Portland rarely sees things occur in rapid succession. Funding tends to be sporadic. Exits tend to be blips here and there. But that may be changing. Because it feels like we are starting to see a growing trend of well known Portland startup founders moving on to their next thing. The latest? Nat Parker is leaving moovel, a journey which started with his startup GlobeSherpa.
I’m always encouraging founders to celebrate small wins. And to take pride in the progress they’re making. So for once, I’m going to follow my own advice and take a moment to celebrate. PIE, the startup accelerator that I helped cofound and continue to run as general manager, is turning 10 years old in August. So let’s celebrate.
In my experience, Portland founders are pretty good at giving back. Through volunteer work. Or donations. Or participating in organizations like Business for a Better Portland. But like so many things Portland, the measurement of that participation is largely anecdotal. That’s why it’s nice to see a survey working to capture more details and metrics on this behavior.
We’ve all heard — and perhaps even subscribed to — the mythology about starting a company. You come up with an idea. Someone recognizes your genius. They give you a bunch of money to build it. And then, before you know it, you’re wealthy beyond your wildest dreams.
I know, I know. You’re still trying to get back into the groove after having a weird Thanksgiving in the summer sort of vacation vibe. I get it. But best to hit the ground running because there are two deadlines approaching this week that you won’t want to miss.
Despite the prevailing startup mythology, the actual truth is that being a founder can be draining, depressing, debilitating, and lonely. Not exactly the “be your own boss” halcyon existence perpetuated in the media. To exacerbate things, many early stage founders choose to go it alone. Rather than seeking out the help they need. But when they do realize they need help? One of the folks many people seek out is Jerry Colonna. And as luck would have it, he’ll be in Portland on May 13, 2019.
I don’t think I’m grasping for an analogy when I say that starting a company is like gambling. It is. It’s all about the timing. And the folks who are attracted to that sort of thing? They tend to like taking the risks. So it’s no surprise that a lot of those risk takers are attracted to Startup Poker 2.0.
While admittedly there are any number of resources that share the stories of entrepreneurs, the voice of those stories is decidedly homogenous. So when I get the chance to share a story that’s not part of the homogeneity — or when I get the chance to use the word “homogeneity” in a post — I’m going to do it. Like the story of Sylvia Salazar, the Latina founder of TonoLatino.