Month: February 2019

Arguably the most important skill for mentors? Empathy

I’m lucky that I get the opportunity to sit at the nexus of passionate founders building early stage companies and the community of mentors who wants to support and bolster those founders as they strive to build the next great Portland company. While we all recognize that building a startup is ridiculously difficult, sometimes we forget that founders are suffering from any number of stressors and pressures, despite the stiff upper lip they project.

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Follow along on Sylvia Salazar’s founder journey with TonoLatino

While admittedly there are any number of resources that share the stories of entrepreneurs, the voice of those stories is decidedly homogenous. So when I get the chance to share a story that’s not part of the homogeneity — or when I get the chance to use the word “homogeneity” in a post — I’m going to do it. Like the story of Sylvia Salazar, the Latina founder of TonoLatino.

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Looking for a startup conference that’s more inclusive? Case Foundation compiled a list for you

Conferences and events can be the bane of a startup’s existence — or the key to serendipity and success. But it’s always hard to tell which conferences are which. That’s why I’m really happy to see the Case Foundation’s list of inclusive entrepreneurship conferences for this year.

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Eugene explores the potential for its own innovation district

If you’ve spent any time mucking around in startup ecosystems, you’ve no doubt come across the concept of an “innovation district.” The idea, briefly, is to artificially create a dense core of people, institutions, and companies that fosters innovation. Sort of like Portland’s urban growth boundary. But for innovation.

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Dear startup founder, Are you taking care of yourself? What about your mental and behavioral health?

Startups are grueling. Even as an employee. For founders? They’re exponentially more of a grind. With the pressure. And the people relying on you. And the investors. As such, founders go through any number of ups and downs. Which often result in burnout. And depression. And those feelings can lead to substance abuse. Or ignoring the problem. Yeah. It’s tough. Really tough.

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If only there were a Twitter list of venture capital folks…

Said someone, probably. And thanks to local investor and startup accelerator director Dylan Boyd, there is. It may be incomplete, but it’s likely far better than any list you’ve got going currently. Nearly 2000 folks and firms in the venture capital industry. All talking about what they had for lunch. And probably some VC stuff too.

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