Category: LegionOfTech

Changing of the guard: Legion of Tech board elections announced

Legion of TechIt’s no secret that one of my favorite organizations here in town is Legion of Tech.

Even in its youth, the Legion of Tech has done an amazing job of becoming a completely philanthropic tech organization designed to serve the greater good and make more events more accessible to more people.

I can safely say that no single organization has had such a dramatic and profound impact on the Portland tech scene over the past year.

Perhaps, for that matter, ever.

The original Legion of Tech crew has done a phenomenal job of transforming the event scene around Portland. I mean, c’mon! The oversold Ignite Portlands? Startupalooza? Big-name Legion of Talks? Legion of Tech Happy Hours? And, of course, the incomparable BarCamp Portland?

The list goes on and on and on.

So it is with some trepidation and some excitement that I report that it’s time for the first Legion of Tech board and advisory committee elections.

Interested in getting more deeply involved in Portland’s tech community? Now’s your chance: the Legion of Tech elections were just announced. There are 2 different LoT positions up for grabs, involving differing levels of responsibility

I have trepidation because the founders have done such a phenomenal job. And yet, there’s definitely excitement because these folks deserve a break—and it will be interesting to see who exactly enters the fold.

So how does this whole election thing work? Well, there’s an extensive election post on the Legion of Tech blog but here’s the short story:

If you are interested in running for the Legion of Tech board or the Advisory Committee, please contact your favorite member of the existing board to request a nomination. Keep in mind that the nominations are due on November 1 for the board of directors and on December 1 for the Advisory Committee.

It’s going to be an interesting election year.

I’m excited to see where this goes. And you can be sure that I’ll keep you in the loop.

And please, if you’re interested in participating and continuing the amazing run of tech events here in Portland, by all means throw your hat into the ring.

REMINDER: From Side Project to Startup starts up tonight

Whew! We’re drawing near to the finish on an event-filled week. And now, From Side Project to Startup will be leading us into the weekend.

What’s the focus? Selena Deckelmann gives us the lowdown:

If you were at Barcamp Portland, you may have stopped by for the My Other Thing session. (if you weren’t there you can listen to this recording of a great, freewheeling discussion) The session led by Rick Turoczy and Banana Lee Fishbones. After the group separated, people talked about wanting more – more discussions, more connections… maybe even – a conference! Inspired by that session, From Side Project to Startup was born.

Things kick off around 5:30 PM at CubeSpace, with a welcome reception.

Here’s the full agenda:

Friday Evening – September 12, 2008
5:30-6:30 – Reception/Networking
6:30-7:00 – Welcome and setting the stage
7:00-9:00 – Creative Entrepreneurship: Conception to Actualization – Bridget Benton of Eyes Aflame
7:00-9:00 – Unconference Sessions

Saturday – September 13, 2008
9:00-10:00 – Coffee, Bagels and Schmoozing
10:00-10:15 – Welcome
10:30-12:00 – What to Do Before You Quit Your Day Job – Mark Paul
10:30-12:00 – Unconference Sessions
12:00-1:30 – Lunch
1:30-3:00 – One Page Startup Marketing Plan – Peter Korchnak of Semiosis Communications
1:30-3:00 – Unconference Sessions
3:00-3:30 – Snack Break
3:30-5:00 – What Kind of Funding are You Eligible For? – Carolynn Duncan
5:00-5:15 – Wrap Up
5:15-??? – After Party

As you can see, the format is fairly open. With lots of time to jump in and out. So, even if you can’t make it to the whole thing, I’m hoping you’ll take the chance to swing by and participate. That is, if the subject matter interests you.

And something tells me that it does.

The event is brought to you by Legion of Tech, an Oregon nonprofit dedicated to helping grow and nurture the local Portland technology community through educational, not-for-profit, community-run events.

For more information on the event, visit From Side Project to Startup. To RSVP, visit Upcoming.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Gary Vaynerchuk named inaugural speaker for Legion of Talk

Gary VaynerchukMan oh man. Those crazy kids at Legion of Tech are at it again.

If you happened to make it to Ignite Portland 3, you heard the first hints of Legion of Talk, a new series of more intimate Legion of Tech events designed to replicate the thought-provoking presentations of TED.

Well, you know those Legion of Tech types can’t do anything small. So it’s no surprise that they’re starting off with the big guns. Or perhaps more appropriately, by “Bringing the Thunder.”

Legion of Talk will kick off with Gary Vanynerchuk of Wine Library TV. Gary is a phenomenal online success story, by any measure.

Yes, shrewd business guy. Yes, creative thinker. Yes, driven entrepreneur. Yes, talented with the video. But you know what really got him there? Being a nice guy. And a decent human being.

Got him where exactly?

With a wealth of knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit, Gary rebranded the family business as Wine Library. Within a five year time period, Wine Library grew from a $4 million dollar business to a $45 million business.

Gary will be in town as part of his book tour, and a few lucky folks will get the chance to hear him speak at Legion of Talk. The event will be held at Wieden + Kennedy on July 1 at 7 PM. Tickets will be available June 24.

Like all Legion of Tech events, there is no charge for the event. But there will be a limited number of participants.

Interested? Of course you are. Get more information at Legion of Tech or Wine Library TV. Please RSVP on Upcoming.

BarCamp Portland: The Weekend that was

BarCampPortland 2008Another (dare I say “wildly successful”?) BarCamp Portland is in the books, thanks to the efforts of the Legion of Tech, the hosts, the sponsors, and—of course—the attendees and session leaders.

I could easily prattle on for pages about the wide range of interesting topics, the community building and strengthening, the learning opportunities both inside sessions and out, and the general just, well, geeky fun of the whole thing.

But, I always find roundups to be the best way to provide the most coherent and well-rounded picture of these kinds of events. There’s no possible way of covering the entire thing from one perspective, so only many perspectives will do.

That’s what I’ve seen so far.

No doubt, many people are still recovering and gathering their thoughts.

If I’ve missed you or if you’ve just posted your thoughts, please by all means, comment below with a link to your post or resource, and I’ll be happy to add it to the list.

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.

Super Friends launch “Legion of Tech”

While you may not realize it, a number of the exemplary Portland-based technology events—Ignite Portland, BarCamp Portland, Startupalooza, and others—have the same, very active cast of characters behind them. And now, to help facilitate the hosting and management of said events, they have opted to form an Oregon non-profit: the Legion of Tech.

This organization has two primary functions: first, we organize key community events like BarCampPortland and Ignite Portland; second, we provide resources and help to organizers of other community technology events. Specifically, the purpose of this organization is to

  • Grow and nurture the local Portland technology community through educational, not-for-profit, community-run events.
  • Make it easier for community members to organize technology events.
  • Provide resources and assistance for technology community events.

Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing these folks make this venture as successful as the events they have managed, and am eager to learn more about lending a hand in their efforts.

If you’re feeling the same way, please visit the Legion of Tech (which, as far as I know, does NOT look like a giant floating Darth Vader head. But if, by chance, it does? I’m totally going for the Bizarro role, but I would also settle for Solomon Grundy or Grodd.)

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