One of my concerns about the Portland startup community is that it often takes a significant amount of time for companies to find their way to an exit. And for venture funded companies, it’s all about the exit. So it was a pleasant surprise to see two Portland companies involved in an acquisition—especially when one of those companies was still on the earlier stages of growth. Puppet has acquired Reflect.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: It’s lonely being a founder—or even the cofounder—of a startup. That’s why I’m always happy to see events and programs that bring founders together. So just imagine how psyched I am when a founder focused event collaborates with a founder focused program. Founder founder founder. Well, and coffee.
Sometimes, I think that I miss podcasting. But then I listen to myself on a podcast. And then I realize… Yeah. Probably best left to others. Others who are more well spoken and entertaining. Oh. And interesting. Don’t forget interesting. Nonetheless, I may have said one or two compelling things. Either thanks to the talent of the interviewers or because, you know, even the broken clock is right twice a day.
In a world where marketing and advertising continues to up the level of creepiness on a regular basis (Thanks, Cambridge Analytica!), it’s refreshing to see a company that’s willing to stem the tide of distrust. And it’s even more awesome when it’s a Portland startup. That’s why it was great to see Lytics pushing for an industry standard around trust based marketing.
Way back when, I started Silicon Florist as an attempt to raise the visibility of a bunch of amazing activity I was seeing Portland tech startup community. Then, I helped start PIE—and continue to run it—because I felt that we needed to do more than talk about the community, we needed to help it grow through mentorship and connections. My motivations to help start Built Oregon came from similar desire to help the consumer product industries in Oregon. And now, I’m bullish on a new effort designed to enhance collaboration and innovation across all of those industries—and more—in Portland. Meet the Portland IQ.
One of the things I love about Portland is that it’s a large enough metropolitan area to be statistically relevant, but it’s not so big that you can’t move the needle. One such opportunity to effect change in our city focuses on providing better support for our women entrepreneurs. And one of the most promising efforts to address this opportunity is the XXcelerate Fund, which receives funding from the city through Prosper Portland.
Remember when I said it was feeling a bit like a Portland startup accelerator renaissance? Well, today upped the ante. Because Portland had two new accelerator announcements. R/GA announced the first Portland version of their series of brand-powered accelerators—like ones they’ve done with LA Dodgers and Snap—and Uncorked Studios announced a startup accelerator in collaboration with Autodesk and PIE.
There was a time, not so long ago, when Portland had an embarrassment of riches on the startup incubator and accelerator front. But as the pendulum swung from early stage to growth stage—and as regional offices and bigger players promised increasingly attractive wages and benefits—the once crowded incubator and accelerator community thinned. But all of that may be changing in 2018.
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t missed Marshall Kirkpatrick. And I bet I’m not alone. When I first met him, he was writing for Techcrunch and then Read Write Web. But more importantly, he was part of the fabric that helped gather, inform, and celebrate a relatively nascent Portland startup community. But as that community grew, the opportunity to found his own startup had him focusing his energy in other ways. Now, he’s back with a glimmer of the Marshall of old, hosting a conversation with Andrew Keen at Powell’s.