Tag: Portland

Vidoop Troop #1: Portland by way of Tulsa

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that originally-Tulsa-based Vidoop is now well on its way to becoming Portland-based Vidoop. If not, let me tell you this little secret: Vidoop is moving its headquarters to Portland.

Now, Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a far cry from Portland, Oregon, on any number of fronts. Therefore, a little friendly immersion is both recommended and necessary for this burgeoning crop of soon-to-be Portvangelists.

So, Scott Kveton, the original Portvangelist, has arranged to bring members of the Vidoop team up here in waves, introducing them to Portland and the whole Portland tech scene. There are a group of them in town as we speak. And they’ll be in attendance at the Vidoop sponsored Beer & Blog, this Friday.

Hold that thought. And let’s talk about Twitter for a second.

Like many of you, I’ve been known to use Twitter from time to time. And, one of the things I’ve always appreciated most about Twitter is that I gradually get to gain some sort of insight into a person’s life before I run into them in person.

In essence, I get to meet them before I meet them.

Now, I’m excited to meet all the new talent that Vidoop is bringing into Portland. And I’m following as many of the Vidoop folks on Twitter as I can. But we’re a little short on time. So my little “getting to know you” Twitter trick won’t work.

Long story short, I’m feeling a bit behind.

And, here’s where you come in. Disguising my “self interest” as “community interest,” I asked the Vidoop troop if they would be up for answering a few questions. So I we could meet them—as it were—before meeting them.

Being good sports, a number of them obliged. (I like them already!)

And now, I present those folks to you, to meet them before you meet them. Breaking the ice, as it were.

Koesmanto Bong, Web Developer

What? I am one of the web developers at Vidoop who is in charge of the development of myVidoop. I also work on maintaining vidoop.com, confidenttechnologies.com, and blog.vidoop.com

How? I was born in Indonesia in 1982. Came to the US in 2000 and graduated with a degree in MIS in 2004. I worked for a non-profit organization for 2 years before joining Vidoop in June 2006. I have a huge crush on photography and soccer. My dad is a photographer so it runs in the family. My favorite soccer team is Manchester United. I am glad to be a part of Vidoop and what it believes in as far as the way things should go in the identity space, and definitely look forward to seeing where things are going in the near future.

Links? SoccerNet, Digg, Koesbong on Twitter

Questions about Portland?

  • Is there any local friendly pick up soccer and volleyball games in Portland?
  • Where can I find authentic Chinese food in Portland?
  • Is bacon the official choice of food of the city?

Joel Curran, Researcher – Business Development

What? My day is filled with reading tech blogs and different news sources to find info on competitors, potential partners/clients and what’s happening out in the tech community. I also do some market research and help provide information and statistics to contribute to our marketing department.

How? I graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.A. in Public Relations in 2007. At OSU I helped manage a student-run advertising agency, worked on some non-profit PR campaigns, and worked for the athletic department/football team. I have been working at Vidoop since January. Some things that make my day are: listening to Ray Lamontagne, any sport (but college basketball is number one), Chuck Palahniuk books, meeting new people, being outdoors, a little rain, some time at the gym, an episode or two of The Office, and a good dinner and night out with friends.

Links of interest? The Office Quotes, ESPN, and Go Pokes.

Questions about Portland?

  • Where can I find some info on some sports leagues?
  • Who are some of the top local bands?
  • What is the one place you would say is a “must-go” for my trip to Portland this weekend?
  • And most importantly, what is the best place for some Mexican food?

Jason Grlicky, Web Developer

What? Web work of all sorts. Mostly keeping up with myVidoop.com and working with the plugin team. I am frequently seen grazing in areas populated by CSS & JavaScript and have been known to create little icons at the slightest provocation.

How? Raised in Oklahoma, I graduated from the University of Tulsa in ’07 with computer science and psych degrees. I joined Vidoop as an intern last August and became full-time as soon as I could. I take great joy in good design and am obsessed with games (video or otherwise) and music.

Links? Maxheadwound on MyVidoop, Maxheadwound on Twitter, Jason Grlicky

Questions about Portland?

  • Where is the best local place to get music gear?
  • What are your favorite venues?
  • Who wants to get together and play some board games?

Robert Nelson aka Rob, Business Development aka BizDev; specifically: Prospector (I like saying aka)

What? I am part of the Business Development Team, working specifically for Confident Technologies which focuses solely on bringing stronger authentication to enterprise. I support my BizDev brothers by finding new leads and building relationships with contacts/companies that we want to partner with to provide the web with stronger authentication.

How? I have a problem (or so my boss say’s, “whatever Mitch, you shut your mouth”) I tend to speak, then realize that I immediately regret what I just said, there is supposedly this thing called a “filter” that most people have and apparently I don’t have it. I am very active, if it is day light I want to be outside, I enjoy combat sports, watching and training, I train Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai kick boxing along with some wrestling and boxing as well. I like to cheat the system (for the record there is no sign that says you have to leave the theater once your movie is over, so the way I see it I am just smarter than everyone else 🙂 ..I am known to go to a movie and then whenever my movie is over sneak into another movie, then another, then another, then another, my record is 6 movies in one day, 5 soda’s 3 popcorns, 2 pickles, and of course a butterfinger…and waaaay too many bathroom breaks. One of my favorite things to do though is simple, get together with quality people and eat some quality food, in that order. I think I am addicted to sushi, our CEO said I am going to wake up one day with gills, I’m still waiting…

Links? T-Rex Vehicles, UFC, and the obligatory ConfIdent Technologies, Vidoop, and Silicon Florist

Questions about Portland?

  • Where should I live?
  • Where are some great places close to down/mid town to hike?
  • Sushi?
  • Live music?
  • Places to train MMA (jiu jitsu and kickboxing)?

Joel D. Siedenburg, Account Manager

What? Siedenburg’s core role is business development and strategic partnership procurement as well as account relations and management.

How? Born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, moved to Tulsa for college in 2000, and did commercial real estate (retail investment sales) with CB Richard Ellis. Later turned down doing an amplified level of this in London or Madrid to join Vidoop in Nov of 2006. Have never looked back!

Links? Elpais.es, elmundo.es, Lowes.com (joke, I’ve been renovating a 1928 house), Wes Anderson, Audi

Questions about Portland?

  • Looking for a good gym…?
  • Where are some close fly-fishing spots?
  • And definitely need to start looking more into housing… recommendations?

Benjamin Stover, Software Developer

What? Member of the plugin team. I currently maintain the Firefox plugin code.

How? Born in Texas, raised in Oklahoma. I’m 23 and have been working for Vidoop for about a year. My interests include video game programming, Javascript, jogging, two-stepping, beer (favorite: Pilsner Urquell) and math (or what I can remember of it). My current project is losing weight. 🙂 Lately I spend too much time reading blogs and thinking about work. I’m gay and have a wonderful boyfriend who is a
school teacher, and we volunteer together at Oklahomans for Equality.

Links? Not very interesting, I assure you 🙂 My webpage is stechz.com, but there’s nothing there right now. My twitter URL is http://twitter.com/stechz.

Questions about Portland?

  • What kind of bike should I buy? A hybrid? Where’s the best place to buy one?
  • Is there a good capoeira group in Portland? Muay thai?
  • What are the geeky niches in Portland? e.g., retro video game hobbyists? Chiptunes scene?

So now that you’ve met them, where can you meet them? Beer and Blog, my friend. Beer and Blog. Sponsored—appropriately enough—by Vidoop and featuring Scott Kveton, Michael Richardson, and DiSo.

As always, I’m sure Mr. Kistner would appreciate an RSVP on Upcoming so he knows how many to expect.

Looking forward to seeing you and the Vidoop’rs there.

And if you want to get a jump start on answering some of the questions posited above, feel free to begin sharing your Portland expertise in the comments.

Why Portland? After trying LA, a native returns home to the northwest

[Editor: And the “Why Portland?” series—which began with Intrigo and continued with Tim Kadlec—continues with Heather N of Strands. What’s Strands? Well, if you’d like to find out, something tells me that “Portland” may also help you get into their private BETA. Now, on with the story…]

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and Los Angeles was the last place I imagined living.

But about a year after graduating college, I was working in Santa Monica at a new social network called TagWorld, focusing on online marketing, business development and project management. And, after becoming immersed in Los Angeles tech and social media, Portland seemed even further away.

But, as TagWorld evolved into Flux (Viacom as a minority investor), I became more aware of a growing tech scene in Portland and the temptation to return grew.

Eventually, I decided my relationship with LA was coming to an end, and Portland called. Soon enough, I found myself at Strands as the new Community Manager. Strands is headquartered in Corvallis, but I have been given the opportunity to work remotely and evangelize to the Portland community, which I am very excited about.

For the past four years, Strands has been working to develop social recommender systems that can be applied to numerous verticals. After a very active 2007 ($55M raised in VC funding; $12M in sales), 2008 is the year we will be presenting this technology to the world. We are applying our recommendation technologies to three areas: personal finance, social media, and business solutions.

Though I have only begun my journey into the tech sphere of Portland, I have already noticed an interesting dichotomy with that of Los Angeles.

LA is all about competition, competition, competition

I won’t go as far to say that the tech community in Los Angeles is as cut throat as their entertainment industry, but in some cases it’s a close second. With a new NDA being drawn up every minute, companies offering the world to a person to join them and leave their current position and enemy lines being drawn between social media companies, there is a definite switch in the overall feeling of community in LA.

Of course there are some amazing start-ups and tech companies that don’t employ as aggressive tactics, but they’re a bit harder to find in LA than here in Portland.

It’s only been a few weeks and I already feel happily welcomed into the Portland tech community. Not only do people from different companies and verticals work together, but also everyone I have met has been very willing to help in whatever capacity that may be. This makes me realize that the overall sense of the Portland tech industry is much like that of the people of this city.

Portland is free of over-saturation

To me Portland is the perfect size. Not only in terms of a city but also that of tech. I am shocked to see just how much is going on in tech and social media in this town, but doubt it will ever become too much.

In LA, I worked in a three-block radius of some of the biggest tech companies in the world and that was just in Santa Monica. Though you do run into a lot of the same people and I did make some amazing relationships, it was never possible to get a stronghold on the entire tech community.

In Portland it seems everyone is connected and the close-knit environment is not only inviting, but extremely helpful in my job objective for Strands.

Portland excels at “Keeping it Real”

Los Angeles is a city full of archetypal sorts that exist nowhere else—other than our minds. Though the tech world of LA is separate from this, these models of perfection that only LA possesses occasionally bleed over.

I don’t feel that the Portland is trying to be something its not. The unrealistic idealism that floats through Los Angeles has not made its way to Portland, and I love that.

Looking forward

As much as I am now at the point of critique, I would never trade a second of my time in Los Angeles. I became immersed in a world I never would have dreamed of being a part of and now can take the experience with me.

I am very ready to submerge myself in the Portland tech community and get people as interested and excited in Strands as I am.

Have you got a “Why Portland?” story to tell? I’d love to hear it. Feel free to drop me note at siliconflorist at gmail.

Portland Lunch 2.0 SP4: Code name “Wieden + Kennedy”

Update (June 10, 2008): The format for Portland Lunch 2.0 SP4 has been revised.

Details have just been released for Portland Lunch 2.0 SP4 and it’s going to be a little different than the “come one, come all” format that’s governed your attendance—or possible attendance—at the first three.

Hosted by Portland’s favorite advertising juggernaut—Wieden + Kennedy—on June 30, Portland Lunch 2.0 SP4 will come with a catch: It’s going to be a more exclusive gig, with a limited number of tickets available to those hoping to attend.

On Monday June 30th, 50-100 people are cordially invited to join 50-100 W+K employees for a “blind date meets grade school birthday party” ad/tech extravaganza. It’s going to be a fun, it’s going to be quirky, and it’s going to rock RockBand style (literally).

So how do you get behind the velvet rope? Don’t worry, gentle reader. We’ll make sure your name is on the list.

Well, if you show up on June 16, that is.

In order to get the most out of this event, we ask that you swing by the W+K lobby on June 16th (next Monday) between 6-9pm to pick up a ticket package. This package will contain information about your Lunch 2.0v4 “date”, directions/instructions, and a ticket to the event.

On June 16, I’ll hope to see you at the doors of the W+K home base in the Pearl, clamoring with the throngs hoping to get a ticket. And I swear, if you elbow me in the chops the way you did to get into the first Ignite Portland at W+K, I’m not going to be happy.

Interested in attending Portland Lunch 2.0 SP4? Well, you can RSVP on Upcoming. But as I’ve said, that’s not going to do you much good. It will, however, give you an idea of the competition against which you’ll be struggling for that coveted golden ticket to Portland Lunch 2.0 SP4.

Update: This format for Portland Lunch 2.0 has sparked some interesting discussion, starting with Aaron Hockley and continuing with Bram Pitoyo.

Ignite Portland 3: And the burning ideas are…

Ignite Portland 3Who could top the presentations of Ignite Portland and Ignite Portland 2?

Well, if anyone has a chance, it’s these fine folks who’ve been selected to present at Ignite Portland 3.

That’s right. The Ignite Portland 3 presentations have been announced.

Drum roll please. And the lucky 13 are (in order of appearance):

And, while the free “guaranteed entrance” tickets sold out in a little over 24 hours, there’s still room for you to attend Ignite Portland 3. Get there early and I’m sure you’ll get into the venue.

If you’re even considering attending, please take a second to RSVP for Ignite Portland 3 on Upcoming so the organizers have an accurate count of how many people they’ll have to turn away will be showing up.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

Why Portland? Tim Kadlec provides a view from outside the bubble

[Editor: Happy to be continuing the “Why Portland?” series…

I had the pleasure of meeting Tim Kadlec at SXSW 2008. Just one of those random connections that really made the whole event worthwhile. At SXSW, the Portland crowd took Tim under our collective wing and worked hard to woo him from the Midwest to the West coast. We’re still working on it, but it’s clear we’re having an effect.

And with that, here’s an outsider’s view on “Why Portland?”]

I was recently asked by Rick if I would like to write a guest post for Silicon Florist about why I “find Portland tech appealing.” I think that was his nice way of saying, “Why are you so obsessed with Portland tech?” Can you be a fanboi of a community? If so, then I guess I’m a bit of a Portland fanboi.

It all started innocently enough….

I’ve visited Oregon many times and always loved how beautiful a state it was. With the ocean nearby and gorgeous mountains a short drive away, Portland offers no shortage of beautiful scenery.

Then I started to look into what was going on in the Portland web community, liked the activity I was seeing, and my interest in the area started to slowly develop beyond sightseeing.

In March, I had the opportunity to attend SXSW in Austin, TX where I got the opportunity to meet and talk with Rick Turoczy, Toby Lucich, Dawn Foster, Scott Kveton, and a whole flood of Portlanders. After hearing each of them rave about Portland and the work that was being done by their peers there, I was hooked.

The tech community in Portland is a great example of what other communities should strive for. They are consistently innovative, develop quality solutions and genuinely get excited about seeing progress.

Portland’s web community is thriving. No doubt about it. With high-quality companies such as Vidoop, Jive, SplashCast, JanRain and so many more, you could easily imagine a situation where communication between developers is minimal….that’s an awful lot of competition in one area!

The exact opposite happens though…there is a surplus of support and communication taking place. There is no shortage of sites whose primary goal is to sing the praises of Portland. PDX Web Innovators, Portland Is Awesome, Portland on Fire, and of course, Silicon Florist, all try to bring attention to Portland and the wonderful quality of work being produced there.

I can honestly say that I haven’t seen another community where so many people are so excited about what they do and where they do it.

That general excitement is why I believe Portland’s tech community continues to grow. They say enthusiasm is contagious, and it looks like Portland is severely infected.

In the end, it’s this enthusiasm, excitement and sense of community that makes Portland so appealing to me. I believe when you surround yourself with people who have similar interests and are willing to share their experiences and knowledge, great things happen. Portland offers that environment and the ideas being developed there echo it.

Tim Kadlec is a web developer from Wisconsin who specializes in Javascript and CSS development. For more, check out Tim’s blog or follow tkadlec on Twitter. You are also highly encouraged to join the campaign to woo Kadlec to Portland.

Want some time with Forrester’s Charlene Li? Internet Strategy Forum, Jive give you two opp’s

Internet Strategy Forum Summit 2008When it comes to A-listers in social media, Charlene Li of Forrester Research is right up there. So I can totally understand why you’d jump at the chance to spend some time with her.

Well, the good news is that she’ll be coming to Portland. The better news is that you’ll get the chance to spend some time with her—in person and in hardback—but you have to act quickly.

Charlene is going to be speaking on “creating social strategies that work” at the Internet Strategy Forum Summit in Portland on July 17. (So that’s your in-person time.) And, now, Jive Software has offered a free copy of Charlene’s new book, Groundswell, (that’s your hardback time) to the first 250 people to register and attend the event. (You have to be there to get the book.)

Groundswell provides Charlene’s analysis of some of the top corporate uses of social media strategies within and without the “enterprise.”

And for that ever-popular “local flavor”? Groundswell also features Portland’s own Josh Bancroft and his social-media work at Intel.

Who knows? Maybe you could get Charlene and Josh to autograph it for you?

But wait, there’s more

So, you get time with Charlene Li and you get her book for free. What could be better?

How about a discount on your registration fee? Yes? Yes!

Silicon Florist readers are entitled to a 10% discount on their Internet Strategy Forum Summit registration. Simply enter the discount code FLORIST.

That’s a lot of good news for one post. But quite frankly, gentle reader, you deserve it.

The Internet Strategy Forum is a professional association and peer networking group for management with responsibility for driving Internet strategy and implementation from within medium to large client-side organizations across multiple industries. For more on the organization and the summit, visit the Internet Strategy Forum.

Greenlight Greater Portland: Startup delegation welcomes your input

Greenlight Greater Portland is one of the newest economic development organizations in the Silicon Forest, focusing on Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, region. All told, that covers seven different metropolitan regions.

Now, it’s not often that you get to see the development of a development organization. And, I was a bit concerned that the board governing the organization, currently, is composed of more old-school and big-businesses types than creative-class and small-business types.

So when I saw that Greenlight Greater Portland was having a launch party, featuring (ironically enough) Richard Florida, I thought “What better time to make sure that they’re aware of all the cool Web startups in Portland and what they need?”

And with that wild hair, I worked on putting together a little “startup delegation” to attend the Greenlight Greater Portland event being held June 4 at the Portland Art Museum.

Here are some of the local folks who have been gracious enough to attend and help represent the startup angle:

If you were there, what questions would you ask?

As always, I know that you, gentle reader, have some really good ideas, too. And while I wish we could all be there, there is only so much room.

So, I’d like to hear from you. What questions would you like this group to raise? What concerns should be highlighted? How would you like to see this development organization supporting startups?

Please feel free to use the comments below to raise issues and questions. Or feel free to contact any of the delegates above to bend his or her respective ear with your opinions.

I’ll provide a wrap-up post following the event to let you know how things went.

Getting your data in and out of the enterprise: Jive joins Data Portability Project

Jive SoftwareMuch has been said about you as a user being able to use your data more intelligently—making your data portable—among Web 2.0 properties and social networks. But what about all of that data you’re creating—and own—on the corporate side of the firewall? How do we make that type of data portable?

Well, Portland-based Jive Software may be well on the path to answering that question with today’s announcement that Jive has joined the Data Portability Project.

“The benefits of data portability are not confined to consumer social networks,” said Matt Tucker, CTO, Jive. “Corporate users maintain profiles behind the firewall as well as in external communities and third party platforms, and the ability to simply and securely migrate that information as necessary will be a boon to the IT organizations of tomorrow.”

I hear you. “Data port-uh-what?” Let’s step back.

What is Data Portability?

According to the Data Portability Project, “Data Portability is the option to use your personal data between trusted applications and vendors.”

Heretofore, those “applications and vendors” have dealt with data that resided in the public space with companies like Digg, Drupal, Facebook, Flickr (and by association Yahoo!), Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netvibes, Plaxo, Six Apart, Corvallis-based Strands, and Twitter.

Porting the data relies on standardized and publicly accessible means of transferring that data from service to service, which enables one service to “listen” to another service or “scrape” the data from an existing profile.

To accomplish this, a number of open standards, formats, microformats, and protocols have been established. These include APML, FOAF, hCard, OAuth, OpenID, OPML, RDF, RSS, SIOC, the XHTML Friends Network (XFN), XRI, and XDI.

Okay, I can feel your eyes rolling back in your head. Enough alphabet soup.

What’s the big deal about Jive, a corporate-side technology, joining a group of the cool kids on the social networking scene?

So what?

In my opinion, Jive’s decision to become the first corporate-side technology company to adopt this standard is momentous and game changing.

Why? Because it shakes the very foundation of what businesses think they own.

Today, most any of you on the corporate side of the firewall have signed some form of agreement. It could be a “noncompete” or simply a contract for employment. If you’re an exempt employee, it’s generally pretty strict in terms of what the company owns.

And generally, most companies will take the opportunity to cast a wide net over your work—claiming the company owns the intellectual property for anything you create while you’re employed by the company.

Anything.

That means your IM, your email, your time on Facebook, your tweets, your voice mail, your iTunes playlist… All corporate property.

Seems a bit at odds with the way things are going, doesn’t it?

And as more and more of the “Web 2.0-esque” technologies find their way behind the corporate firewall, it’s going to seem even more and more wrong.

Even today, we’re beginning to see glimmers of the data we’re generating in public beginning to mesh with the type of data we’re generating at work. (LinkedIn anyone?)

The burgeoning workforce who lives and breathes in this brave new world will expect that the data they create is data they own and can move. And this is at direct odds with what the old school corporation thinks that the business should own.

It’s not going to be a pretty battle. But with this announcement, Jive is taking a step in the right direction—siding with the future instead of the past.

So what will enterprise data portability entail?

Honestly, it’s going to take a little while to figure that out. But Jive has started the ball rolling.

Jive’s latest high-profile hire, Gia Lyons, a former IBMer, understands the depth of this undertaking:

Think about all the bits and pieces of your worklife, strewn about all those different systems: HR systems, skills databases, LDAP directories, employee whitepages, LinkedIn, etc. Wouldn’t it be great if you could manage all that personal data from a single spot? It can live where it lives – I would call it data transparency, though, not data portability. This can already be accomplished by using data mapping tools in market today, but it takes some serious customization muscles to pull off, not to mention many lunches and cocktails to woo the czars in charge of all of those internal systems so they play nice.

And Jive CMO Sam Lawrence has grand plans for where this enterprise data portability might have the chance to go:

In the meantime, we’re interested in working with the Data Portability group to help contribute to these standards as well as new ones as well. Hopefully, the organization is now at a point in its evolution to proceed with formal and elected leadership, a standards body, voting process and the rest of the stuff that makes organizations successful.

Again, a vast project with which to grapple, but one whose time has potentially come.

It will be interesting to see where this one goes, and to see watch Portland’s role blossom—as the de facto hub of open source and as a growing proponent of open standards—in this new way of thinking about who owns what.

In case you missed it: Portland Twitter types featured in The Oregonian

Twitter is Tweeter in The OregonianThe Portland Twitter contingent was abuzz over the weekend with news of, well, news. But, I realize that not everyone stays in tune with—or even participates in—the whole Twitter thing. So, in case you missed it, Portland Twitter types were featured in The Oregonian, last Sunday.

I’m happy to report that a number of Portland people were featured, and more Portland people continue to be featured thanks to a sidebar on the online article.

Here are some of the folks who were included:

Not enough Portlanders for you? Well, you can check out my previous round-up of Portland’s top tech Twitter types. Or you can always check in at Pulse of PDX and TwitterLocal Portland for more people to follow.

Photo credit Aaron Hockley. Used with permission.

Why Portland? Intrigo succumbs to serendipity

[Editor: For those folks outside the Silicon Forest who stumble upon this blog, I tend to get a bunch of questions about Portland: What makes Portland so special? Why do I keep hearing about Portland? Should I move there? Can I stay at your house?

It goes on and on.

But they’re all really asking the same thing: Why Portland?

So, I’m starting a new series of posts entitled—appropriately enough—“Why Portland?” In so doing, I hope to provide some different viewpoints what makes Portland, the Silicon Forest, and the whole startup scene around here so special.]

Intrigo succumbs to serendipity

IntrigoGo to practically any Legion of Tech event or a Beer and Blog or a Portland Lunch 2.0, and more likely than not, you’ll have the pleasure of meeting someone from Intrigo, a small Portland-based development shop focused on helping startups get their products and sites to market as quickly as possible.

And Intrigo isn’t just participating. They’re sponsoring. They’re pitching in to help. They’re part and parcel of the burgeoning Portland startup scene.

They must have been around here forever.

Not exactly.

In reality, the first footsteps that Tucson, Arizona, founded Intrigo set in Portland were last October.

“Four days of rain,” said Nathan Bell, who helps run Intrigo.

They were here as part of a search for a new home for Intrigo. But at that point, Portland wasn’t really even on the list.

“We were looking to get out of Tucson,” said Bell. “We had a list of places we were exploring: San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Boston, Boulder, and Austin. But a couple of us were interested in looking at Portland.”

And yet, lo and behold, here they are in good old Portland. What won them over?

“Portland is so dense compared to the other cities. So focused in a small area with a very tight community,” said Bell. “Even with the weather, that visit had us putting Portland near the top of the list. And after a few conversations with the team, that was that.”

So, Intrigo packed up its entire company and began to relocate to Portland. Because, in their opinion, Portland had things that Tucson lacked, among them a good technology sector and growing startup scene. Things that were important for their business to succeed.

But the interesting thing was that that decision preceded their first face-to-face interactions with the Portland tech community. Even more interesting? At the point in time they were making that decision, the now exceptionally collaborative Portland Web startup community had just barely begun to gel.

But it was starting to gel. And there was one particular event that marked the beginning of that startup community getting more collegial: Ignite Portland.

And as serendipity would have it, that event was Intrigo’s introduction to the Portland startup scene.

“One of our first hires sent us a YouTube video from Ignite Portland,” said Bell. “And that led us to getting involved with the Legion of Tech. Because we wanted to support that kind of thing.”

And they’ve been continuing to support it ever since.

So, now Intrigo is indeed part of the startup scene that coincidentally seemed to come together even as they made their plans to move to the Rose City. They’re an anchor for events. And a definitive presence in the community.

They’ve helped make the Portland Web startup community what it is today. In effect, defining their own future. And they will—no doubt—continue to do so.

So, now, what does Intrigo see for Portland’s future? And what are they looking for from Portland?

“I’d like to see the Portland Web startup scene gain more and more critical mass,” said Bell. “I’d like to see this become a self-sustaining movement that attracts more and more companies to Portland.”

And as that happens, what is Intrigo’s role?

“We’re still maturing and working to find our niche,” said Bell. “We’re still figuring out how we’ll fit into the ecosystem around here. One thing is for sure, we’ll keep focusing on what we do well: building deeply technical Web apps for startups.”

If this is the way Intrigo spends its first six months in town, I can’t wait to see what they’re capable of doing once they’re settled.

For more on Intrigo, follow the Intrigo blog. To keep tabs on Nathan Bell, follow nathanpbell on Twitter.

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