We’ve seen it time and time again. The next big thing. Web, open source, cloud, mobile… And time and time again, Portland, with its early adopter culture, has been at the forefront of nascent industries, patiently waiting for their markets to form. I’ve been waiting to see what the next big thing might be. And with today’s news from RealWear, I’m inclined to think augmented reality may be the next industry that Portland is known for.
It’s rare to see Portland startups bubbling to the top of national lists. Let alone global lists. So it was really nice to see that one of our local companies had been highlighted by Crunchbase as one of the 50 hot tech companies for 2019. Coming in at #2 on the Crunchbase list is Portland augmented reality startup Streem.
Portland startup Streem, itself the second chapter for a founder who went through an acquisition with his company ONtheGO Platforms, today announced that they are acquiring Selerio, a London startup focused on the AR space.
Like web, open source, and mobile before it, Portland has taken a real affinity to virtual reality and augmented reality. We just really seem to love that technology that hasn’t quite become a market yet. Call us early adopters. Or just call us curious.
Everyone knows that Apple can be a little stringent when it comes to approving applications and content for the App Store. So it’s no surprise that Portland startup Torch has had to make a couple of attempts to get some content approved. But the reason they’re getting rejected? That’s what’s interesting.
If you’ve talked to me about markets that have a lot of potential in Portland, we’ve no doubt discussed reality of some flavor or another. Virtual, Augmented, Immersive, Experiential… whatever you want to call it, folks in Portland have been exploring creating content with those technologies for years. And now, XR is inspiring a new crop of products in town that enable folks to create that content more easily.
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.
So by now, you’ve all likely heard the news that AutoDesk is moving their Lake Oswego office to the Burnside Bridgehead in the Central Eastside Industrial District. That has prompted any number of folks to say to me, “Wait. AutoDesk has a Lake Oswego office?” But it also has a lot of folks asking for more details about AutoDesk and what they do. And now there’s an event to help answer some of those questions.
One of the things that has defined the maturity of the Portland startup community has been a notable lack of serial founders, folks who have had the experience of building and exiting from a company who then take the opportunity to build their next company. Slowly but surely, that’s starting to change. Take, for example, Portland startup Streem.
It’s no secret that Portland likes its shiny new technology. We’re among the earliest of adopters and the most curious of hobbyists with all sorts of newfangled stuff. And that means that once a technology enters the popular lexicon, we tend to be fairly well phrased in its applications and potential. So when it comes to technology like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence, folks in Portland have a great deal to say. And they’ll be doing exactly that during the next Portland Business Journal Power Breakfast.