All posts by Rick Turoczy

More than mildly obsessed with the Portland startup community. Founder and editor at Silicon Florist. Cofounder and general manager at PIE. Follow me on Twitter: @turoczy

Working on starting something new? Get community, connections, and mentorship for your new startup

When times get bad, like they are now, it can be an ironically positive time for startups. With folks getting laid off and out of work, with the economy tanking, starting your own thing can often be the most reasonable path forward. And given that Oregon offers unemployment benefits to folks who are starting new things, it’s more even likely that laid off folks around here would be pursuing that path.

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The Oregon Cares Fund: Tell Oregon politicians to invest CARES Act dollars in Black-owned startups and businesses

Going through one pandemic is more than enough for anyone. Imagine going through two. At the same time. That’s the case with Black-owned businesses and Black community support organizations as they battle both the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing effects of 400+ years of systemic racism. Now, there’s a chance to funnel federal CARES Act dollars into supporting these organizations with The Oregon Cares Fund.

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Please share and respond to the PDWIT State of the Community 2020 survey

Every year I look forward to the results of the Portland Women In Tech (PDXWIT) State of the Community survey results. Not because the results are easy to hear. Or even stomach. Far from it. But they’re a clear indicator of where our community is broken. And where work can be done.

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Racism in tech: Sharing a few articles that may help inform your perspective

As folks think through how to disentangle and deconstruct systemic racism in many of our institutions, it comes as little surprise that the tech industry falls under similar scrutiny. Long a falsely held “meritocracy,” our largely white industry has any number deeply troubling racist dynamics to it, from its current demographics to its culture to its technology. And it’s going to take long term work — and constant dedication to that work — to address these issues and implement necessary changes.

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Black Founders Matter announces first investment in a Black founded Portland startup

The dynamics of venture funds are very much akin to the dynamics of startups. It’s rarely smooth. It’s often a series of fits and starts. And fundraising. And pivoting. Until a fund really hits its stride. But I’m happy to report that Black Founders Matter is beginning to get some early traction and has announced its first investment as part of the funding for A Kids Book About.

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Portland startup Switchboard merges with like-minded Chicago startup Hearken

Switchboard, a Portland company founded by Mara Zepeda — and one that powers the Portland Startups Switchboard — has announced the completion of a successful merger with a similarly minded business out of Chicago, Hearken. The combined entity will retain the Hearken name.

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PDXWIT and Alchemy Code Lab offer scholarship for Black and/or Indigenous women

Work to help diversify the tech industry needs to happen at all levels of the industry. From entry level to executive suite. So it’s always nice to see more programs that help folks get a foothold in the industry. Like Alchemy Code Lab partnering with PDXWIT (Portland Women in Tech) on a scholarship for Black and/or Indigenous women to participate in their professional software development program.

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Delaying Demolicious until we can meet in person again

While we’re all excited to have Demolicious back, it seems that maybe we’re not as excited for it to be a virtual event. So lead organizer Josh Carter is pressing pause on the event until we have the opportunity to get together, face to face.

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Wondering what Portland Black Lives Matter events are taking place for Juneteenth — and every other day of the year?

There is something about the Portland culture of collaboration that inspires collection, aggregation, and amplification. To make things easier to use. To raise the visibility of important conversations. And to use technology to make things more accessible. So it should come as little surprise to anyone that with something as undeniably important as the Black Lives Matter movement, Portland would have its own aggregated calendar of Black Lives Matter events.

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Which VC is most likely to be the “first money in” for your startup? The TechCrunch List aims to find out

“No one wants to be the first one in the pool” is a truism regularly bandied about the venture funded startup circles. That’s because — for companies that choose that equity based financing route — landing that first check can be the most critical component of fundraising. But which venture capital firm or Angel is truly the most likely to be that “first money in” for your company? That’s what TechCrunch is seeking to answer with The TechCrunch List.

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