Category: Government

Guest post: Portland could ban facial recognition. You can have a say.

[Editor: The following is a guest post from Kate Kaye, a freelance reporter here in Portland who has been actively researching, monitoring, and reporting on facial recognition technology in Portland.]

Silicon Florist readers know a lot about Portland tech. But did you know early next month Portland City Council could pass the most restrictive ban in the country — potentially the world — on one type of technology?

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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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How can we reverse the trend of declining US entrepreneurship? Start Us Up thinks government can

It seems patently ridiculous that the so called “Land of Opportunity” would need a jumpstart for entrepreneurship. But that’s where we find ourselves. And once you peel back the veneer, there’s little surprise as to why. Rising cost of living, unaffordable healthcare, crushing student loan debt, lack of access to capital, lack of risk tolerance from investors… the list of negatives go on and on.

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Thank you for speaking up and signing on, Portland and Oregon startup community

If there’s one thing founders and startups know how to handle, it’s a fire drill. Last minute requests. Crazy deadlines. Random hail marys. It’s all in a day’s work. But stepping outside of that work to help out the community? That’s above and beyond. And yet more than 80 folks took the time do that yesterday in response to a call to action from Business for a Better Portland and PIE which was designed to address a severe case of underfunding activities directed at the Oregon startup community.

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Fundraising is hard enough. Let’s encourage the State of Oregon not to make it harder. Before noon on June 6, 2019.

Fundraising is hard. I think that’s something on which all of us can agree. Constructing grammatically correct sentences even if they seem awkward? No. Oxford commas? Probably not. But agreeing that fundraising is a grind? Yes. Definitely. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a company looking for a loan, a startup chasing venture capital, a VC chasing LPs… even an employee looking to get their budget approved. It’s all difficult.

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Rebooting the Startup Act could be the first step in a long journey to US government support for broad ranging entrepreneurship

I’m a huge fan of Brad Feld’s Startup Communities. (Well worth the read or listen, if you haven’t already. I reread it every year.) And with it, the concept of “leaders and feeders.” That’s the idea that there should be folks who lead the startup community — entrepreneurs — and those that feed the startup community — like government — but don’t attempt to lead. Most startup communities I visit have plenty potential leaders but a dearth of potential feeders. That’s why seeing a reboot of legislation like the bipartisan Startup Act (which, in itself, was a reboot of a previous effort) is heartening. But it’s only a small step forward.

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Interested in transportation challenges? Participate in the Greater Portland Tech Challenge

Startups are tackling any number of transportation challenges. And, more and more, government is looking for creative solutions for transportation challenges. So it only makes sense to get those two groups together to figure out how they can collaborate, right? Well, that’s the Greater Portland Tech Challenge.

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REMINDER: Hack Oregon and Innovate Oregon gather to reveal projects and form teams, tonight

Interested in doing a little good with all of that awesome development knowledge you have? Well, you’re in luck. Hack Oregon is beginning on another set of projects. And now, they’ve teamed up with Innovate Oregon to make it even more awesome. What are they working on this season? Well, you can get more details tonight at Tabor Space. Read More

Startup America Partnership: Obama administration plans to support entrepreneurs and accelerate startup activity

Unfortunately, ARRA efforts didn’t seem to focus much on entrepreneurs or the startup scene. Until now. Yesterday, Obama introduced the Startup America Partnership.

When President Barack Obama took office, one of his first challenges was the United States economy and its veritable freefall. To an effort to slow that downward spiral, he signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), a program designed to fund—and you would have heard this term 10,000 times by now—“shovel ready” projects that could help bolster the US economy.

For many—myopically disposed or not—the tech startup scene seemed to hold hold any number of said projects with the potential to positively effect both job creation and wealth creation. Unfortunately, government efforts didn’t seem to focus much on that aspect of the economy. Until now. Yesterday, Obama introduced the Startup America Partnership. Read More

Saving Oregon’s Health System: A prescription for Oregon Governor Elect John Kitzhaber, MD

one of his ideas highlights an opportunity for Kitzhaber to make Oregon home to a cluster that is likely to explode over the next decade – Personal Health Monitoring.

In earlier guest posts here on Silicon Florist, Dave Chase has written some thought provoking pieces that have generated quite a bit of dialog here and offline. He has shared why he chose Portland over Seattle and Silicon Valley and how Oregon’s Athletic & Outdoor, Software & Clean Tech clusters should meet. Then in the first part of a two-part series on healthcare, he put out a call to action for entrepreneurs to employ what he calls Do-it-yourself Health Reform. Read More

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