Category: Portland

What happened in the Gumroad creator community in 2020?

Gumroad just released a report on the metrics for its creator community in 2020. While it’s an admitted subset of the broader creator community, it’s an interesting glimpse into dynamics that are likely prevalent throughout the community. Extrapolation being what it is.

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Lewis & Clark opens up their entrepreneurial “Winterim” program to the world

For the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in a really compelling program hosted at Portland’s Lewis & Clark College over the holiday break. They call it “Winterim.” And it’s designed to expose college students to startups and entrepreneurship through a series of talks, mentorship, and a weeklong sprint to build a concept for a company.

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Not so Simple: Taking on established banking was no small feat

As mentioned previously today, Portland’s Simple is being shuttered by acquirer BBVA ahead of PNC completing the acquisition of BBVA USA properties. Not only did the move adversely impact many of our fellow Portlanders and the Portland fintech community — as did the similar shuttering of Azlo today — but it also marked the end of a banking story of David and Goliath proportions. Where Goliath won.

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Sophorn Cheang slated to serve as new director of Business Oregon

After a long search, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has selected Sophorn Cheang to lead the primary economic development agency for the state of Oregon, Business Oregon.

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A glimpse into Gumroad’s work culture

Prior to the pandemic lockdown, Gumroad founder and Rolling Fund manager Sahil Lavingia mentioned he had relocated to the Portland area. Which, in my mind, immediately made Gumroad — an already interesting player in the creator community — an even more important startup for me to start tracking. Today, he posted about the work culture at Gumroad, which provides some valuable insights — and potentially inspiration — for folks who may be rethinking their work environments.

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Apparently it’s not just Simple. Azlo — another Portland fintech player — is getting shut down, too.

Earlier today, Portland’s Simple — one of the companies that helped inform this generation of the Portland startup community — announced that they were shutting down. But unfortunately, they’re not the only Portland fintech affected by the BBVA USA sale to PNC. Azlo — often referred to as “Simple for business banking” — which also has a significant Portland presence and was part of the BBVA-PNC deal, is being shut down, too.

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CONFIRMED: Simple is being shut down [UPDATED]

Among the other bad news from yesterday, I got a number of pings from folks to let me know that Simple, one of the startups that helped put the Portland startup community on the map, is being shut down. There has not be an official communication in this regard, but there has been discussion online about it.

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Popular live streaming platform StreamYard acquired by Hopin for $250 million

I’ve used StreamYard and been on streams that used StreamYard. But I never realized that they were based in Tualatin. Until the news broke today that they had been acquired by Hopin, a rapidly growing virtual events platform.

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A few personal experiments from 2020 that I plan to continue as 2021 projects

It’s that time of year. You know, the time of the year when we look back. When we assess. And where we try to use that assessment to plot our paths forward. And to plan for a new year. Obviously this last year — perhaps more than any other of my professional career which, mind you, includes both the dotcom crash and the mortgage crisis — is one where I was desperately searching for a bright spot or two amongst all of the heartache and weirdness. And I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to find at least a couple of positives. I mean like they say, after all, hindsight is…

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REMINDER: Add your startup — or a startup you know — to the list

I try and track as many Oregon startups as I can. Be they Web based or physical objects. Just so long as they have the potential to grow quickly and be efficient with revenue, they’re interesting to me. But even as much time as I focus on that effort, I’m still often surprised and delighted to learn of new companies right under my nose.

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