Tag: carolynn duncan

Portland Ten thinks bigger, plans expansion to become the United States 100 or Global 1000 or something

Let’s say you’re a startup that’s interested in helping other startups grow and prosper. You’ve had a successful run at the local level. But you’re still looking to continue to expand and improve your programs. What to do?

Well, you might consider expanding outside the Portland area. Increase your reach. And take your program nationwide. That’s exactly what the Portland Ten—a local “startup bootcamp”—is proposing to do. Read More

Checking in on Portland Ten and its drive to incubate 10 $1 million Portland startups by October 2010

The Portland Ten started in early 2009 with a very ambitious goal: Incubating 10 $1 million startups by 2010. Was that goal insurmountable or achievable?

We’ve all heard the criticism about early stage funding for Portland startups. But one of the most noticeable gaps—and less talked about problems—in our startup culture is the lack of mentors and expert guidance for young startups. We simply don’t seem to have enough veterans with enough successful exits… yet. But many people are actively working to resolve that issue.

One group that’s trying to fix that problem—and provide startups with the mentorship and structure they need—is the Portland Ten led by Carolynn Duncan. The Portland Ten started in early 2009 with a very ambitious goal: Incubating 10 $1 million startups by 2010. Was that goal insurmountable or achievable? Read More

OEN’s Angel Oregon 2010 and the state of startups and capital in Portland from Carolynn Duncan of Portland Ten

A quick download of the day’s events and outcomes, a taste for what the experience of being at Angel Oregon is like from a blend of perspectives, a status update on Portland’s startup scene

[Editor’s note: Thanks to Carolynn Duncan, Director, Portland Ten, for her assistance in covering OEN’s Angel Oregon, last week. Her recap and insights follow.]

This year, I was invited to attend OEN’s Angel Oregon, chaired by Angela Jackson, and the Oregon Entrepreneurs’ Network, and to write a guest article highlighting the experience. My hope is that you’ll get a quick download of the day’s events and outcomes, a taste for what the experience of being at OEN’s Angel Oregon is like from a blend of perspectives, a status update on Portland’s startup scene, and finally, that you consider attending and/or participating as an entrepreneur or investor at next year’s event. Read More

REMINDER: Find the cofounder of your dreams with OTBC startup speed dating

This Saturday the folks at the OTBC will be hosting another round of cofounder speed dating. Starting at 1:00 PM, the session is designed to help like minded startup types find one another in hopes of making their startup dreams a reality.

Are you looking for that special someone? Someone to help fill those lonely hours? Someone who complements your personality and skills? Someone who can help you get that startup from vision to reality?

Well, get ready to meet Mr. and/or Mrs. Right Entrepreneur, my friend. OTBC startup speed dating is back. Read More

Portland Ten: Incubating 10 $1 million startups by 2010

After spending the better part of the year researching the Portland startup community, Carolynn Duncan has come to the same conclusion as the many of us: Portland is one huge R&D shop. Which is great for innovation. But not always as good for revenue-generating business.

Carolynn writes:

  1. The pre-revenue, pre-funding entrepreneur community lacks a core understanding of the fundraising process, and perceives that there is a lack of seed capital.
  2. Local investors and funds appear to be few & far between, while investors outside the area fly between Seattle and San Francisco, without paying serious attention to what’s happening in PDX.
  3. Geeks prefer working on their own side projects independently, rather than joining a startup, or taking their technologies to a commercialized level.

In essence, the area as a whole interacts much like a national laboratory or research university, with results being that the entrepreneurial talent neglects to convert side projects into startups, and the geeks, while coalescing as a supportive & sociable community, tends to be underutilized/underemployed.

So how do we address that problem? Traditional venture capital models? No. How about something that better meshes with the existing startup culture? An incubator along the lines of Y Combinator.

Meet Portland Ten.

The goal? Incubate 10 Portland startups capable of generating at least $1 million in revenue per year—by August 2010.

Ten by ’10. Get it?

But Carolynn doesn’t see this as a problem at which one can just throw capital. It requires something more educational. More focused on mentoring. Using the expertise she’s gained on the VC side of the desk and her co-advisors—Mark Grimes and Josh Friedman—have gained running (and in Mark’s case, selling) their own startups.

It’s an intensive bootcamp, but there isn’t any money going to the startups. With Portland Ten, the startups are paying:

[We’re looking for] an entrepreneur right on the cusp of starting a high-growth business. A teachable entrepreneur who will commit to the required activities, and the optional activities when possible.

An entrepreneur who will consider themselves the first investor in the project and raise the funds to pay the $500/month program tuition.

Interested in applying to participate? Portland Ten is currently accepting applications for its first 12-week session, beginning February 23.

If you’ve got a side project that you’re convinced will be a viable business, it’s time to grab those bootstraps, my friend—and check out Portland Ten.

[UPDATE 2/12/2009] This post elicited some great comments and it sparked an interesting discussion on Y Combinator’s Hacker News. As a result, Carolynn has taken the opportunity to address 14 of the questions/critiques about Portland Ten.

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