Category: Events

Portland Startup Weekend, May 23 – 25, 2008

I am happy to report that details on Portland Startup Weekend have just been announced. The event will be held May 23-25, 2008, at SMtvMusic.

Portland Startup WeekendNow, that’s not only Memorial Day weekend, it’s also pretty darn close to WebVisions 2008, which runs May 22-23, 2008, in Portland.

Oregon-native and Startup Weekend organizer, Andrew Hyde, has promised that he has a few surprises up his sleeve for this one.

I, for one, am looking forward to doing whatever I can to make this event a success for Startup Weekend—and Portland. And I hope you’ll join the fun.

(To help promote this event, feel free to use the Startup Weekend badge above.)

Just as Portland has made Ignite Portland an overwhelming success and promises to make Lunch 2.0 a Portland-flavored affair, I’m sure we can show the Startup Weekend folks how Portland puts its own unique spin on these types of events.

Tickets for Startup Weekend Portland will be sold here for $40. This is really a RSVP cost, and you will receive your fair share of food, swag and memories. If you or your company is interested in sponsoring a meal, shirts or massive amounts of caffeine, email sponsor@startupweekend.com.

For more information, see Portland Startup Weekend. To reserve your spot at Portland Startup Weekend, buy a ticket.

Silicon Florist field trip: DEMO 2008

Next week, I’m in the enviable position of getting the opportunity to travel down to DEMO 2008 with one of my Silicon-Forest-based clients.

Although I’ve been tracking DEMO for years, this will be my first actual trip to the event. And, quite frankly, I’m looking forward to being a bit shellshocked by the whole affair.

What’s DEMO? DEMO is very much the grand ball of high-tech product launches. A very hush-hush, invite-only, keep-your-product-under-wraps-until-the-show kind of thing. Or, as the DEMO folks put it:

DEMO is the premier launch venue for new products, technologies and companies. For more than 16 years, DEMO has established a reputation for identifying and presenting to an elite audience the products most likely to have a significant impact on the marketplace and market trends in the coming year. Each product is carefully screened and selected by DEMO’s Executive Producer, Chris Shipley, one of the top trend spotters in the personal technology product industry.

Who’s the Silicon-Forest-based client? The embargo on DEMO product announcements lifts on Monday morning, at which point, I’ll cover the client’s product (with full disclosure of my consulting relationship with them).

Suffice it to say, they’re small, they’re out of Vancouver, Washington, this is the CEOs third trip to DEMO, and I think they’ve come up with something that will have utility for a wide-range of folks.

But for now, let’s just leave it at that. Please tune in Monday for more.

Now, I’m going to cover that client because they’re part of our community. And I hope you are okay with me doing that. I’m not doing it to push the product. I’m covering it because it’s as newsworthy as any startup I cover here. And I’ll strive to be as objective as I possibly can.

Obviously, I’m hoping to cover any of the other Silicon-Forest-based companies that come out of stealth mode down there. (If you are one of those companies, please drop me a line and let me know, so I can plan to jump on the coverage.)

What I won’t do is provide generic coverage of the event, itself. Or profile every single one of the more than 70 products that will launch at DEMO. In fact, after Monday’s post, this may be the last you ever hear of DEMO from me. Unless I uncover a story that has a specific Silicon Forest angle. (Or unless you’re following me on Twitter, as I’ll likely tweet some coverage of the event, just for my own historical reference of my babe-in-the-woods naivete.)

Just because I’m down there doesn’t mean that the blog should lose its focus.

If you are interested in more insightful coverage of DEMO, I know Portland-based blogger Marshall Kirkpatrick will be providing coverage—though not entirely product-focused—for Read/Write Web, Allen Stern of CenterNetworks has proposed a sort of blogger bullpen of writers to cover the event, and Rafe Needleman of Webware usually does a bang up job. Plus, the DEMO folks post videos of each and every one of the six-minute presentations to the DEMO site, so you can watch at your leisure.

If you are planning to be down there, as well, please let me know and let’s try to find one another. And if there is anything specific you would like me to cover from DEMO, please use the comments to let me know.

Ignite Portland hits the mainstream press

We’ve been waiting for this to hit, and now it has.

I couldn’t be happier to announce that Ignite Portland has gotten real ink (as opposed to the pixels I dedicate to the subject [Full disclosure: Silicon Florist is a sponsor of Ignite Portland 2.]) in The Oregonian. Not only that, it’s front page news. Well, front page of the Living section. But that’s a front page. And front page is front page in my book.

Ignite — a Seattle invention that spread worldwide — came to Portland last fall courtesy of several self-described geeks in their 20s and 30s. They knew each other through the social networking site Twitter and techie workshops called BarCamp. If they thought Ignite was cool, the group figured, so would some other Portlanders.

Boy, did they. Response was so overwhelming, the Ignite crew plans to host quarterly events — starting now.

As always, news quickly percolated throughout the Portland Twitter crowd. And Dawn Foster has announced the article in Fast Wonder, with pictures by Scott Kveton:

w00t! We made the front page of the living section in the Oregonian with a really nice write-up about Ignite Portland. You have to buy the Saturday paper edition to get the full write-up. I’m curious what this will do for RSVPs?

The Q&A style article has many members of the Legion of Tech—the force behind the event—chiming in to round out the picture of Ignite Portland and its purpose. Quoted are Josh Bancroft, Audrey Eschright, Dawn Foster, Todd Kenefsky and Raven Zachary.

Raven Zachary has covered the coverage on the Ignite Portland blog, including additional folks who also deserved recognition:

[T]he print version is worth the trip to the store to buy a copy for $0.50. There are a few people whose names were not mentioned in The Oregonian article who have been a big help with Ignite Portland planning – Scott Kveton, Adam Duvander, Aaron Hockley, Ann Marcus, the rest of the board of Legion of Tech, Renny Gleeson, and a whole host of volunteers who help from crowd control to cleanup and everything else that needs to be done to make Ignite Portland operate smoothly. Thank you!

And, Banana Lee Fishbones sums up the appeal of Ignite Portland very nicely in her coverage on Metroblogging Portland:

Specifically in Portland this event has a great story: Some geeks from here were in Seattle for a conference that happened to coincide with the Seattle Ignite event. They went and loved it. When they got home they thought, “Why don’t we do something like that here?” and they went out and did it. And it was good. And it is stuff like this that makes me love living here. “Hey that would be cool, let’s do that!” and then DOING IT. Not sitting around bitching that nobody else is doing it for them.

To read the print article in pixels, see “What’s on your mind? You’ve got five minutes…” from The Oregonian, Saturday, January 26, 2008.

And perhaps most importantly… Obviously this increase is exposure will have an impact on the number of attendees. Please make sure to RSVP if you’re planning to attend.

BREAKING: Portland Startup Weekend

Just a quick note to let you know that your votes for have counted. Portland now has a Startup Weekend of its own.

Thanks to all of you have taken the time to vote. I think this could be a really interesting event for Portland and our community.

Details are still slim, but the date is set for the weekend of May 23 – 25.

More as details become available.

For more information, visit Startup Weekend.

Lunch 2.0 comes to Portland

Sometimes, there are people at a cool company with whom you would really like to meet. But maybe they’re the competition. Or it’s hard to get on their schedule. Or you’re just not the kind of person to hit them up for lunch.

Lunch 2.0 was designed to solve this problem. An event started down in the Silicon Valley—where churn can be exceptionally high—Lunch 2.0 is designed to give colleagues an opportunity to stay in touch. No matter where they’re currently employed.

We read about these companies in the blogs, and we use their products, and we’d probably all love to see how these companies and people live and work, but we don’t. Even though they’re like 5 minutes away from us, and they’re full of people just like us that would love to see how we live and work too!

And now, Portland’s Jake Kuramato of Oracle Apps Lab is working to bring Lunch 2.0 to Portland.

The inaugural Portland Lunch 2.0 will be held Wednesday, February 27 from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM at the AboutUs offices, located at 107 SE Washington Street, Suite 520 in Portland.

Here’s hoping you take this opportunity to spend some time with a number of Portland bloggers, entrepreneurs, and just darned interesting folks. I’m planning to be there, if schedule permits. And I hope to see you there. RSVP for Portland Lunch 2.0 on Upcoming.

Ignite Portland 2 presenters named

Ignite Portland 2Ignite Portland, the fast-paced event designed to share burning ideas in a 5-minute presentation format, has named the selected presenters for Ignite Portland 2.

The group of 14 presenters was selected from a pool of nearly 60 applicants. (And, yes, “How to be an Undercover Hooker” made the list.)

Obviously, the volume of submissions made the selection process challenging for the Ignite Portland team. But they persevered:

We looked for a mixture of topics from presenters with a variety of backgrounds. We’ll kick things off with a quick “What is Ignite?” primer then dive into 14 of Portland’s hottest burning ideas.

Ignite Portland 2 will be held February 5 at the Bagdad Theater. Space is limited to around 600 people. RSVPs have been received from approximately 230 folks, currently.

It would be great to have you there. Please RSVP for Ignite Portland via Upcoming. For more information, visit Ignite Portland.

Startupalooza announces date, initial speakers

It’s official! After some stealthy preparation, Startupalooza, the latest Portland-technology event from the Legion of Tech team, has been slated for March 29, 2008. The event will be held at CubeSpace.

What’s the deal?

Starupalooza is an interactive forum for the Portland tech startup community. It’s where you can find out about cool tech startups, learn from successful tech entrepreneurs and meet local tech-business people. The event features discussions, presentations, demonstrations and networking allowing participants to share, learn and connect in a candid, no-BS environment.

Oh, and I did I mention, it’s free?

A number of speakers have already been announced:

For more information, visit the Startupalooza, subscribe to the RSS feed, or follow @startupalooza on Twitter. To RSVP, visit the Startupalooza page on Upcoming.

Meet: Portland Web Innovators discuss mobile Web, February 13

Portland Web Innovators has announced the topic of their February meeting: Mobile Web. And who better to speak on the subject than local mobile expert Jason Grigsby of Cloud Four?

Grigsby is one of those folks who is mildly excited by the prospects of the mobile Web. In his own words, “It isn’t possible to ignore the mobile Web any longer. So much opportunity for new discovery, new applications, and ways to make people’s lives better.” And his enthusiasm about the subject is infectious.

To read more of Grigsby’s thoughts on the mobile Web, see recent posts on his personal blog, User First Web, and the Cloud Four blog.

Plan on joining the Portland Web Innovators at Nemo Design on SE Belmont. To RSVP, visit Upcoming. For more information, visit Portland Web Innovators.

Portland Startup Weekend: Could it be what the Rose City needs?

One of the best things about writing this blog is getting the opportunity to chat with a wide variety of folks. I mean, sure, a lot of us are geeky. And that’s pretty much where I focus the coverage. But I think you would be pleasantly surprised at the wide range of folks who are interested in Silicon Forest startups.

And in the conversations I’ve been having, there’s one consistent theme that comes through time and time again: For all the activity in Portland—all the cool startup energy and amazing tools being built—people feel pretty darn isolated in our relatively small town.

I think that’s part of the reason why Portland’s Twitter community is so active and responsive. It’s why there’s a ever-growing number of us who are really getting excited for Ignite Portland 2. It’s why things like the PDX Tech Calendar project are taking off.

But there’s still more to do. There’s still more crossover needed.

I mean, let’s be honest: This needs to be more than just techie-types leading the charge. It needs to be a group effort. And a diverse effort.

And that’s what appeals to me about Startup Weekend.

“What’s Startup Weekend?” you say? I’m glad you asked.

Startup Weekend is very much like the Ignite concept. Only it’s for a company.

I know. I hear you. “I’ve been to weekend codefests before.”

But, see, here’s where this one is a little different: It’s not a product. It’s a company.

One weekend to create one company.

That means design, development, marketing, public relations, business development, user experience, legal, and project management. All of those disciplines. In one room. Working to create a company under the gun.

What’s more, this isn’t some “Oh wasn’t that fun. Now let’s throw away all that work and go back to our lives.” This becomes a real company.

Startup Weekend recruits a highly motivated group of small business entrepreneurs to build a community and company in a weekend. The founders decide what to make as a team, and earn an equal share of stock in the developed business. Attendees are responsible for bringing the desire and passion to the project and walk out of the room with a brand new business, in a short 54 hours. Sound intense? It is.

So why all the hoopla from me? Well, there’s a little voting platform for deciding who gets to host Startup Weekends. And Portland is already on the list. So, we’re already part of the way there. All we need is to provide a little more oompf and we could have our very own Portland Startup Weekend.

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? And I’m confident that with the brilliant folks in this town—and the great organizations that are working to bring us together *cough* Legion of Tech *cough*—we could turn it into quite an interesting event. A spectacle, if you will. In a good way. And an example of how we, as Portlanders and Silicon Forest… um “creatures” can come together to build something great.

And to start to eliminate some of those feelings of isolation.

If you’re even partially convinced that this might, just might, be a good idea. And that it might be good for our community. I highly encourage you to take two seconds to vote for Portland Startup weekend.

For more, visit Startup Weekend.

Lighting a fire under your derriere

Have you submitted your Ignite Portland presentation concept, yet? What’s that? Don’t you know that there’s less than a week to get it submitted?

C’mon. You can do it.

I mean, sure. You may not have a title as cool as “Eggs & Chard: How eating local and seasonal can fill you up and save us all,” “What Would Dr. Seuss Say About Online Communities,” or “How to Be An Undercover Hooker.” But I bet you have a cool idea. And I bet you could talk about it for 5 minutes.

What’s that? Not your cup of tea?

No worries. Why not just show up? Watch a few presentations. Meet some people. Have some refreshments.

If it’s anything like the first Ignite Portland, it’s not an evening you’ll soon forget.

And, besides, I’d like the chance to meet you. You’re one of my favorite readers. (You’re really my very favorite, but don’t tell the others.)

Looking forward to seeing you.

Ignite Portland is an event for sharing burning ideas. And sharing them really, really quickly. Just about any topic will do, as long as it’s interesting. To RSVP, visit Ignite Portland on Upcoming. For more information on the event, visit Ignite Portland.

%d bloggers like this: