It’s been more than a week. I’m still processing. To be honest. It was the biggest PitchBlack I’d had the opportunity to attend. It had the most people pitching. It was sold out. And for all of the energy and love I’d felt at previous PitchBlacks, this one just seemed to be something special. I’m really really glad I got the chance to attend. But it’s taken me a while to take it all in.
This Wednesday marks the fifth installment of PitchBlack, an event created by Stephen Green to showcase Black Portland founders that has grown into a national happening. Wednesday’s event will be the biggest PitchBlack Portland ever, held at Wieden+Kennedy’s headquarters in the Pearl. By all accounts, this is a big deal — and probably a little stressful for participants. That’s why Stephen reached out to former PitchBlack presenters to get some last minute words of advice and a bit of a pep talk.
It’s not like you’re actively trying to procrastinate. It’s just that you’re a founder. And you’ve got a million things to do. And a bunch of fires burning. So I’m not asking you to do anything at the moment. But I did want to remind you of four rapidly approaching deadlines for programs that could be beneficial for your startup.
After a blistering January of blogging, it’s gotten a little quiet around these parts. I apologize. But rest assured, it’s not you, Portland. It’s me. I’ve been heads down working with the PIE and PIE Shop startups on their PIE Demo Day 2019 pitches. And I’ve been working with my Startup Champions Network peers on the Startup Champions Summit. And, of course, working on Portland Startup Week 2019. All of which has made it super quiet around here. Mea culpa.
Wait what? You thought the TechfestNW PitchfestNW applications were due in 2018? Well, they were. But that was only the first group. There’s a second application period. And it ends this week. So if you’ve been procrastinating, you should probably get on completing that application.
Founders tend to be an optimistic bunch. But optimism can only get you so far. And if you’re looking to pursue venture capital as a means of financing your startup, that optimism is going to take some lumps as you pitch, refine, pitch, refine… Lather rinse repeat. So it’s always nice when that pitch feedback comes with some added perks. Like pizza and beer.
I remember when TechfestNW — then called the Portland Digital eXperience — barely had 75 people in the audience. Now they have 75 startups — and potentially more — attending the event to participate in PitchfestNW. And that’s not even the main event.
Now that you’re all rested up from the long weekend and maybe an overindulgence in tryptophan, it’s time to make that last sprint toward the end of the year. Much of which means preparing for next year. And events. And pitches. So now would be a good time to get that application for TechfestNW PitchfestNW 2019 submitted.