In order to sustain a vibrant startup investor ecosystem, funds need to start, find success, and raise more funds. And should that success cause them to grow beyond their previous stage focus, then new funds need to start to backfill the gaps. So as many of the early stage funds in the Pacific Northwest achieve success and move downstream to Seed and Series A investments, it’s nice to see new funds stepping up to take the opportunity to support pre-Seed startups. Like the new Startup Haven Venture Fund.Read More
[Editor’s note: The following is a guest post from Duane Benson of Screaming Circuits.]
Oregon has a long history with electronics hardware design, going back to the early days of Tektronix and Intel. Those two technology pioneers begat hardware startup companies like Radisys, InFocus, Planar, and a host of others. But over the last two decades, the local tech startup scene has been much more about the Internet and software than it has been about chips and solder.
For some, the picture being painted of the Rose City startup and tech scene is a just a little too Utopian. They purport that maybe, just maybe, the Northwest startup scene isn’t so much a world of rainbows and unicorns. And they would like to see some more objective assessment and criticism of what’s happening.
It’s a bit of momentous occasion as #140confNW—our own flavor of this well known conference—sweeps into town. And it’s only made more interesting by the fact that they’re focusing on the public sector’s use of social media—especially in times of crisis. But phooey. All of this groundbreaking stuff and you’re stuck there at your desk, missing it. Or are you? Read More
Ah, fall in Portland. Time for the leaves to change, the nights to get a little more chilly, and the startups to pitch potential investors for the capital that will help those entrepreneurs make it through the dark and rainy months.
And there’s no better place to pitch a room full of potential shareholders than Venture Northwest, the annual gathering of institutional investors, investment bankers, and some of the most promising startups in the Pacific Northwest. Read More
There’s a great deal of Chicken Little reporting occurring today about how the Web 2.0 sky is falling. Why? Because apparently, according the Dow Jones, the investments in Web 2.0 technology in the Silicon Valley are down, year over year.
Silicon Valley remains the hotbed of Web 2.0 activity, but the hipness of start-ups with goofy names is starting to cool in the face of economic reality.
Not shocking news, I realize. But I think they buried the lead.
Even the venerable Wall Street Journal puts the news in the very last sentence of their piece:
“It’s clear that the real growth in the Web 2.0 sector is happening outside of the (San Francisco) Bay Area,” says Jessica Canning, director of global research for Dow Jones VentureSource.
And there’s the real story. That’s the real news. Not that the investments in the Valley are down, but rather, that the investments elsewhere are up. In some cases, way up.
In our own Pacific Northwest, for example, the number of Web 2.0 oriented deals more than doubled. And the amount of the investment? It’s up 400% from $35 million in 2006 to $140 million in 2007.
That’s about as opposite of “waning” as I can come up with.
And we’re not alone.
Investment amounts in New England doubled, Southern California nearly tripled, New York metro nearly tripled, Southeast doubled, Mountain more than quadrupled, and North Carolina, alone, tripled.
In fact, the only area besides the Valley that went down was Texas.
So has Web 2.0 peaked? I honestly don’t know.
From what I’ve seen, it’s going pretty strong here in the Silicon Forest. And it’s clearly picking up speed in other sectors.
Maybe the better question is: Has Silicon Valley peaked?