the program already in progress” podcast — with me as a guest.
Like web, open source, and mobile before it, Portland has taken a real affinity to virtual reality and augmented reality. We just really seem to love that technology that hasn’t quite become a market yet. Call us early adopters. Or just call us curious.