For many “side project” entrepreneurs, the most difficult part of getting an idea off the ground—and out of the garage or basement—is finding that business partner that complements their skillset.
Business people with good ideas can write all the business plans they want, but they’ll eventually need a developer. And developers can crank all the code they want, but eventually they’ll need some way of approaching the market or getting more funding. But how are they supposed to find one another?
After some networking time, we’ll have each idea person looking for a team give 2 or 3 minute elevator pitch, have each of them head to their own corner of the room, and let people circulate around to check out the startups that sound interesting to them.
The first speed dating event will be held Saturday, February 28 from 1 – 4PM at the OTBC (located in The Round in Beaverton, right on the MAX line). Best of all? It’s all free.
Update: TechShop had to change the date. It’s now April 22. Please plan accordingly.
If the lucky 13th episode of the Portland Lunch 2.0 series needed a name, I would call it “Back to the ‘Burbs: Welding for Giggles at TechShop Portland”.
I don’t have to name them, but how else can I inject pizazz into a simple event announcement?
Anyway, we’re heading back to Beaverton for an off-cycle Lunch 2.0 on April 22 March 25 at the recently opened TechShop Portland. There’s no official schedule really, but as you know, we usually do this once a month. After the OTBC Lunch 2.0 in January, Denney Cole, of the TechShop, wanted to get on the calendar as soon as possible to get people excited about the TechShop.
Maybe you remember the excursion he and Wm Leler organized during the OTBC lunch, or maybe you were too busy chatting up new people.
Well, if you missed it, Denney’s opening the doors to show everyone all the cool stuff he has in there.
Sorry, I made an assumption there, i.e. you also think large power tools and welding equipment are cool. I know I do. In fact, the phrase “welding for giggles” came up when I was trying to understand what the TechShop does. Turns out they provide equipment, space and tools that members can use for all kinds of projects, even if you’re just welding pieces of rebar together and giggling to yourself.
Yesterday, Steve Morris and the OTBC hosted the tenth iteration of Portland Lunch 2.0 and the first one in the ‘burbs.
Even though we didn’t get an official count, estimates I collected put the attendance between 75 and 100. Pretty typical for Portland Lunch 2.0, but a pleasant surprise for our first venture to the ‘burbs. It was tough to count people because they filled up the OTBC office and its conference rooms and spilled into the lobby.
Todd and his party train brought about 30 people from Portland, and attendance from nearby the areas seemed high. I didn’t do a scientific poll or anything, but based on the number of new faces, I think it’s safe to say that we had a lot of first-timers. It was a nice mix of the usual suspects and new people. The reactions I saw on Twitter right after lunch included several good-to-meet-yous and the like.
The fare was pizza, but as with most Lunch 2.0s, I didn’t eat. Too busy chatting and networking. Simeon Bateman liked it enough to ping me to find out who provided it. Bellagios if you’re wondering, and a couple of the OTBC’s companies provided it: Integra Telecom and Sonitrol.
A little nugget here: Sonitrol provides security systems and captures audio of intruders; Todd and I agreed that audio would be really funny to hear, like a YouTube for botched breakins. Turns out they do publish some of the audio clips, and they’re as funny as expected. I found this out while chatting with Chuck Mally and Pamela Singleton from Sonitrol.
This Lunch 2.0 also featured a field trip over to Denney Cole’s Portland TechShop. What is TechShop you ask?
That’s right, it’s a DIY workshop, complete with tools and machines you just don’t have room for or don’t want to buy. I had to miss the field trip, which bummed me out because several of us agreed that welding stuff and then cutting it apart with an acetylene torch for giggles sounded like a blast. Denney agreed this was the type of activity he wanted to encourage. He might even name a class “Welding for Giggles”. Sweet.
Wm Leler will soon be opening an Open Tech Space there soon, which will be free to anyone, the ostensible reason for the field trip. Sounds like about 20 people made the trip, but I’m still focused on the heavy machinery.
Photo by Wm Leler, used with permission.
So, it was a great lunch all around, and judging by the number of new Twitter follows and good-to-meet-yous, we managed to make some new connections.
It’s been a while, so I’m sure your appetite for good grub and conversation has been whetted.
In case you’ve forgotten, we’re off to the OTBC in the ‘burbs (Beaverton) for the first Portland Lunch 2.0 hosted outside city limits. I saw Steve Morris at End Bloglessness this past weekend; he’s looking forward to showing off the new digs the OTBC recently inhabited in the swanky Beaverton Round.
If you’re sitting in Portland, lamenting the trip West, never fear; turns out the OTBC’s office is only about 100 feet from the MAX Blue Line Beaverton Central stop. And, Todd has graciously organized a Party Train to Lunch 2.0. So, you’re going to need a better excuse than usual to avoid going West.
But wait, there’s more. Wm Leler wants to take advantage to show off his new Open TechShop, and he’ll be organizing a side trip during the lunch for anyone interested. So much good stuff.
Update: A blurb from Wm himself:
Many people have heard about TechShop Portland opening up soon, and since it is close to OTBC we are arranging a tour of TechShop and OpenTechSpace after Lunch 2.0, so people can see how it is coming along and find out how they can help. If you are going to take MAX out to OTBC, we will be carpooling to TechShop and will return you to OTBC. Lots of progress is being made — TechShop had their first class last week, and OpenTechSpace has workbenches and is starting to acquire equipment and tools. TechShop has a new blog at http://portlandtechshop.com and OpenTechSpace is at http://opentechspace.org
Convinced yet? Just be sure to head over to Upcoming to RSVP and make sure to include a comment if you’re vegan/vegetarian. This will ensure Steve has enough of the right kinds of food for you.
Hope to see your smiling face there.
In other PDX Lunch 2.0 news, thanks to Aaron Hockley, our semi-official photographer, for the plug at WorkCamp Las Vegas this past weekend. Aaron was one of three Portlanders who were invited to speak (along with Geoff Kleinman and Lorelle VanFossen), and you can watch his session “Beyond Beer and Blog” here.
Also, AboutUs, our host for the very first PDX Lunch 2.0 last year, will be hosting our one year anniversary lunch in February. They have lots to celebrate, having just closed a round of venture funding last week.
Upcoming Portland Lunch 2.0s
January 14 in the ‘burbs at the new OTBC offices in the Beaverton Round
Big thanks to all the hosts who have hosted or plan to host Lunch 2.0. I hope we can keep the Lunch 2.0 train rolling this year. Drop a comment (or tweet @jkuramot) if you want information about hosting one. It’s easy.
Beaverton-based Prolifiq may be one of the most successful companies in the Silicon Forest of which you’ve never heard.
And I have to admit that part of that is entirely my fault. I had the pleasure of speaking with the folks over at Prolifiq quite a while ago, and I have a half-composed post about what they’re doing. But it never seemed to make it out of drafts.
Well, I’m happy to say that Prolifiq has some big news, today, that forces my hand. And it involves another company that you may know. One with one of those “acronym names,” IBM.
So what does Prolifiq do? They actually help sales teams and marketing teams work together. That bears repeating: they have come up with a solution that actually helps sales teams and marketing teams work together. And if this doesn’t sound like boiling-the-Willamette-River magic to you, you’ve obviously managed to dodge one of those roles in your professional life.
Prolifiq’s solution is the love child of customer relationship management (CRM) and content management (CMS) with some collaboration and social recommendation features, as well. In short, Prolifiq helps marketing types arm sales teams with immediate access to the information their potential customers need. And it allows them to crate it up and send it to anyone, lickety split. From a mobile device. Or from the desktop.
CEO Jeff Gaus calls it “the digital equivalent of a FedEx envelope.” I’d agree. Only it’s faster. And you don’t have to deal with the goofy guy in the purple shorts.
So where does Big Blue come in? IBM recently launched Bluehouse, which is basically Lotus Notes “up in the cloud,” as the cool kids like to say.
To hear IBM tell it:
“Bluehouse” is the place where businesses come to get work done. Whether you need to prepare for tomorrow’s meeting, are ready to host one today or want to collect feedback from yesterday’s call – “Bluehouse” can help.
So where does Prolifiq fit into the mix?
“’Bluehouse’ integrates key tools that enable teams to work more effectively,” said Sean Poulley, IBM Vice President of Online Collaboration Services. “Prolifiq for ‘Bluehouse’ provides sales organizations with the content they need at their fingertips that is branded, formatted and ready for use. Sales teams that use Prolifiq for ‘Bluehouse’ will have more time to do what they do best—close deals.”
Something tells me that a lot of other folks are going to be telling people about Prolifiq, now. Especially given the stage on which they find themselves, today.
But I still need to finish that draft.
Prolifiq revolutionizes personal email between sellers and their customers or prospects. The company’s smart email solution enables sellers, such ad Cisco Systems, General Electric, and Getty Images to send personal email that projects the brand, uses content that works and measures 1:1 conversations with customers.
But wait, there’s more. The OTBC will also be partnering with the Beaverton Round Executive Suites to provide office space for startups on the third floor of the Coldwell Banker building, just two quick flights of stairs to and from the OTBC business offices on the first floor. There’s an elevator too, but since the OTBC provides services to CleanTech (as well as Tech, BioTech and OpenTech), I figured I should mention the stairs first.
What does all this have to do with Lunch 2.0? Glad you asked. On January 14, 2009, the OTBC will be opening its doors to host the first Portland Lunch 2.0 chapter in the suburbs.
Did I mention the Round is on the MAX Blue Line, specifically the Beaverton Central stop? Steve Morris of the OTBC says their office is 90 feet from the station. So, if you’re in Portland, it’s only about 20 minutes from downtown. Not too shabby. You won’t have to worry about parking, you’ll get to meet some new people in the ‘burbs, possibly some people you know from Twitter.
Maybe even the elusive Josh Bancroft will make an appearance, since we’re bringing Lunch 2.0 into his neck of the woods.
I asked around at the SplashCast Lunch 2.0, and everyone seemed very positive about cross-pollinating with the suburban tech/Twitter crowd.
So, come out to Beaverton and meet some new folks, and check out the OTBC. If you’re unfamiliar with them, they help Tech, Biotech, Cleantech and Opentech startups with a variety of valuable services. Here’s their about. Interested? Drop a comment or swing by Lunch 2.0 on January 14 and find out more.
Don’t forget these upcoming Portland Lunches 2.0:
October 15 at the Art Institute of Portland: This space is huge, plenty of room for everyone, so bring friends and colleagues.
Beaverton-based OTBC provides incubation services and entrepreneurship programs to help high-tech and biotech start-up ventures succeed. They can help you validate your market, develop your business plan, and help you understand what steps are required to get your company investor-ready.