It wasn’t that long ago that global coworking giant WeWork announced that Portland — specifically the Custom House — would be a WeWork Labs instance. And like all startuppy things, changes are already afoot. In the past few months, WeWork Labs has been experimenting with its Portland presence and going through some iterations. And now, there’s a new person heading up the Portland efforts, Josh Carter.
Accelerators are nothing new. They’ve become a quintessential part of many startup ecosystems. But more often than not, they’re rather one note. Because the vast majority of those accelerators are only accelerating one thing: tech. But there’s more to startups than just tech. Especially around here. That’s why Built Oregon is rethinking the accelerator model to support consumer products companies.
Portland is nothing if not collaborative. So it would only make sense that a bunch of the Portland startup community would band together to help welcome the newest startup support organization in to town, WeWork Labs Portland. And what better way to show that support than to gather in celebration of the launch of the project.
You may have heard of a little company called WeWork. (Actually, the company is called We Company, now, but bear with me…) They’ve got a few spaces where folks can, you know, work. They even have a few of those spaces here in Portland. But what you may not know is that they’ve recently launched an accelerator program for startups called WeWork Labs. And we’re getting one of those here, too.
In the world of startup accelerators, there are two juggernauts: Y Combinator and Techstars. So I’m always happy to hear when a local company makes it into one of those programs. Especially when it’s the original Techstars in Boulder, which — at least in my mind — carries with it an additional prestige. And that’s where Bend startup LuDela will be spending a three-month stint.
Startups have to juggle a lot. A lot. So picking their battles — or applications as it were — is an important part of deciding how they’re going to spend their time. And in my opinion, if you’re a founder who identifies as a woman, person of color, or LGBTQ, you’d be smart to spend your time applying to the Backstage Capital Accelerator. Because there isn’t a more truly and earnestly inclusive investor and accelerator, local or otherwise.
I get it. You’re busy. You’re building your company. And you meant to get those startup accelerator applications done last weekend. But time just got away from you. Well, you better carve out some time this weekend, or you’re going to miss out altogether.