While it used to be common knowledge around these parts, Portland Lunch 2.0 seems to have become a bit of an enigma. I can tell, because every time I start talking about it, folks are like “How do we even do a Portland Lunch 2.0?” Fair question. Let’s see if we can clear some of this up. For both attendees and hosts.
Like most things Portland, there are a ton of awesome makers and manufacturers in town doing a ton of awesome things. But thanks to our culture of aggressive humility, we don’t always know about all of that awesomeness. That’s why it’s nice to have things like the Friends of Fictiv happy hour. If only to bring some of those hidden gems in our midst to light.
Wait what? You thought the TechfestNW PitchfestNW applications were due in 2018? Well, they were. But that was only the first group. There’s a second application period. And it ends this week. So if you’ve been procrastinating, you should probably get on completing that application.
Sometimes, you just need to be around folks who get your struggle. Other founders who are trying to build businesses. Peers who can provide both insights and a friendly ear. That’s part of the motivation behind Startup Haven, a series of founder only events, that kicks off 2019, this Thursday in Portland.
Founders tend to be an optimistic bunch. But optimism can only get you so far. And if you’re looking to pursue venture capital as a means of financing your startup, that optimism is going to take some lumps as you pitch, refine, pitch, refine… Lather rinse repeat. So it’s always nice when that pitch feedback comes with some added perks. Like pizza and beer.
I remember when TechfestNW — then called the Portland Digital eXperience — barely had 75 people in the audience. Now they have 75 startups — and potentially more — attending the event to participate in PitchfestNW. And that’s not even the main event.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. But I keep saying it because I believe it. You can learn far more from stories of failure than you can from stories of success. And nowhere is that more true than the wonderful world of startups. That’s why I’m really happy to hear that FailPDX is back with a new rendition of Fail Talks.
I’ve always had a deep appreciation for the Startup Weekend format. Why? Because in my mind it serves two valuable purposes, really quickly. One one hand, it rapidly unvarnishes the whole startup mystique for would-be entrepreneurs without them actually making the leap. On the other, it’s a great way of identifying those individuals who have the grit and hustle to be great founders.
The past couple of years, I’ve been lucky enough to get invited to the Kauffman Foundation’s ESHIP Summit. A chance to gather and learn from folks who help entrepreneurs, participate in economic development, and generally try to make the whole world of startups more accessible to both founders and the mentors that they need.