If you know me, you know that I’m a firm believer that the accelerator model is far from played out. I see it as an educational platform that you can point at companies, people, institutions… practically anything can be “accelerated” through a combination of peer and expert mentorship. That’s why I was super excited to see that a venture studio — which has a lot in common with the accelerator model — that I’ve been eagerly awaiting is now open for business and taking startup applications. Meet the Oregon Enterprise Blockchain Venture Studio (OEBVS).
Taking inspiration from Stephen Green’s annual Black History Month celebration of black businesses in Portland, Built Oregon will be featuring women led consumer product companies from around the state during the month of March, Women’s History Month. If you’re interested in meeting some new companies and awesome founders, you should tune in.
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.
There was a time, not so long ago, when Portland was home to more hackathons than you could shake a keyboard at. Hackathons that brought disparate groups in our community together. And helped tighten bonds among members of the community. Hack hack hackity hack.
Lately, it seems there’s been an uptick in sizable funding rounds and private equity investments in the state. With 2018 being a record setting and landmark year, in that regard. But in order to get to those multimillion dollar rounds — or liquidity events — companies have to first get out of the gates. And if they’re seeking seed funding in Oregon, that doesn’t seem to be happening at a rate on par with other states. According to Crunchbase.
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.
If you’ve spent any time on this blog, you’ve no doubt heard me bemoan — or maybe even wax poetic — about the fact that it’s very rare for Portland or the region to have a a succession of exits or liquidity events. They generally happen as one offs. Or blips. But with recent activity for Cozy and Radar followed quickly by news of Mirador and Dakine, I’ll be darned if I’m not getting a wee bit optimistic about breaking that curse.
I knew it was happening, but I didn’t realize that it was coming together this quickly. So my sincere apologies for the tardy reminder. But better late than never. CyborgCamp — one of the defining events of the Portland startup community nearly a decade ago — is back. And it’s taking place November 3, 2018.