Category: Startups

Portland Mayor Sam Adams talks open source, mobile, coworking, and the startup environment

Last Sunday, a group of folks representing the Portland open source, mobile, and coworking community got the chance to sit down and chat with Portland Mayor Sam Adams. Among those in attendance were Rubyist and Calagator lead Audrey Eschright, CubeSpace’s David Komisky, Software Association of Oregon Interim President Scott Kveton, the Mayor’s Economic Development Policy Advisor Skip Newberry, CubeSpace’s Eva Schweber, General Counsel at Extreme Arts & Sciences J-P Voilleque, and Small Society’s Raven Zachary.

Eva has a great recap of how the meeting played out, including insight on the topics we covered from telecommuting to open source to mobile. [UPDATE] And Skip Newberry from the Mayor’s Office has posted his recap, as well. So I wanted to take a different tact. I wanted to find out how the attendees perceived the meeting and the Mayor’s willingness to engage this group in conversation.

Here’s what they had to say. Read More

BrowserMob’s cloud-based load testing hammers your site without hammering your wallet

When it comes to building Web apps and sites, making sure that those sites respond to a wide variety of browsers and can effectively support a heavy loads of concurrent users can be the difference between succeed and sucking.

But finding the resources to perform—or purchase—that load testing and performance testing has, to date, been an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. And that has left many startups in a Catch-22 situation.

Until now. Read More

REMINDER: Rumblefish at Portland Web Innovators tonight

Sorry for the tardy reminder, but I’m hoping it still motivates some folks to attend tonight’s Portland Web Innovators featuring Paul Anthony of Rumblefish.

Portland Web Innovators was founded because we don’t just like the technology or the design. Yes, those are a big part of our craft. We also want to work on fulfilling projects, for companies that do good stuff. For many of us, we want to start our own companies. In fact, many Web Innovators already have.

Read More

Calling all Silicon Forest startups: Chat with The Oregonian at noon today

It’s no secret that one of the many reasons I started Silicon Florist was to get more people interested in what you’re doing.

Yes you, you silly goose.

You’re inventing incredibly cool stuff. You’re bending Web and mobile technology to your will. You’re taking risks. And you’re trying to build companies that will help Oregon and the Silicon Forest thrive.

Now, The Oregonian wants to hear from you. Read More

The Oregonian features a number of small Portland startups in “Tech Entrepreneurs Defy Recession”

Recently, Mike Rogoway of The Oregonian has been working on a piece about the small Web and mobile startups here in town and the community that has grown up around them. The article—entitled “Tech Entrepreneurs Defy the Recession“—has been posted to the Web and should be in the print edition on Saturday.

It’s an expansive piece that manages to bring together views from a number of different folks from the Portland Web startup scene. Among them, David Abramowski, Ward Cunningham, Dave Hersh, Harvey Mathews, Kevin Tate, Raven Zachary, and Josh Bancroft. Read More

Dear Web startups: Buying local isn’t just for food

Every once in a while, I get something stuck in my craw that causes me to get up on my high horse. Sometimes I then convince that high horse to climb up on a soapbox. And then I take on a holier-than-thou stance and pontificate on something which has been irking me.

This would be one such occasion. (And, fair warning, there’s another one coming soon. [UPDATE] And here that rant is.)

Something has been bugging me. And if you’ve got a sec, I’d like to lay it all out there.

And to be candid, remember I’m only taking the time to bitch about it because I think we could be fixing something that would help the Web and mobile startups in the Silicon Forest get the recognition they so richly deserve.

And it’s really easy to fix. Read More

Beyond the Forest: Seattle Lunch 2.0

Josh Maher, the Seattle Lunch 2.0 guy, has a happy hour Lunch 2.0 planned for this coming Friday, April 17 at blist.

I know Rick’s reach stretches up north, so if you’re near Seattle, check out Lunch 2.0. It’s a blast; I know because we made a little road trip up there a month ago to check it out and spread the Open Source Bridge word. And it was good.

And, if you split time between Portland and Seattle, like Brian Westbrook does, you can enjoy nearly twice the free lunches, and who can argue with that?

Seattle Lunch 2.0 is also in the running for a Seattle 2.0 award in the “Best Social Event for Startups” category. The awards are focused on Seattle startups and will be held on May 7, 2009.

So, if you feel so inclined, head over and vote. You can do so until April 28.

Good luck Josh.

Startup stimulus: EasyStreet offers free services for Oregon entrepreneurs

EasyStreetWe all know that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. But what may not be as obvious is that when the going gets tough, the really super awesome tough realize that other folks need some help. And entrepreneurs reach out to help their would-be peers—especially here in the Silicon Forest.

That’s exactly what’s happening with Beaverton-based EasyStreet, one of the original Internet providers here in town. Today, they announced that they’re stepping up to help other startups during these less than satisfactory economic times with their “EasyStreet Stimulus Package for Entrepreneurs.”

Are you an innovator? Entrepreneur? Head of a skunkworks project inside an established enterprise? Let EasyStreet giving innovation a jump-start with free data center and Internet services for qualified Oregon startups through September 30, 2009.

What’s that? Free hosting and email accounts?

EasyStreet Stimulus Program

But wait. There’s more. Entrepreneurs can also qualify for a free Clear Wireless modem thingamajig if they sign a two year Wi-MAX aggreement.

Best of all? No binding contracts. Well, from EasyStreet, anyway.

“Tough times are great times for entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs are great for the Oregon economy,” said EasyStreet President & CEO, Rich Bader in announcing the stimulus program. “As the economic downturn was being felt here earlier this year, we asked, ‘What can EasyStreet do to best help boost innovation here in Oregon?’”

How does an entrepreneur qualify? All you have to do is apply through one of the partnering organizations that are helping EasyStreet promote the stimulus package.

And they’re names we all know. Well mostly anyway. I mean, one organization just changed its name, so you might not know them. But you know them. If you know what I mean.

What’s that? Oh sorry. Where are my manners?

The partnering organizations include Oregon Entrepreneurs Network OEN, Oregon Technology Business Center (OTBC), Portland State Business Accelerator (PSBA), Software Association of Oregon (SAO), andTechAmerica Oregon Council (formerly AeA).

So maybe you’re a startup looking to save a little cash. Or maybe you’ve been forced to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams a little more quickly than you expected. Or maybe you simply just need that little push to get your project rolling. Whatever the case, EasyStreet is waiting to help.

Now, you have absolutely no excuse to avoid starting that project. You know the one. The timing is right. And as our old Portland friend Tom Peterson used to say “Free is a very good price.”

For more information, see the EasyStreet Stimulus Package for Entrepreneurs.

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Geek Bat signal: Oregon entrepreneurs need to act now! No, really. I mean right now.

Last night, an endless volley of entrepreneurs and would-be startups stepped up to a mic at Nedspace and provided a 2-3 minute pitch on what they would do with $250,000 over the next year.

And man, were there some incredible ideas—some incredibly cool, some incredibly wacky—but all incredible nonetheless.

There was only one problem: I didn’t see you up there.

I can watch the video again, just to be sure. But I’m fairly certain you won’t appear.

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I mean, sure. I got to see Ron Barrett, Carolynn Duncan, Dave Howell, Scott Kveton, Sasha Mace, John Metta, Chris Logan, Bob Uva, Ken Westin, and Steve Woodward. I love all of those folks. And I’ll applaud anyone who gets up in front of a crowd to speak, because I certainly don’t relish it.

Heck, somebody from the Office of the State Treasurer for Oregon even showed up.

But I didn’t see you. And that made me kind of sad.

But, then again, I’m all about second chances. So how about this? How about you take a few seconds to provide some details about one, two, or 12 of your current side projects? Take a moment to reflect on what you could do with $250,000 in the next year, to help bring your product or idea to fruition.

Don’t think you’re worthy? Not interested in getting funding? I’d still encourage you to take a few moments to respond. Really, what could it hurt?

The point is this: rising water floats all boats. And our state treasurer needs convincing that we have a viable entrepreneurial environment filled with viable startups just waiting to take form. What’s more, if these folks can pull off putting together a $100 million fund for Oregon startups, it’s going to help all of us.

But don’t just take my word for it. David Abramowski has some great insights about what funding Oregon startups could do for the local economy.

Come to think of it, I don’t even care if you live in Oregon right now. If you’d be willing to relocate to Oregon to start your business, you’re more than welcome to fill out the form, as well.

So maybe you’re trying to build a music service or a calendar aggregator or a niche social network or a new form of CRM or an iPhone agency or a mobile development shop focused on usability or a better support tool or charting where you’ve been or figuring out where your friends are or providing space for your peers to work and socialize or archiving the Web or finding happy hours or producing a weekly podcast or providing information about every Web site ever.

Maybe what you’re really interested in doing isn’t even geeky. Maybe you’re more interested in building out a photography business or covering the Portland scene or building some tangible product or creating a new kind of agency.

I don’t really care. We just need smart people like you to share their ideas about what could be done, if the money was there.

And I know you’ve got some ideas.

But here’s the catch: you need to respond, now. And I mean right now. The team pursuing the fund wants to get this information assembled by Wednesday, March 25.

So take a deep breath and dive in. I’ll keep this form open until Wednesday at midnight. Then, I’ll gather up all of the responses and ship them off to the folks working on this. They, in turn, will crate them up and dump them on the Oregon Treasurer’s, the Governor’s, and the various Mayors’ desks.

Remember, there were some cool ideas pitched, last night. But none of them were as cool as yours.

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