One of the things I love most about the Portland startup community is how collaborative, supportive, and engaged the entire community is. Rather than a single person or group carrying the load, it’s all of us. But not every community has the same dynamic. Sometimes it’s an individual or handful of folks who shoulder the bulk of the effort. But no matter what the dynamic, a bunch of folks from other startup communities are visiting us in Portland, this week.
PIE, the Portland Incubator Experiment, turns 10 this year. And it’s been five years since the last PIE Demo Day, where founders from the accelerator program take the stage to share stories about the companies they’re building. But now, the clock has been reset. PIE Demo Day 2019 took place on March 14 (Pi Day, course). And the replay is already available for your weekend viewing.
There was a time when the Ignite format was (ahem) hot around these parts. You couldn’t swing a HDMI cable without hitting one. But like most things Portland, there’s a certain ebb and flow to activity. So recently, they’ve been a little more difficult to come by. Which is why it was nice to see Faces of Agile: Portland Ignite Agile Event.
After a blistering January of blogging, it’s gotten a little quiet around these parts. I apologize. But rest assured, it’s not you, Portland. It’s me. I’ve been heads down working with the PIE and PIE Shop startups on their PIE Demo Day 2019 pitches. And I’ve been working with my Startup Champions Network peers on the Startup Champions Summit. And, of course, working on Portland Startup Week 2019. All of which has made it super quiet around here. Mea culpa.
Taking inspiration from Stephen Green’s annual Black History Month celebration of black businesses in Portland, Built Oregon will be featuring women led consumer product companies from around the state during the month of March, Women’s History Month. If you’re interested in meeting some new companies and awesome founders, you should tune in.
We’ve come to the end of another Black History Month here in Portland. And if you’ve been following along with Stephen Green on Twitter, then you’ve likely caught his efforts to feature a bunch of awesome black businesses in Portland throughout the month. I tried to grab them all in case you want to have them all for quick reference.
It’s always nice to see Portland companies featured in national media. Especially when it’s folks who you know have been hard at work, building amazing companies, with little to no media recognition for what they’ve been doing. Like Walker Tracker, which was just featured in Forbes as an example of the participants in the XXcelerate Fund.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that I spend a lot of my time focused in a hyperlocal sort of way. On startups. Usually Portland. Sometimes other places in Oregon. But usually Portland. And usually tech. So it’s always nice to get the opportunity to muck around with more macro data. Or datasets that provide a broader context and indicators for what’s happening here around entrepreneurship.
Hopefully, you’ve all been tuning in to Stephen Green’s tweets highlighting some amazing black entrepreneurs in Portland. It’s become a tradition designed to help celebrate Black History Month. This year, however, the celebration isn’t just virtual. On the last day of the month, there will be two in person opportunities to celebrate Black History Month and the black entrepreneurs in our community.
As always, I’ll start this with the caveat that I promised Bill Lynch, cofounder of Jive, that I wouldn’t just write posts that celebrate funding for the sake of funding. Which is actually more work. (Thanks, Bill.) But in the long run, I’m hoping my bag-full-of-cats startup-history brain full of tangential facts and likely little known context can be helpful in providing a broader picture of why these funding events are important.