If you, like me, didn’t get a chance to attend the Westside Pitch Competition, last week, it sounds like we missed a great event. It also sounds like the big winner, overall, was community. With nearly 100 folks attending in person. (And I’ve been hearing similar reports about solid attendance from recent in-person gatherings like PitchBlack and OEN PubTalks, as well.)Read More
Not to date myself, but for the first decade or so I worked in startups, my commute — and the commute of the vast majority of my peers — consisted of heading out to Beaverton and Hillsboro. Because at a time when startups needed a room full of servers and room full of engineers, Washington County had both the floor plates and the cost per square foot to make it manageable.Read More
It’s always nice to see the kids do well. Especially when they’re the great grandkid of the Portland startup scene.
You see, Kryptiq is a descendant of a long line of Portland startups. Some folks started at Tektronix and then left to join startup Mentor Graphics. And then some of those folks from Mentor Graphics left to join startup MedicaLogic. And then MedicaLogic folks wound up at Kryptiq.
And today, that startup whippersnapper had some major news: Kryptiq and Surescripts have envisioned a way to revolutionize the secure sharing of health information. Read More
Now, I know if may be difficult to pry yourself away from your space heaters and heat registers, this evening. But despite the drop in temperatures, Portland’s event schedule remains chock full. Tonight, there are a couple of really cool events that make it worth bearing the chilly weather.
If you’re a coder of any ilk, you won’t want to miss the Winter Coders’ Social, the regular gathering of all coding types here in town. And tonight, there’s also a Silverlight gathering that could prove worthwhile for motion designers and UX folk. Read More
It’s rare, in these parts, to have events that combine traditional high tech, startup tech pursuits, and venture capital concerns all in one fell swoop. But that’s exactly the focus of TechAmerica’s Silicon Forest Technology & Financial Forum.
And lo and behold, the time for that event is nigh. So if that sort of line-up sounds interesting to you, you’re going to want to get registered for he Silicon Forest Forum this Tuesday and Wednesday out at the Intel Jones Farm campus in Hillsboro. Read More
Hillsboro-based Kryptiq has always had high hopes for improving physician-client communications. But now those high hopes are reaching thermospheric levels. Or exospheric. Or whatever.
Enough of the fancy words. Suffice it to say that Kryptiq has landed a new client that means they’ll be flying high, for sure. With astronauts and stuff. You see, Kryptiq’s newest customer is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Read More
And their latest move only further solidifies that opinion.
In an impressively transparent admission, GoLife Mobile proposes a change in their business pan—right on the home page of the GoLife Mobile site.
GoLife points to a number of changing market conditions that have had a decided effect on the company:
Industry Growth: Consolidations and mergers such as the acquisition of Symbian by Nokia are changing the mobile landscape. The carriers are rapidly opening their frameworks, recognizing both the inevitability and the value of community-driven mobile application development.
Locative Services: Location-based services are taking off like wildfire (who would like to write the location-based service to monitor wildfire growths, we’d sure like to see that before next summer in the West!) Locative services and mobile devices are such a natural fit that we are strong supporters of WhereCamp PDX.
The iPhone Appstore: The release of the iPhone and its AppStore has fundamentally changed the perception of mobile devices. The iPhone has precipitated the revolution that we knew was coming: people are beginning to realize the potential of mobile for more than just voice and text communications. We can’t tell you how exciting this is for us!
Technology Evolutions: Mobile technology is rapidly changing, growing, evolving, new capabilities are being added daily. For instance, near-field ID chips are being integrated into mobile devices already. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to poll your mobile phone and ask it where you left your glasses? Or your keys?
Economic Devolutions: There’s been another change that we’ve been tracking, like everyone else, we’ve been watching the state of financial markets. Sad to say, but the credit crisis has taken its toll on small businesses like GoLife Mobile, and has affected our ability to grow out our framework as rapidly as we’d anticipated.
But, GoLife isn’t crying in their microbrewed beer. They have a new plan.
GoLife is retrenching. And moving forward to take advantage of the obvious opportunities in the mobile market:
Given these changes, we’re changing our business too, to make sure that we stay on the cutting edge of the market and the technologies, and that our framework gives our customers, users, and developer partners what they need. After looking at the state of the art in mobile and what’s coming down the pike as far as technologies and services, we are taking our mobile client apart for some major revisions.
It will be truly interesting to see what emerges from this change in direction.
One thing is for sure. This is yet another reason I point to GoLife Mobile as one of the leading local mobile talents.
If anyone can make it, they will.
Hillsboro-based GoLife Mobile, creators of the VADOWERX framework for mobile application development, has a added a new exec to their team, Edwin Voskamp, who has joined GoLife Mobile to lead corporate engineering.
According to a press release GoLife Mobile dropped late last week:
[Voskamp] has over twenty years experience designing and constructing intelligent solutions for distributed Internet and Intranet information applications used by Fortune 500 companies, including American Express, Baxter, Cardinal Health, Kraft Foods, and RJR/Nabisco.
Apart from adding another seasoned exec to the team, this hire has ramifications for “who does what” at GoLife Mobile. With Voskamp joining the team, founder Mounir Shita, President of Technology, is now free to focus more energy on the company’s technology strategy by handing the day-to-day management of the VADOWERX-framework activities to Voskamp.
It’s still early in GoLife’s life. And while the VADOWERX framework has been released to developers and is meeting with a positive reception, they don’t have the luxury of slowing down. Having Shita in a position to spend more time on vision and strategy should prove to be a positive step for ensuring the organization’s continued success.
Last week, I published the first part of my interview with GoLife Mobile’s CEO, James Whitley. That post focused on the discussions of the GoLife Mobile Vadowerx framework. Now, I’d like to touch on our discussions about Portland, it’s culture, and the potential it holds to become something extraordinary.
(As an aside, it was a pleasant surprise to run into James at Startupalooza. “Where’s part 2?” he asked. Right here, Mr. Whitley. Right here.)
Portland as a venue for startups
I’m always interested to get anyone’s take on Portland. But it’s especially interesting talking to people who are running businesses here. They often have a multitude of things that they love about Portland, but there are still those little perturbing issues that keep the environment from seeming “too perfect.”
Luckily, those perturbing issues are generally issues that are surmountable. That’s why I’m always happy to help people get those issues out on the table.
And as I began to question him on his reasons—“Why Portland?”, “What does this area offer?”, and the like—his affection for the area was palpable. And his deep ties in the region only further that affection.
But what I got most from Whitley was not his impressions of the past—it was his enthusiasm for the potential here in Portland, for today and for the future.
“I would put the talent in this town up against talent anywhere else,” said Whitley. “The Valley, Back East, anywhere. The people here are exceptional.”
And, in Whitley’s opinion, that talent is not in limited supply.
“There is a ton of talent here in the Portland area,” he said. “I am always talking to people with whom I would like to work. I don’t think many people realize the sheer wealth of talent we have here.”
So, if we’re so talented, I asked, egotistically and presumptuously lumping myself in with the “exceptional talent” here in the Portland area, why aren’t we seeing more growth? Why aren’t we seeing more startups taking root?
And that’s when we get to those problems. Those issues that are holding Portland back from achieving its extraordinary position. Those problems that we have the opportunity to fix.
“Portland has a problem with being a classic underachiever,” said Whitley. “So much talent. So much promise. But we’re not capitalizing on it.”
In staunch agreement, I asked for further details.
“We’re always hearing how we’re ‘not as good as whomever,'” he continued. “And unfortunately, I think many people have begun to believe that. I don’t. But I think some people do.”
And in Whitley’s opinion, that stance is only exacerbated by another problem: finding sources of funding.
While a number of Silicon Forest startups have seen continued confidence in follow-on funding as of late—MyStrands, Jive, iovation, and SplashCast, to name a few—the prospect of early funding remains a bit of an enigma for Portland companies.
“Portland is lacking is terms of early startup funding,” Whitley said. “There really isn’t a good network for seeding smaller companies, at this point. We could use some people working to fix that because it would really help the town as a whole.”
And that lack of early stage funding, coupled with the underachiever mindset, is tending to suppress the vigor that is bubbling just below the surface. Tends to prevent us here in the Silicon Forest from realizing our potential.
“There are a number of incredibly intelligent people working jobs that aren’t even intellectually stimulating, let alone challenging,” said Whitley. “Simply because they haven’t found the opportunity and funding to pursue their passion.”
I’m sure Whitley would agree, that we’re on the cusp of something big.
No doubt, GoLife Mobile and Whitley could have a very big role to play in that growth and success. And our realizing the potential of the talent in this area.
I’m looking forward to being part of that change.