The dynamics of venture funds are very much akin to the dynamics of startups. It’s rarely smooth. It’s often a series of fits and starts. And fundraising. And pivoting. Until a fund really hits its stride. But I’m happy to report that Black Founders Matter is beginning to get some early traction and has announced its first investment as part of the funding for A Kids Book About.Read More
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A company manages to land early stage capital and, in so doing, decides to move their headquarters from their founding city to a city closer to their investor. Of course you’ve heard it. It’s something that regularly happened to Portland companies not so long ago. But today, there’s a new twist. Instead of companies leaving town, folks are starting to relocate those headquarters to Portland. And this time, at least part of that decision was thanks to a local investor.Read More
Apparently, it just takes a little while for an idea to gain traction. After years of founders bemoaning a lack of early stage funding, a new crop of early stage venture funds are taking shape here in Portland. First, 1859 Ventures launched a new early stage venture fund. Now Cowen Partners Venture Fund has launched.Read More
Short note. Even if you’re not a basketball fan, you’ve probably heard the news that Carmelo Anthony is signing with the Portland Trail Blazers. If you are a basketball fan, this is probably feeling a bit like the time that the Blazers signed Pippen. Or maybe that’s just me. In any case, I’m admittedly more interested in ‘Melo’s potential impact off the court. Because when he’s not on the hardwood, he’s also an aspiring investor—with a successful exit. So this could potentially be an interesting addition to the Portland startup community, as well. We’ll just have to wait and see.
The big news around the Portland startup community today — and likely for some time to follow — surrounded the latest round of funding for Vacasa. Why? Because the size of the round — at $319 million — was unusual. And the valuation for that round catapulted the company into unicorn territory.Read More
In some industries, the idea of “closing” can be the worst possible outcome. But in the world of startups, closing is often a very good thing. And the latest news from the Portland Seed Fund is no different. The Portland Business Journal just revealed that PSF has just closed their third fund to the tune of $13.9 million.
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.
Said someone, probably. And thanks to local investor and startup accelerator director Dylan Boyd, there is. It may be incomplete, but it’s likely far better than any list you’ve got going currently. Nearly 2000 folks and firms in the venture capital industry. All talking about what they had for lunch. And probably some VC stuff too.
Last Friday, the New York Times published a piece on the Zebra movement, a movement with Portland roots that highlights any number of things broken about the prevailing venture capital model and its pursuit of unicorns and calls for more rational and accessible means of funding startups.
You can’t swing a dead term sheet without hitting thousands of posts on “how to be a better founder.” Most of which contain largely unusable advice or set unattainable expectations for anyone to adopt. Founder or otherwise.