Every year, the Portland Workforce Alliance gathers a variety of Portland companies together to provide thousands of Portland area students with exposure to the vast number of jobs and careers available in our community. As part of it, they hold a mock interview session to help kids get a better understanding of what employers are seeking. But in order to pull that off, they need volunteers to help with interviews.
As a startup, you have to make best use of your time — your most limited and valuable resource. And when you’re making products that require partners to make it into the hands of your customers, you’re even more strapped for time. Like consumer products. That needs often needs shelves or marketplaces to get in front of their consumers. That’s why companies like Parsnip are super interesting.
You may have heard of a little company called WeWork. (Actually, the company is called We Company, now, but bear with me…) They’ve got a few spaces where folks can, you know, work. They even have a few of those spaces here in Portland. But what you may not know is that they’ve recently launched an accelerator program for startups called WeWork Labs. And we’re getting one of those here, too.
A lot of my focus tends to fall on companies that call Portland home. But that doesn’t mean that’s the only spot in the region with amazing startups. Beaverton, Vancouver, Bend, Eugene, Corvallis… they’re all over the state. And I need to do a better job of highlighting that. So let’s start with Beaverton startup Bigleaf, who just so happens to be holding an open house, this week.
[Editor: If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. Not every startup event has to happen in the evening. Folks have families. And lives. That’s one of the reasons I’m rebooting Portland Lunch 2.0. And that’s why I’m glad that we have event organizers like Josh Carter who organizes Coffee w/ Co-Founders, a caffeine fueled morning happy hour for founders. This is a guest post from Josh.]
Founders tend to be an optimistic bunch. But optimism can only get you so far. And if you’re looking to pursue venture capital as a means of financing your startup, that optimism is going to take some lumps as you pitch, refine, pitch, refine… Lather rinse repeat. So it’s always nice when that pitch feedback comes with some added perks. Like pizza and beer.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. But I keep saying it because I believe it. You can learn far more from stories of failure than you can from stories of success. And nowhere is that more true than the wonderful world of startups. That’s why I’m really happy to hear that FailPDX is back with a new rendition of Fail Talks.
In my opinion, one of the most promising threads in the Portland startup community as of late has been the whole conversation about financing startups. Because not every startup is right for an equity based investment from venture capital. And even if they are, VC brings with it some pressures that can be less than positive for many companies and founders.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. The “P” in PDX stands for “procrastination.” And as I’m as guilty as any for that sort of behavior, I always like to give folks a few last minute nudges to get stuff done. Like applying to be part of the SXSW Pitch competition.
Blockchain. The way the term gets bandied about is eerily reminiscent of the dotcom days. But, like the Internet and the Web, there could be any number of interesting uses of the Blockchain that have significant impact. We just haven’t hit upon them yet. That’s why I’m always excited to see folks continuing the conversation. Like the Outside the Block conference.