Portland: Equity starts this summer

[Editor: The following is a guest post by Meredith Goddard, Founder & Director of Five Years In]

Teenagers are less likely than ever to work summer jobs. There has been a precipitous and unprecedented decline in labor force participation rate for teenagers over the last 20 years. In August of 1998, 52.8% of 16-19 year olds participated in the labor force, a number that held steady since the 1950s. In August of 2017, just 35.2% percent of 16-19 year olds participated in the labor force, meaning most Millenials (and younger) have not held summer jobs. Instead of work, many young people are spending more time in summer school, traveling with sports teams and engaging in unpaid internships.

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Like the memes? You’ll definitely want to check out this event out during Design Week Portland

I love Design Week Portland. There is no single more compelling week of events that does such an amazing job of showcasing so much Portland genius. And we’re currently soaking in it.

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A collaboration to further innovation: Portland IQ officially launches

Way back when, I started Silicon Florist as an attempt to raise the visibility of a bunch of amazing activity I was seeing Portland tech startup community. Then, I helped start PIE—and continue to run it—because I felt that we needed to do more than talk about the community, we needed to help it grow through mentorship and connections. My motivations to help start Built Oregon came from similar desire to help the consumer product industries in Oregon. And now, I’m bullish on a new effort designed to enhance collaboration and innovation across all of those industries—and more—in Portland. Meet the Portland IQ.

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With Portland startup Bumped, buying stuff can also have you buying stock

You don’t hear as much about it as I would like, but I love the small and scrappy fintech startup community in Portland. What started with companies like Simple has spawned any number of interesting takes on banking, financing, and investing. Even the cofounder of Acorns—which enables folks to round up purchase prices to invest small increments of money—has a Portland connection. (He graduated from Lewis & Clark.) So you can imagine my excitement when I heard that Giftango founder David Nelsen was getting back in the startup game with a fintech play. And now, it’s come out of stealth. Meet Bumped.

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Portland cloud monitoring startup Sensu adds Puppet founder Luke Kanies to board

In the world of equity financing and startups, it’s not rare to see folks adding new board members when they announce funding rounds. Because it’s usually VCs who have invested who are getting those seats. So when Portland startup Sensu announced a new round of funding and new board members, it was a pleasant surprise to see that one of them was an independent, Luke Kanies, founder of Puppet.

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Have an opinion on the Portland tech community? Good or bad, PDXWIT would love to hear it

Portland Women in Tech represents 30% of the Portland workforce. And to help ensure that they continue to focus on issues and efforts that are important to that ever growing constituency and to hear from voices who might not be part of the organization, they’re requesting feedback from the Portland tech community.

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Helping accelerate rural innovation: Business Oregon names latest ROI recipients

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Innovation can occur anywhere. It’s not just something that happens in an urban context. Or in major metropolitan areas. It happens all over. Throughout the state of Oregon. And that’s why Business Oregon has its Rural Opportunity Initiative (ROI) to help spark and support that activity.

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TechfestNW inaugural Sam Blackman Award for Civic Engagement goes to Zapproved founder Monica Enand

The Portland startup community is still coping with the loss of AWS Elemental cofounder and consummate Portland champion Sam Blackman, who passed away suddenly last August. Today, in his honor, Portland’s annual technology conference, TechfestNW, launched an new award designed to recognize members of the Portland community who are carrying on Sam’s legacy through their actions. The inaugural recipient was Monica Enand, founder of Zapproved.

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You have homework this weekend: Figure out your Portland Startup Week 2018 schedule

I get it. No. Seriously. I do. We all understand that the “P” in “Portland” stands for “procrastination.” It’s cool. But there comes a time when procrastination turns into actually having to do something. And that time is nigh. Because Portland Startup Week starts in a matter of hours. I know right? Kinda snuck up on us.

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Immerse yourself in a discussion about Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: Portland has an incredibly promising AR/VR/Mixed Reality community. From folks who create content to companies that are building the infrastructure and tools to deliver it, we’ve got a wealth of interesting startups and creatives in this still nascent market. And it’s always good to get all of those folks together. Which is what’s happening during Portland Startup Week with Immersive Startups.

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