Category: Development

Mentors, user groups, and seed funding: Portland Development Commission finishes up the startup and tech community conversation

For all the awesomeness that is the Portland startup and tech scene, there are still a few things that could use a little work. Things like finding mentors to help startups and founders find success. Establishing funding—like the Portland Seed Fund—to help sustain the efforts of entrepreneurs. And providing space for ad hoc and organized groups and events to gather.

Well, the Portland Development Commission (PDC) wants to help solve those problems. All of them. Because it’s really only a combination of all of them that will help us build a sustainable startup environment around here. But to do that, the PDC needs your feedback, please. Read More

REMINDER: Mobile Portland explores augmented reality tonight

Augmented reality. So it simply makes sense that Mobile Portland—the best user group for mobile types—is providing some insight into augmented reality, tonight.

If you ask me—not that you did but let’s just pretend—what the hottest topic in the Portland startup scene is, I would be compelled—nay obligated—to say “Mobile.” And I would probably punctuate that with something terribly intelligent like, “… duh.”

But it’s true. Portland is crazy about mobile development. As such, it has managed to carve out a community that is doing some incredibly compelling things. And one of the most interesting new facets of mobile development? Augmented reality. So it simply makes sense that Mobile Portland—the best user group for mobile types—is providing some insight into augmented reality, tonight. Read More

Nebul.us has a not so nebulous tie to Portland (and I’ve got some invites)

But what’s even cooler—at least from my perspective—is that the lead developer of nebul.us Kris Wallsmith is from right here in Portland.

We all spend a great deal of time online. And that’s putting it mildly. But do you really know how that time is spent? I mean, what are you really doing out there on the Web and when are you doing what?

That’s what a new startup called nebul.us is trying to determine—by tapping into your browser and helping you visualize where you’re spending your time and effort.

That’s cool. But what’s even cooler—at least from my perspective—is that the lead developer is from right here in Portland. Read More

Considering creating cross platform mobile apps? Don’t miss PhoneGap at Mobile Portland tonight

[HTML3]Looking to be a little cruel to your developer friends? Ask a mobile developer when s/he is going to take her/his application cross platform. If only for the entertainment of watching the pained expression cross her/his face. Because nine times out of ten, that’s the type of reaction you’re going to get.

But what if the effort of developing cross platform apps could be simplified by using HTML and Javascript to develop native apps? And what if mobile types could still get access to native handset features using that technique? And what if it could still be sold through the App Store or Market or whatever? What if…? PhoneGap will be answering those what-ifs at Mobile Portland tonight. Read More

Portland Mayor Sam Adams talks open source, mobile, coworking, and the startup environment

Last Sunday, a group of folks representing the Portland open source, mobile, and coworking community got the chance to sit down and chat with Portland Mayor Sam Adams. Among those in attendance were Rubyist and Calagator lead Audrey Eschright, CubeSpace’s David Komisky, Software Association of Oregon Interim President Scott Kveton, the Mayor’s Economic Development Policy Advisor Skip Newberry, CubeSpace’s Eva Schweber, General Counsel at Extreme Arts & Sciences J-P Voilleque, and Small Society’s Raven Zachary.

Eva has a great recap of how the meeting played out, including insight on the topics we covered from telecommuting to open source to mobile. [UPDATE] And Skip Newberry from the Mayor’s Office has posted his recap, as well. So I wanted to take a different tact. I wanted to find out how the attendees perceived the meeting and the Mayor’s willingness to engage this group in conversation.

Here’s what they had to say. Read More

Six Portland-area mobile app developers and consultants to watch

I keep an eye on a bunch of people who work on mobile apps. Most recently with the Obama for iPhone app. I thought it might be helpful to give you a glimpse of some of the Portland Oregon mobile app scene.

[HTML1]Yesterday, it dawned on me that I keep an eye on a bunch of people who work on mobile apps. I’ve covered them from time to time—most recently with the Obama for iPhone app—but I thought it might be helpful to give you a glimpse of some of the folks who are making things happen in the mobile app scene.

And lo and behold they just happen to be from the Silicon Forest. Go figure.

Avatron Software (Vancouver, WA)

Talk about starting off on the right foot. Avatron’s first commercial application for the iPhone, Air Sharing (NOTE: iTunes app store link), is well on its way toward becoming the most popular iPhone application, ever.

“Founded in April 2008 by Dave Howell, a six-year veteran Apple engineering manager, Avatron is a leading developer of popular applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. Avatron’s Air Sharing application, downloaded by nearly one million users in its first week, has raised the bar for iPhone application design and software quality.”

For more information, visit Avatron.

Cloud Four (Portland, OR)

The folks at Cloud Four have really come into their own in the world of consulting on mobile apps—especially when it comes to things like usability. (What? You actually want people to be able to use the app?) They’ve put in some impressive (volunteer) work on the Obama for iPhone app and equally impressive (paid) work on the interface design for the Mobile Wall Street Journal app.

“But what’s remarkable about Cloud Four is not our individual talents, as extensive as they may be. It’s where we overlap that we really shine. Instead of working separately in our spheres of aesthetics and engineering, we look at the building of Web sites and applications as a cohesive process, not just a series of database views or mockups. Cloud Four is proudly based in Portland, Ore., but we serve customers worldwide.”

For more information, visit Cloud Four.

FreeRange (Portland, OR)

If any company is the “founding father” of the burgeoning Portland mobile scene, FreeRange is it. With customers like the Wall Street Journal and the Portland Trail Blazers—and one of the most impressive mobile feed readers on the market—FreeRange is sure to keep Portland associated with mobile apps for a long time to come.

FreeRange Communications was created in 2004 because using the browser to get information on a mobile phone didn’t work so well. It still doesn’t work well enough (no offense to the wizardy of Apple’s iPhone), and it’s not likely to become really great for a very long time.

For more information, visit FreeRange.

GoLife Mobile (Hillsboro, OR)

The folks at GoLife Mobile are working to make mobile application development and adoption easier for both developers and consumers. And by building a Java-based framework that runs on practically any handset—and in so doing allowing practically any application to run on any handset—they’re moving down the right path.

“GoLife Mobile Corporation was founded by industry veterans with the desire to create a mobile lifestyle environment that enhances how people interact with technology, each other, and the physical world around them. This is the true birth of ubiquitous computing. We foresee information flowing smoothly between ubiquitous, integrated devices and networks, seamlessly converging to provide useful, personal, context sensitive services.”

For more information, visit GoLife Mobile.

Don Park (Portland, OR)

The owner of the first—and only—Openmoko open-source phone I’ve ever seen, Don is always working to make things as open as possible. His latest project? Developing a mobile social location application for the soon-to-be-released open-source mobile platform, Android.

In his own words (via the Los Angeles Times):

“But Don Park, an independent developer in Portland, Ore., said he would focus on Android phones for his location-tracking software because he likes that openness.

“‘Phones weren’t interesting a few years ago,’ he said. ‘Now cellphones have become the new personal computer.'”

For more information, visit Don Park’s personal site.

Raven Zachary (Portland, OR)

Ever since the iPhone was introduced, Raven Zachary has been leading the thought on developing for the platform. As the creator of iPhoneDevCamp, chair of the upcoming iPhoneLive conference, and consultant to a number of iPhone developers in town and around the nation, Raven knows everything happening in the world of iPhone development—and he’s influencing a great deal of it, as well. Not only that, he served as the project manager on the Obama iPhone app, one of the most popular iPhone apps in history.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what Raven has to say.

“I love the iPhone. But that shouldn’t surprise you, because 90% of people who own iPhones love theirs too. But if you look into that 90%, I’m in the .1% of those people who don’t think of it just as a lovely phone, but as some agent of change that impacts us on a deep level – makes us more connected, more informed, more a part of the global network. And, hell, it’s wicked cool.”

For more information, visit raven.me. [UPDATE] Raven Zachary has co-founded an iPhone agency called Small Society. For more, see the Silicon Florist coverage on Small Society efforts.

BONUS! Mobile Portland (Portland, OR)

If you really want to stay in tune with what’s happening in the Portland mobile development scene, there’s no better place than the Mobile Portland group. The fledgling organization also holds regular meetings to discuss topics affecting the mobile scene.

“Mobile Portland is local user group focused on mobile development. We gather on the fourth Monday of every month for presentations, discussion and networking.”

For more information, visit Mobile Portland.

Who else?

As I mentioned, these are the folks I’m tracking. No doubt there are countless others I’m missing.

Has someone impressed you with their mobile development fu? Or maybe you’re a mobile developer who needs to toot his/her own horn a bit more?

Please, by all means, link it up below.

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