Sometimes, it takes an outside perspective to help you better understand your world. Earlier this year, Portland had the opportunity to host the Startup Champions Network, a group of startup ecosystem builders who mentor one another on what’s working in their respective communities. And as much as it was a pleasure to introduce folks to what was happening in Portland, getting feedback and insights from a variety of viewpoints was the true reward of putting the event together.
Earlier this year, I sat in a room with local heroes that made me feel like I needed to move to their city. RIGHT.THAT. MINUTE. At the Startup Champions Spring Summit in Portland, Oregon, hosted by PIE, Rick Turoczy had invited Mitch Daugherty (Built Oregon), Paula Hayes (Hue Noir Cosmetics), Chris Bailey (Mercado), Kate Delhagen (Oregon Sports Angels) and Shannon Oliver (Red Duck Foods) to share their experiences of running, accelerating or investing in local product-based businesses in the Pacific Northwest.
And that panel brought about this insight about Portland:
Each of them would give back in their own way: through mentoring and investing in local startups; hiring and training local talent, supporting their local community where possible. They were hell-bent on reducing barriers for the next generation to avoid the same struggles hurdles they themselves had experienced. When we talk about ecosystem building, a culture of local pride and deep dedication to seeing your community thrive is the secret ingredient that separates thriving communities from those who don’t. This type of champion might just be about the best thing that could happen to any local economy.
And that’s just one insight. If you’ve got a few minutes, it’s well worth the read. And well worth revisiting Stephen Green’s TEDxPortland talk (which is also referenced in the piece), as well.
For more, see Coffee shops: The gateway to ecosystem building.”