I love startup folks. They’re creative. And resilient. And optimistic. And when one path doesn’t pay off, they’ll quickly start right down another one. So it should come as no surprise that two Portland founders—both representing notoriously under funded demographics among the ranks of venture capital funded startups—would look for an opportunity to fund their companies in new way. Meet Fund a Founder.
Way back when… as a previous generation of the Portland startup community was starting to come together, Raven Zachary launched something called “Portland on Fire.” It was a project that played a critical role in helping introduce members of our community to one another — and provided a starting point for deeper personal connections among various folks Portland. He called the process “slow social networking.”
Used to be that Portland had a regular cadence around Startup Weekend. And while that cadence seems to have slowed, we still have our fair share of amazing opportunities for would-be founders to engage with a host of mentors in an effort to test their startup concepts. In fact, there’s exactly that opportunity this weekend with Portland Startup Weekend Latino.
As motivations for startups and more sustainable business models continue to evolve, there are an equal number of organizations rethinking the support structures for those founders and their businesses. One of those organizations has been working on the problem for half a decade. And they’ll be in Portland tonight. Meet Happy Startup School Portland.
Not so long ago, banks were a viable means of financing business. But as the terms of that financing became more inaccessible and onerous, we saw new models arise. One of those models was venture capital. Now—thanks in part to efforts like the Zebra movement—the VC model is beginning to show its own imperfections, inadequacies, and inaccessibility. So it only makes sense that folks would start thinking about new models for financing. One of those folks is Portland’s Luke Kanies, founder and former CEO of Puppet.
If there’s one thing that modern day startup existence continues to hammer home for founders, it’s this: talk to customers. Potential customers. Current customers. Past customers. They’re all treasure troves of what’s working and what’s not. But once you’ve heard their feedback, what then? Well, that’s what an upcoming ProductStack PDX gathering is hoping to illuminate.
I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately about broadening the spectrum of Silicon Florist coverage. To cover more than just tech. Because there is all kinds of interesting stuff going on around here. And some recent news seemed like the perfect excuse to start doing that. You see, Portland Seed Fund and Starve Ups alum Sightbox has been acquired by Johnson & Johnson.
It’s pretty common practice to have folks from the north and south visit Oregon. And in recent years, it’s even become common for capital to flow into the state from investors in those neighboring states. But it’s still rare to see Oregon investors expand to other regions. But that’s exactly what Seven Peaks Ventures is doing.
We continue to see new companies starting up in Portland. New companies expanding into Portland. And some even choosing to relocate their headquarters here. But be they homegrown or imports, in the startup world, everyone still seems to be hiring. And even a few established corporations are getting in on the action.