Two Techstars take three Portland startups

Okay okay okay. Maybe I’m still a bit sore that Techstars passed Portland up to make Seattle its Northwest presence. (Admittedly, they made the right decision.) Or maybe it’s the fact that we were only home to a Techstars for a brief shining three months thanks to the inaugural “powered by” program.

Whatever the case. I’m always happy when the Techstars program gives a nod to Portland. And this week, they’ve already nodded three times. As they’ve done it any number of times. Selecting Portland companies for programs at a variety of Techstars instantiations.

So I was super excited when that happened again. Like when Techstars Anywhere, a virtual format of Techstars mentioned they’d picked someone from Portland…

Techstars Anywhere is a mostly remote accelerator. To participate, founders do not need to relocate their businesses. Instead, our class will meet up together in San Diego, Boulder, CO, and New York, NY over the course of the three months. The rest of the time, they’ll remotely tap into a group of world-class mentors and the rest of the Techstars worldwide network from places like Orlando, Washington, D.C., San Diego, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Louisville, and even one company whose co-founders are nomadic #vanlifers who could theoretically be…anywhere.

… and it turns out that it was two Portland companies, MilkRun and Workfrom. And that the founders were as excited about the opportunity as I was to hear about it.

“The Techstars Anywhere program is about access. It gives a company like MilkRun that is fully operational in Portland the opportunity to participate and be mentored by their worldwide network,” said Julia Niiro, founder and CEO, MilkRun. “As a company, we know what this means and are willing to do all that it takes to show that startups like MilkRun have the power to change the world and can be born in ecosystems outside the traditional box.”

“We’re very excited to have the backing of the world-class Techstars network,” said Darren Buckner, founder and CEO, Workfrom. “Many of the founders we admire most have been in the same position we are now before going on to build remarkable companies with their support. Our vision to realize the full potential of remote work — happier and healthier people, thriving communities, and access to a great living outside of a daily commute — is strengthened by this partnership. Our team is relentless in our pursuit of success, and we’ll bring our passion, grit, and hard work to bear as we drive results in this new opportunity.”

And then there was another Portland company in the Techstars Boulder class. Selecting Accessory Junkie for their latest cohort.

So that’s three Portland companies that have made it into new Techstars cohorts.

And a little bird tells me that there might be at least another one on the way.

[Full disclosure: MilkRun and Workfrom are PIE alums. I am the cofounder and general manager of PIE.]


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