If you’ve spent any time mucking around in startup ecosystems, you’ve no doubt come across the concept of an “innovation district.” The idea, briefly, is to artificially create a dense core of people, institutions, and companies that fosters innovation. Sort of like Portland’s urban growth boundary. But for innovation.
Way back when, I started Silicon Florist as an attempt to raise the visibility of a bunch of amazing activity I was seeing Portland tech startup community. Then, I helped start PIE—and continue to run it—because I felt that we needed to do more than talk about the community, we needed to help it grow through mentorship and connections. My motivations to help start Built Oregon came from similar desire to help the consumer product industries in Oregon. And now, I’m bullish on a new effort designed to enhance collaboration and innovation across all of those industries—and more—in Portland. Meet the Portland IQ.
You know as well as I do that Oregonians are driven by a creative and entrepreneurial spirit. That spirit is part of Oregon’s heritage—dating back to those entrepreneurs who arrived here on the Oregon Trail—and that same spirit remains a distinct part of its culture—even today as the economy is less than inspiring.
Meyer Memorial Trust (MMT) recognizes that spirit exists but they think it may need a little kick in the pants. And to prove it, they’re upping the ante on “a penny for your thoughts” by offering a crowdsourced innovation contest called Ideas 4 Oregon that will result in at least one lucky idea—and possibly more—receiving one million dollars to bring it to life. Read More