The past couple of years, I’ve been lucky enough to get invited to the Kauffman Foundation’s ESHIP Summit. A chance to gather and learn from folks who help entrepreneurs, participate in economic development, and generally try to make the whole world of startups more accessible to both founders and the mentors that they need.
As the year draws to a close, it’s only reasonable that we start looking to the new year. And planning for ways to improve and strengthen the connections in the Portland startup community. And given some of the feedback I’ve received throughout the year, I can’t help but wonder if we should reboot Portland Lunch 2.0 as something more than a Portland Startup Week activity.
There was a time that there were nearly a dozen startup accelerators in Portland. All with demo days of various flavors. Some were targeted at investors. Some at corporations. Some at community. But what they all had in common was celebration. Celebrating a group of founders and the companies they were building.
[UPDATE] Unfortunately, an unforeseen travel conflict for the speaker is going to require Design Museum Portland to reschedule this event.
In the cannabis industry — where it often seems that 90% of the dispensaries have chosen green as their main color — the case for imbuing the industry with more creativity and design talent is a compelling one. Because, as we’ve seen before, enabling consumers to differentiate among brands in a increasingly crowded marketplace may be the difference between success and failure — especially for startups.
For startups, each and every potential customer seems like a must-win situation. But sometimes winning the account can be even worse than losing it. Or can waste a ton of time — your most valuable resource — for your company. But how do you tell who to qualify and who to disqualify? A few folks from the startup community are seeking to help answer that question with Ongoing Disqualification as a Sales Differentiator.
Speaking of sharing business books that aren’t just a list of homogenous authors, a new book by Portland author Rhodes Perry, an LGBTQ business owner who consults on inclusion, has hit the virtual bookshelves. And given the conversations we’re having and the concerns in the Portland startup community, the timing couldn’t be better. So if you’re looking for some business book reading during your holiday downtime, you might consider Belonging At Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take to Cultivate an Inclusive Organization.
You have to love Public Market. They’re very much an atypical startup for the Portland area. They’re swinging for the fences as they work to build an ecommerce platform that’s designed to — wait for it — kill Amazon. Yes. That Amazon. And as if that’s not difficult enough? They decided to launch their platform to the public on Cyber Monday, the most server meltingest of days in ecommerce.
It happens to the best of them. We start a Slack instance. And then it grows. And folks add channels with the best of intentions. And then some of those channels flourish. While others wither away in anonymity. Creating clutter. And impacting discovery. But worst of all, increasing frustration and a feeling of disconnectedness. Which is entirely counterproductive.