I’m lucky that I get the opportunity to sit at the nexus of passionate founders building early stage companies and the community of mentors who wants to support and bolster those founders as they strive to build the next great Portland company. While we all recognize that building a startup is ridiculously difficult, sometimes we forget that founders are suffering from any number of stressors and pressures, despite the stiff upper lip they project.
I’m a huge fan of Brad Feld’s Startup Communities. (Well worth the read or listen, if you haven’t already. I reread it every year.) And with it, the concept of “leaders and feeders.” That’s the idea that there should be folks who lead the startup community — entrepreneurs — and those that feed the startup community — like government — but don’t attempt to lead. Most startup communities I visit have plenty potential leaders but a dearth of potential feeders. That’s why seeing a reboot of legislation like the bipartisan Startup Act (which, in itself, was a reboot of a previous effort) is heartening. But it’s only a small step forward.
In the startup world, there are some prevailing assumptions about venture capital and building companies. But just because those assumptions are prevailing doesn’t mean they’re correct. That’s why I always like resources that help demystify the world of venture capital and its impact on companies. Like Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson.
While Portland is still relatively immature as a startup community, we’re making strides in the right direction. And we’re beginning to track on the “Boulder Thesis,” a concept championed by Brad Feld—cofounder of TechStars and Foundry Group, an investor in Portland companies Urban Airship and Cloudability—in his book Startup Communities. Read More
If there’s one startup town of which I’m consistently envious its… no not that one. It’s Boulder, Colorado. They’ve really done an amazing job of forming a community that supports and embraces the startup culture. Across the board.
So it seemed like the perfect time to remind you that Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson of Foundry Group will be chatting with folks tonight about their book, Venture Deals, over at Urban Airship. Read More
Running a startup is difficult. You know that. But did you know that one of the most difficult things about running a startup has absolutely nothing to do with your product or managing your team or figuring out your market?
It’s true. The hardest part of running a startup for first time entrepreneurs? Wading through the craptastic and nebulous legalese of contracts and term sheets. It ain’t pretty. That’s why Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson of Foundry Group took the opportunity to make it easier—and to make you smarter. Read More
Sometimes, it pays to look outside Portland and the Silicon Forest. To poke up our collective heads, take a gander, and assess what’s going on elsewhere. Even if that brief assessment only returns us to the position of navel gazing about what Portland could and should be doing.
Such is the case with a recent post from Greg Huang at Xconomy, “A Tale of Three Cities: How Boston, Boulder, and Seattle Measure Up as Tech Innovation Hubs.” Read More
While I love the Portland startup scene, it’s always nice to venture out to some other towns every now and again. Especially towns that are similar to Portland. With interesting startups and strong communities. To see what they’re doing and—hopefully—to borrow some other ideas about what we could be doing around here.