One of the things I love most about the Portland startup community is how collaborative, supportive, and engaged the entire community is. Rather than a single person or group carrying the load, it’s all of us. But not every community has the same dynamic. Sometimes it’s an individual or handful of folks who shoulder the bulk of the effort. But no matter what the dynamic, a bunch of folks from other startup communities are visiting us in Portland, this week.
If you’ve spent any time mucking around in startup ecosystems, you’ve no doubt come across the concept of an “innovation district.” The idea, briefly, is to artificially create a dense core of people, institutions, and companies that fosters innovation. Sort of like Portland’s urban growth boundary. But for innovation.
The past couple of years, I’ve been lucky enough to get invited to the Kauffman Foundation’s ESHIP Summit. A chance to gather and learn from folks who help entrepreneurs, participate in economic development, and generally try to make the whole world of startups more accessible to both founders and the mentors that they need.
For all of the hype around tech and tech startups, we seem to be sorely lacking in events that celebrate all of the amazing consumer products that call Oregon home. That was the motivation behind last year’s Built Up Festival. And it seems to have gone pretty well. So well, in fact, that it’s happening again, September 28-October 5, 2018.
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.