Oh my. What a well-rounded-breakfast of a day on Silicon Florist. First, I got to post something about Corvallis and Portland. And now I get to drop something about Eugene and Bend. And that’s because Startup Weekends are happening in those two locations in the coming weeks. Read More
So there you are. You’ve got a killer startup idea but you’re having a hard time finding someone to help build it. Or maybe you’ve got no ideas but you’re itching to build something. Maybe you just want to help someone realize his or her dream.
Well get those entrepreneurial juices flowing, my friend. Because it’s getting near Startup Weekend time again. That’s right. Startup Weekend Portland is being held November 12th through the 14th at NedSpace Old Town. Read More
[HTML1]If there’s one thing people in Portland love to do, it’s muck with technology. Sometimes, that mucking results in something interesting. Sometimes, that something interesting has enough potential that it could become a full-fledged company. But then there’s difficult transitional period. How do you find co-founders? How do you get the idea off the ground? What is going to force you to actually make something happen?
It’s been a while. A while since we’ve had a Startup Weekend in our neck of the woods or Silicon Forest or whatever. The last time we had the chance to participate in this kind of “build a startup in a weekend” experience was about 18 months ago with Startup Portland.
But what a Startup Weekend it was. With five startups launching, including poster-child Mugasha, which continues to make a strong showing in the Portland startup scene.
[HTML3]I’ve been following and listening to Portland-based Mugasha—a service that gives you access to an impressive collection of streaming electronica DJ sets sliced into manageable chunks—since its humble beginnings at Portland Startup Weekend in May 2008. (I’ve got Myon and Shane 54 going as we speak.) Since then, they’ve been covered by Scoble (although the Qik video looks like it’s gone now), got some love when they launched their private beta, and were selected for the SXSW 2009 Accelerator program. But I haven’t been able to really gush about them until now. Read More
On a side note, I’m not sure if a Twitter hashtag has been proposed (or if Twitter will even be functional), but I thought I would propose one for those folks watching from the sidelines. How about #pdxsw?
[Editor’s note: As much as I’d love to be in attendance, I’ve been sidelined by illness. That said, I will definitely try to swing by during the weekend. Best of luck to the participants.]
Roughly six months ago, the Portland startup community put its collective effort into casting votes for “Portland Startup Weekend,” a local version of the successful Startup Weekend events designed to test our collective entrepreneurial mettle by challenging participants to form a company in a 54-hour period.
Thanks to that collective voting effort, Portland was among the first cities selected for the 2008 series of Startup Weekends. And those who were interested in the event—myself included—were, for lack of a better word, “psyched.”
In the following months, the Startup Weekend team expanded to support its rapidly growing popularity. Founder Andrew Hyde stepped aside to hand off the planning for Startup Weekend—including Portland Startup Weekend—to the someone who could focus on the events full-time.
Everything seemed to be moving in the right direction.
But then, things got quiet. Too quiet.
Sorry for the lack of communication, the person that was in charge of putting together this weekend quit last weekend without notice, and the lack of communication was worse than I realized. If you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com and I will get right back to you. I am very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused everyone.
It’s unfortunate that any Startup Weekend encountered these difficulties, let alone our Startup Weekend.
But, Andrew and his team are working overtime to recover the fumble.
Jeremy Tanner, who has now taken the lead on Portland Startup Weekend planning, had this to say:
This is disappointing to the planning process, but not breaking the spirit of the event (This being Startup Weekend and all). This is an incredibly talented group, and I can’t wait to see what the group can accomplish in just 54 hours….
The real goal of Startup Weekend is community, and I can’t wait for SWPDX to show what it has. Plan on meeting some brilliant folks, working with those you have only known through twitter, and showing what you can do. Don’t expect to create the next Google, unless you are on my team, which, then it would be totally cool.
But now, comes the real question: How will this stumble affect attendance?
If you were planning to go, are you still going? Have you opted out? Never thought about participating?
I’ve heard some rumblings about attendance on Twitter—both positive and negative—but that’s far from conclusive. So I thought I would take the opportunity to launch a quick poll. Just to gauge the interest—and possible attendance—this weekend.[polldaddy|626477]
Please take a second to respond, either via the poll or the comments.
I’d really appreciate hearing from you on this topic.
Now, that’s not only Memorial Day weekend, it’s also pretty darn close to WebVisions 2008, which runs May 22-23, 2008, in Portland.
Oregon-native and Startup Weekend organizer, Andrew Hyde, has promised that he has a few surprises up his sleeve for this one.
I, for one, am looking forward to doing whatever I can to make this event a success for Startup Weekend—and Portland. And I hope you’ll join the fun.
(To help promote this event, feel free to use the Startup Weekend badge above.)
Just as Portland has made Ignite Portland an overwhelming success and promises to make Lunch 2.0 a Portland-flavored affair, I’m sure we can show the Startup Weekend folks how Portland puts its own unique spin on these types of events.
Tickets for Startup Weekend Portland will be sold here for $40. This is really a RSVP cost, and you will receive your fair share of food, swag and memories. If you or your company is interested in sponsoring a meal, shirts or massive amounts of caffeine, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just a quick note to let you know that your votes for have counted. Portland now has a Startup Weekend of its own.
Thanks to all of you have taken the time to vote. I think this could be a really interesting event for Portland and our community.
Details are still slim, but the date is set for the weekend of May 23 – 25.
More as details become available.
For more information, visit Startup Weekend.
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.