If there’s one place that the Portland startup community shines, it’s working together to help others. We’ve seen that play out multiple times with efforts like Business for a Better Portland, as one example, and with any number of fundraisers and food drives. So with Portland Startup Week 2018 coming up, it makes perfect sense that the community would use that as an opportunity to come together again to help others. Introducing the Startupathon, a 24-hour podcast fundraiser put on by the Startup Radio Network.
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.
One of the things I love about Portland is that it’s a large enough metropolitan area to be statistically relevant, but it’s not so big that you can’t move the needle. One such opportunity to effect change in our city focuses on providing better support for our women entrepreneurs. And one of the most promising efforts to address this opportunity is the XXcelerate Fund, which receives funding from the city through Prosper Portland.
Like connected devices? Looking to explore some interesting concepts this weekend? Well, you’re in luck. (And I’m tardy in sharing this event.) Because Women Who Code Portland is having an Internet of Things hackathon this weekend.
Last year, it was Madorra. They seemed to be everywhere. Winning pitch competitions. And gathering accolades. And with good reason. This year, as they continue to grow their company, Madorra seems to have handed off those reins to a new early stage startup. And, like Madorra, they seem to be well on their way to garnering a ton of attention and winning any number of pitch competitions. Meet AllGo.
You’ve no doubt heard the news that one of the seminal Portland startups of this generation—Jive Software—is shuttering its Portland office. Or at the very least, maybe you happened upon the epic Twitter thread talking about Jive’s impact on the Portland startup community. Either way, it was a bit of a bummer. And that’s why it was really nice to see Jive cofounder Matt Tucker turn my frown upside down with the product reveal on his new startup, Koan. And yes, it’s in Portland.
Remember that awesome #FutureBus from Beaverton School District? You know that Magic-School-Bus-ish mobile makerspace that allows students in the district to creatively engage with technology and making? Obviously, it was designed to be taken on the road. But I just learned that they took it on a road trip. To Cascade Locks, Oregon. And that experiment resulted in an interesting experience—and an opportunity.
It’s starting to get exciting now. As we draw closer to the beginning of Portland Startup Week, I always get a bunch of inbound requests from amazing Portland folks who are interested in doing something. Which is awesome. What’s not awesome is when folks are stressed about what to do. Sometimes they’re struggling to come up with a concept or event that works. Sometimes they believe that it’s more difficult to participate than it is. Sometimes they’re not even clear on what the options are. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to provide some examples of what other folks are doing.
Remember when I said it was feeling a bit like a Portland startup accelerator renaissance? Well, today upped the ante. Because Portland had two new accelerator announcements. R/GA announced the first Portland version of their series of brand-powered accelerators—like ones they’ve done with LA Dodgers and Snap—and Uncorked Studios announced a startup accelerator in collaboration with Autodesk and PIE.