If there’s one thing founders and startups know how to handle, it’s a fire drill. Last minute requests. Crazy deadlines. Random hail marys. It’s all in a day’s work. But stepping outside of that work to help out the community? That’s above and beyond. And yet more than 80 folks took the time do that yesterday in response to a call to action from Business for a Better Portland and PIE which was designed to address a severe case of underfunding activities directed at the Oregon startup community.
It’s always nice to see Portland companies featured in national media. Especially when it’s folks who you know have been hard at work, building amazing companies, with little to no media recognition for what they’ve been doing. Like Walker Tracker, which was just featured in Forbes as an example of the participants in the XXcelerate Fund.
As always, I’ll start this with the caveat that I promised Bill Lynch, cofounder of Jive, that I wouldn’t just write posts that celebrate funding for the sake of funding. Which is actually more work. (Thanks, Bill.) But in the long run, I’m hoping my bag-full-of-cats startup-history brain full of tangential facts and likely little known context can be helpful in providing a broader picture of why these funding events are important.
These days, it’s hard to believe there was a time when the Web wasn’t driven by community. But hasn’t always been like this. And in the early days of the Web, one site in particular—which happens to have Portland ties—stood out as a engaging, nontoxic, supportive community. A role it still plays even today. That site is MetaFilter. And they could use our help.
If you’re a startup that’s looking for some support, there are a couple of opportunities to apply for that sort of assistance. Cascade Angels is currently accepting applications for early stage startups seeking funding. And XXcelerate Fund is accepting applications for the next round of its XXcelerator program for women founded companies.
While still striving to hold true to my promise to Jive cofounder Bill Lynch—that I would stop using Silicon Florist as a platform to celebrate fundraising announcements—I feel obligated to take a little tangential liberty to share a developing theme I’m seeing… Because this isn’t a typical. Portland companies have announced more than $51 million in venture capital, this year. And it’s not even a month old.
One of the challenges of the Portland startup community has always been momentum. We sometimes have great—at times even fantastic—startup news, like an exit or a major announcement. But more often than not, that happens as a solitary instance. And then it’s some time before the next major announcement. So it’s rare to have a day like today where both Torch 3D and Vacasa have major news.
As much as I love to see activity in the Portland startup community, homegrown activity is my favorite. And when a company has relocated its headquarters to the Rose City to make it a hometown company…? Well, then their continued growth and success reflects well on the entire community. That’s why I’m really happy to share that Cozy continues to gain traction. Read More
At first blush—and without context—something like today’s news from Portland startup Reflect might seem like a standard run of the mill funding announcement. The stuff the Bay Area sees umpteen times a day. But within the context of what’s happening around here in Portland? I see any number of interesting facets to this announcement. Read More