Bend, Oregon, startup news dominated this week — with good reason

Week ending October 20, 2023 – Transcript

You don’t have to go read silicon florist. I can just talk to you here. Just you and me chatting it up.

I’ve been looking forward to catching up with you all week. It’s been a big week. So let’s get right into it this week. The Portland startup news is really going to take more of an Oregon startup news vibe because it was High Desert Innovation Week. All week in Bend… still going on.

I can’t tell you about all of it. But I’ll tell you about some of it.

The anchor event for all of it, of course is Bend Venture Conference. It’s the 20th year I’ve Bend Venture Conference and I’d love to tell you one, but they’re actually still pitching. I don’t know what startups won. I’ll tell you next week they been venture conference I’ve attended a number of times didn’t get the chance to go this week.

But I was down in Bend for the Built Festival, which was held outside of Portland for the first time. I think it was the sixth time we’ve run it. I should know Mitch and I were counting I think it was six, the pandemic screwed it up.

Full disclosure, I’m the co founder and general manager of PIE, which is part of Built Oregon and I also helped co found Built Oregon.

For those who haven’t been to the Built Festival. It’s a series of fireside chats with people in the consumer products industry. Mitch does a great job of curating those conversations and bringing some well known brands to the stage thanks as always to Cultivate Bend, who was just a great partner great conversations this week.

I think the one that was most memorable for me, we were able to invite some folks from the Warm Springs community to come and share what they’re doing. There on the reservation. Some great insights from folks doing economic development and how the indigenous community has been impacted and through their resilience, how they are working to change the the economics of their situation, we recorded all the stuff those will be available in a few weeks.

And I will make sure to link those up so that you, you can watch those talks even if you didn’t get a chance to attend.

Also happening in Bend this week… our good friend Gary Bracelin, down in Bend runs an organization called Bend Outdoor Works. And this is their big Demo Day. It’s called Venture Out which takes the form of a pitch competition kind of thing. They had that session on Wednesday night. And then of course, Bend Venture Conferences Thursday and Friday.

So by next week, at this time, I will be able to tell you who walked away with big checks have been venture conference. So I’ll tell you all that if you get the chance next year, maybe consider attending then venture conference draws folks from all over. It’s the largest Angel pitch event in the Pacific Northwest and potentially the longest running congrats again, to EDCO on just starting and continuing such a great event for both investors and startups in the state. Alright, let’s get to Portland news.

So the biggest story I shared this week, according to you was the video on Chaos Town that I shared if you haven’t encountered Chaos Town yet. I love the project. It’s really a group of folks who were like we’re tired of negative news about Portland.

They do stories on the interesting things around here. And the interesting people they recently showed up to the dragon that Emma from wild Fang plan, they’ve talked to some other interesting people in town like yoga instructor who does yoga late, late at night or early early in the morning for people like strippers and gay and restaurant workers who might not be able to attend yoga sessions at a standard time, so they have a good conversation there. So if you’re looking for a new take on Portland, you’re looking for something more positive than what you generally get to consume.

Please check out Chaos Town. I’ll link it up. Please subscribe to Chaos Town and keep that thing going. Because it’s great.

Another thing that kind of came out of the blue thanks to Eric Blanchard is Hello Portland introductory posts. So I used to run this thing. Where but let’s back way up. So long, long ago. Seems like every time you’re getting like a history lesson.

Long, long ago, a decade 15 years ago, I can’t even remember getting him and Raven Zachary, who had been very active in the open source community and then became very active in the iPhone community. And Raven had this idea to just like, introduce one person a day in the Portland startup community so that more people would get to know one another. And so each week you’d meet five new people. It’s just a really great way to get to know people. He decided to move on from that project. He asked me if I wanted to take it over. And I did because I thought it was super valuable. So I did that for a while ran Portland on fire and then kind of incorporated it into silicon florist. And then it just kind of trailed off.

I had, I hadn’t forgotten about it, but I hadn’t really thought about it. And then suddenly, somebody submitted a profile. I was like, Well, what’s going on here. And so I looked, and it was Eric Blanchard, and he had become active on the Portland startup slack, which I’ve talked about several times, and you should be part of, so I was like, Hey, cool. I’m just gonna post this right now and see what happens. And apparently people liked it, because a lot of people looked at that Post this week. So if you’re new to the Portland startup community, you’ve been in the Portland startup community forever. You are looking to meet and connect with more people in the community, please take the opportunity to fill out a profile. And I will post that to silicon florist only one a day, I will pick one and maybe get to meet some new people in the Portland surf community or or more people in the Portland startup community will know who you are. I don’t care if you’ve been here forever. There are tons of new people here who might not know you, and who should know you.

Next week, Pitch Latino 2023. They announced their speakers, tickets are still available. I believe they’re $25. That event takes place Tuesday night at the red in Southeast Portland. And as always an amazing event of Hispanic and Latino, Latina presenters. It’s not just tech, it’s a variety. And then you as a member of the crowd get to vote on your favorite and then everybody gets some cash to kind of help them. The winner obviously gets more cash but great event for the community. Not only do you get to see some really compelling startups, but you also get the opportunity to hang out in person with other folks from the Portland startup community.

And I’ll see you there. I’ll be there. I mean, come in, come Come hang out. Let’s show pitch Latino, how much we love them. And let’s have a good community event. I look forward to seeing you there.

KGW, you may know them. They’re a local NBC affiliate. There used to be this show live on the square that Stephanie Strickland hosted that would do a really good job of covering what was going on in the startup community in the tech community pretty regularly. Like most things that just kind of went away, or trailed off. So it’s always nice to see traditional news outlets taking an interest in the Portland startup community and the founders here and what they’re building. So just wanted to highlight the Finnegan the Dragon, full disclosure pie alum, been Emily at fitting in the dragon shared her story of just her lived experience and what motivated her to start the company, some of their work with Head Start. It’s a really good piece. If you’re not familiar with Finnegan, the Dragon, please take the opportunity to watch that.

Just really happy to see that. I hope it’s the start of something. I hope there’s more coverage about what’s going on. Who knows maybe KGW might be at Pitch Latino. That’d be cool.

Speaking of starting companies. That’s what we like to call a segue. If you’re thinking about starting a company, but you’re like, hey, I don’t know. You know, I haven’t done a business before. I don’t know the basics, get ready to be happy because TiE Oregon runs a regular session called the TiE XL Boot Camp, which is basically all the basics, basically all the basics, which provides the basics of what you need to run a business, start a business, think about doing a business, great boot camp, that really season mentors, great curriculum. It’s a night class so you can do your day job and everything else. And then spend a few hours with some other founders and some amazing mentors, learning how to build maybe another business to do your next full time job, which could be the company that you start, it’s only once or twice a week and runs November through January.

Obviously, given that time period, they’re significant breaks for holiday, by the end of it, you’ve got a pitch, you have the business basics, and you’re ready to move on to that next step in building a business of your own.

Next up, our friends over at Portland Business Journal did a recap of Q3 venture capital funding in the state. Yeah. And it’s really if you look at VC funding throughout 2023. It’s not pretty, which isn’t necessarily good or bad. I mean, it’s bad for venture scale companies that are looking to raise capital. There hasn’t been a ton of that activity going on for venture capitalists that have capital to invest

in startups clearly not seeing as many opportunity as they would like so not to be doom and gloom, but it’s just been really, really low on the VC front, which may mean people are building great businesses that aren’t venture scale. You know that people are finding different ways to fund their activities. So again, not necessarily bad news, just interesting. Encourage you to take a look at that, as always love the Portland Business Journal for keeping track. If VC is interesting to you, please check that out.

Climate Curious when it comes to climate tech or climate solutions for climate change, just a really a great group of people who climate is of interest to them. So that’s everybody from people who are building solutions to people who just care about climate and climate change to investors in the climate space. So if that’s of interest to you, I highly encourage you to check out climate curious, great organization, they do regular programming, they are headed out to visit black futures farm, I believe this weekend, if you can’t make that, at least head over to climate curious and sign up so you can stay in the loop on their upcoming social events. Create an opportunity to meet others in the community. And I really, really appreciate what the climate curious folks are doing. always recommend them and send people their way. I think they’re doing a good job. And I want them to keep doing it. It’ll be good for you to meet some new people. Trust me.

Finally. Kind of happy that this wasn’t super popular. Maybe people found other ways to, to look at it. Yeah. Marc Andreessen from a16z released this like, odd. A Techno Optimist Manifesto thing. I’m still getting my head around it. I mean, there’s some of it that was like, wow, that’s, that’s that’s kind of a positive take on tech. And then I’m like, but, but what are we really what, what is this really saying? I don’t know. I’m not terribly bright. So I might have to read it a few more times. But if you’re interested in that, I’ll link it up. You can go read it. And I don’t know. Maybe tell me what you think in the comments. Is it really that optimistic? Or is it odd Manifest Destiny kind of thinking? I don’t know.

Okay. So that’s what happened this week. love to have you subscribe. If if you’re into that kind of thing. And next week, I think I’ll have all kinds of winners because I’ll know Ben venture conference on no pitch Latino, you know, maybe there’s some other competition. I’m not thinking of that. I can tell you the winners from two. That’s it for this week. We will see you next week.

And as always, have a good weekend. Hope you’re doing well. Hang in there. We’ll talk to you soon.

  1. […] the big story this week, I teased it a few times was down in Bend, but let’s go over the winners. For the Bend Venture Conference. Not all of […]

  2. […] Bend, Oregon, startup news dominated this week via […]

Comments are closed.