MyStrands lands $24 million in funding

Yesterday, Corvallis, Oregon, based MyStrands announced that they have secured an additional $24 million in funding, increasing the total capital raised by the company to $55 million. The round, led by Spanish bank Grupo BBVA, is slated primarily for continued research & development and product development.

This round of funding has been covered by TechCrunch and Profy, among others. [Update] And I’ll sheepishly add Portland’s Marshall Kirkpatrick’s coverage of the MyStrands’ funding from Read/Write Web. (I didn’t see it in the trackbacks, I swear! And, seriously, have you ever seen that many possessives in one sentence? I mean, really?)

MyStrands develops technologies to better understand people’s taste and help them discover things they like and didn’t know about. MyStrands has created a social recommender engine that is able to provide real-time recommendations of products and services through computers, mobile phones and other Internet-connected devices. For more information, see MyStrands.

(Hat tip Brooks Jordan)

SplashCast woos former Starbucks and Nike exec to team, board

It’s always nice to see our local startups getting all growed up.

Portland-based SplashCast, the media service that lets you cook all sorts of media together into a single player, has announced the hiring of Charlie Baker as an Executive Vice President. Baker will also occupy a seat on the SplashCast board of directors.

In his new role, Baker will be focusing on business development in sports and entertainment, areas in which he boasts a wealth of expertise:

Baker has 25 years experience in implementing successful business strategies for start-ups, mid market and Fortune 500 companies. As General Manager/Divisional Vice President of Nike Global Retail, he built and grew the $1.2B global business unit. As a member of Nike’s Executive Leadership Team, Mr. Baker was responsible for leading the strategy of Nike’s $12B global businesses. In addition, Charlie was CEO of Starbucks Australia and CEO of a venture-backed media company, FamilyWonder.com, which he led through successful acquisition by Sega.

For more information, see SplashCast.

Cloud Four: Anything but cloudy

[Editor’s note: I’m going to begin expanding the Silicon Florist beat, a bit, to provide coverage of new startups in the Silicon Forest area—as they come into being. Not only do these incredibly young companies need a little limelight, it will be interesting to cover them from their inception forward. Looking forward to your feedback on this expanded scope. And, if you’re starting a shop, please drop me a line.]

Please welcome a new startup to the block.

Portland-based Cloud Four, a Web strategy and development shop, boasts a team of known-entities from the Portland area and shows promise of quickly becoming a mainstay in the local development community.

I hear you. “Do we really need another Web dev shop in town?” And to that, I’d respond that I think we need more and more shops in town that think like Cloud Four.

Our philosophy emphasizes user experience over ego-driven, impractical designs or isolated, finicky engineering…. We believe that authenticity and integrity matter. We give you the advice we would give ourselves if we were in your shoes—even if it means less work for us.

For more on the cultural principles driving this fledgling organization, see the Cloud Four blog and Jason Grigsby’s post on the launch.

Panic releases tasty new version of Candybar

Portland-based Panic, makers of beautiful and highly functional Mac applications, has released a new version of its popular Candybar icon management tool. The new version is designed to work with the latest release of Mac OS X, Leopard–including the ability to customize the new Leopard dock.

New features include new interface, integrated Pixadex, large (512 x 512) icon support, Leopard dock customization, additional system icons, Quick Look integration, more reliable system icon restoration, and of course the inevitable “much more.”

For more information, visit Panic.

(Hat tip to Josh Pyles)

19Marketplace releases Workplace2Go

Vancouver, Washington, based 19Marketplace has announced the release of its one-stop shop for subscribing to software as a service (SaaS) business applications, Workplace2Go.

Targeted at small businesses who might not have the time to research and cobble together individually available tools, Workplace2Go is designed to provide single-sign-on access to traditional enterprise apps for a monthly subscription.

Initial products include WebEx conferencing and Intranet tools, Microsoft Exchange Server, Blackberry messaging services, McAfee antivirus, and Arsenal backup, among others.

For more information, see additional coverage from GigaOm and NW Innovation. Or visit the 19Marketplace and Workplace2Go sites.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving

Here’s hoping that all of those Silicon Forest startups, all the readers who make writing Silicon Florist such a pleasure, and anyone else within the range of my RSS feed has a very safe, happy, and relaxing Turkey and/or Tofurkey day.

Even startups need a few days off.

I’ll start rooting around again on Monday.

Walker Tracker puts walkiness next to (Greek) godliness

Portland-based Walker Tracker, a community for pedometer-wearing walkers to track their steps over time, has announced the release of a “pro” version of its service and a new feature for everyone: competition.

Walker Tracker Pro is a for-pay feature with a user-set pricing model, ala Radiohead’s In Rainbows and LibraryThing. Initial features include daily rank, charting aerobic steps, and priority email support. Paying for the service also removes ads.

As for competition:

You can now lay down the step gauntlet against any other walker on the site, and even challenge those who have yet to join.

No one in your league for competition? Well. then step it up to the next level by choosing to compete against a Greek god, then. (Personally, I’m waiting until my favorite Greek god, Hephaestus, shows up as an option.)

For more information, see Walker Tracker.

Meet: Portland Coders’ Bash 2007

In which language do you code? Ruby? PHP? Perl? C#? SQL? HTML? BASIC? COBOL? VAX/VMS? Something more obscure than that?

Tell you what, it doesn’t really matter. You could code in VisualBasic for Applications or Actionscript for all I care.

Why? Because a coder is a coder is a coder. Call yourself an engineer or developer or coder or whatever. We’re all the same.

And that’s why it’s so cool to stumble upon something like the Portland Coders’ Bash. It’s an event where any coder, regardless of language, can get together with other coders.

This December Multiple Portland programming users groups are going to combine meeting into on large meeting. This will be a socializing, festive atmosphere meant to allow the local group members to get to know each other a bit better.

The event is planned for December 11 at CubeSpace. For more information, see the see the PDX Groups wiki.

(Hat tip Selena)

Meet: BarCamp Portland informal meetup tonight

The regular—yet informal—BarCamp Portland meetup will be held tonight at 5:30. Jive Software will host the event.

The Portland meetups are intended to be a little less intense and more frequent than a full BarCamp Portland event. The intent is to get a group of cool people interested in technology together to chat over drinks on the fourth Thursday of every month. Anyone working in high-tech is welcome to attend.

To RSVP, visit the BarCamp Portland Upcoming page.

Greenlight Greater Portland names additional execs

I thought I would take the opportunity to introduce Greenlight Greater Portland, because, unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely that the image-based copy and PDF content on the Greenlight Greater Portland Web site will have the organization appearing in your search engine results anytime soon.

And to have you miss this organization would—quite honestly—be a shame.

Greenlight Greater Portland is charged with attracting businesses to the Silicon Forest. And that type of effort always bodes well for those of us in the startup environment. The rising tide floats all boats and whatnot.

Greenlight Greater Portland is a predominately private-sector group devoted to fostering the sustained economic vitality of the four-county region of Clackamas, Clark, Multnomah and Washington counties in northwest Oregon and southwest Washington. Led by the areas top business leaders, Greenlight Greater Portland introduces new businesses to the wide range of enviable resources here: industrial, human, natural, financial and technological.

Greenlight Greater Portland announced the appointment of a full-time CEO earlier this year. Now, they’ve added a vice president of “research and business attraction” and a VP of marketing, who will no doubt work to improve the Web site, he said in a hopeful voice. [Update] And hope continues to flourish as Portlandville posts some well wishing and insight on the new VP of Marketing, Gillian Floren.

For more information, visit the Greenlight Greater Portland Web site or see previous coverage from Oregon Startups. To learn more about the new execs, read the press release or see the coverage in The Oregonian.

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