A couple of years ago, Stephen Green put together an amazing Reverse Pitch event that I got the chance to attend. (If you’re not familiar with the format, a “reverse pitch” is where investors get on stage to describe the types of startups they’re seeking.) During the event, I had the pleasure of hanging out in the audience with a newcomer to the venture capital world who was visiting Portland. Her name? Arlan Hamilton.
In the startup world, there are some prevailing assumptions about venture capital and building companies. But just because those assumptions are prevailing doesn’t mean they’re correct. That’s why I always like resources that help demystify the world of venture capital and its impact on companies. Like Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson.
One of the challenges of the Portland startup community has always been momentum. We sometimes have great—at times even fantastic—startup news, like an exit or a major announcement. But more often than not, that happens as a solitary instance. And then it’s some time before the next major announcement. So it’s rare to have a day like today where both Torch 3D and Vacasa have major news.
Not so long ago, banks were a viable means of financing business. But as the terms of that financing became more inaccessible and onerous, we saw new models arise. One of those models was venture capital. Now—thanks in part to efforts like the Zebra movement—the VC model is beginning to show its own imperfections, inadequacies, and inaccessibility. So it only makes sense that folks would start thinking about new models for financing. One of those folks is Portland’s Luke Kanies, founder and former CEO of Puppet.
The Portland startup scene wouldn’t be much of scene without the capital to fuel its growth. And over the years, it’s been nice to watch that investment community come together, connect, and collaborate to enable some of our most promising young companies gain the initial footing they need to succeed. That said, it’s been a few years since Portland has seen a new investor enter the fray—Rogue Venture Partners and Seven Peak Ventures are among the most recent. Until now. Meet Elevate Capital. Read More
So it seemed like the perfect time to remind you that Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson of Foundry Group will be chatting with folks tonight about their book, Venture Deals, over at Urban Airship. Read More
So you’re in the midst of founding a startup. Or you’ve got the idea for a startup. Or you’re working for a startup. Whatever the case, you’ve got to be able to pitch your story. To investors. To potential customers. To people on the street. And while practicing the pitch in the mirror is fun and all, you could use some critical feedback. From your peers. Other folks who are pitching too.
Even as Portland startups continue to make waves and land capital, we’ve still got a lot to do to step up to the big leagues. So what does Portland need to do to step up and be among the premier cities for startups?
One thing is for sure. Being attractive to venture capitalists can only help the cause. And ensure that Portland startups have the capital they need to succeed. But how? Well, why not ask a VC? That’s what happened on TechCrunch’s “Ask a VC” last week. Read More
[HTML3]Yes, yes. There has been much discussion about Jive Software and their decision to move Jive corporate headquarters from Portland, Oregon, to those more southern climes near that bay thing. But fact of the matter is, Jive spent a good deal of time as a startup headquartered right here. And they continue to be part of our community.
So when Jive announces that they’ve secured another $30 million in funding, I’m going to cover it. Because some of that cash is going to come through the Portland office. And because the investor—juggernaut Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers—just happens to be the firm that just dropped $5 million in Puppet Labs’ proverbial pockets. Read More