There are any number of things I love about Portland and its collaborative culture. But the one thing that impresses me, time and time again, is the prevalent willingness to mentor one another. To take a few minutes out of your day to help someone else reason through a problem. To share what you believe to be common sense (even though it’s not). And to help others grow into roles—and give back, in turn.
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t missed Marshall Kirkpatrick. And I bet I’m not alone. When I first met him, he was writing for Techcrunch and then Read Write Web. But more importantly, he was part of the fabric that helped gather, inform, and celebrate a relatively nascent Portland startup community. But as that community grew, the opportunity to found his own startup had him focusing his energy in other ways. Now, he’s back with a glimmer of the Marshall of old, hosting a conversation with Andrew Keen at Powell’s.
In Portland, and in Oregon as a whole, we have a wonderful veteran community. It is filled with many people who have served our country proudly and have come back to figure out how to make a bigger impact through entrepreneurship. All of this is made even more special when you add how collaborative the area tech community is for founders. It is the thing that separates Portland from other markets along the west coast.
Ten years ago, the current Portland startup community was just starting to coalesce. And it’s no secret that many of the connections, gatherings, and events that made that possible were very much due to a substantially larger and more well connected tech community—the open source community—whose activity served as the foundation for the growing community of tech entrepreneurs.
Startups are tackling any number of transportation challenges. And, more and more, government is looking for creative solutions for transportation challenges. So it only makes sense to get those two groups together to figure out how they can collaborate, right? Well, that’s the Greater Portland Tech Challenge.
As tech becomes more pervasive, we’re seeing more and more interesting, inspiring, and innovative solutions from any number of verticals in Portland. But if I had to pick a sector that has the most momentum and potential, I’d have to say biotech. And nowhere is the potential of that community better showcased and celebrated than the monthly Accelerate Biotech and Digital Health Happy Hour.