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.
Never underestimate the value of peer support and connections. It’s one of the things that makes services like Switchboard so compelling. And now they’re using that same power of connectivity to help innovative folks get more connected to their peers—in the real world. Introducing the Switchboard Higher Education Innovation Fellowship, a structured year-long program with both real world and virtual collaboration.
Look. I get it. You’re busy. Doing startups is hard. And time consuming and stressful. But no matter how awesome your product is it won’t go anywhere if no one knows about it. So you’ve got to take time to put yourself out there. And get on stage from time to time. And here’s a great opportunity: the 1776 Challenge Cup Portland.
While slaughtering the English language is among my chief hobbies, I’m busy most days running PIE, an ongoing experiment to figure out how startups and established corporations and organization can collaborate for mutual benefit. Over the past eight years, it’s been a coworking space, an early stage startup accelerator, and a consultancy that has helped other accelerator programs.