If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Oregon culture, it’s that we’re often driven by curiosity. We like shiny objects. We’re early adopters. And we’re often inspired by folks pushing the envelope. That’s what makes InventOR such a great event for us.
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.
Fundraising is hard. I think that’s something on which all of us can agree. Constructing grammatically correct sentences even if they seem awkward? No. Oxford commas? Probably not. But agreeing that fundraising is a grind? Yes. Definitely. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a company looking for a loan, a startup chasing venture capital, a VC chasing LPs… even an employee looking to get their budget approved. It’s all difficult.
Working on a Blockchain startup? Curious as to how the Oregon Enterprise Blockchain Venture Studio is going to work? Wondering if your company is a good fit? Well, you can get all of those questions and more answered this week. Because R/GA is hosting an information session on the Oregon Enterprise Blockchain Venture Studio.
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.