Even if that brief assessment only returns us to the position of navel gazing about what Portland could and should be doing. Such is the case with a recent post from Greg Huang at Xconomy, A Tale of Three Cities: How Boston, Boulder, and Seattle Measure Up as Tech Innovation Hubs.
Sometimes, it pays to look outside Portland and the Silicon Forest. To poke up our collective heads, take a gander, and assess what’s going on elsewhere. Even if that brief assessment only returns us to the position of navel gazing about what Portland could and should be doing.
[Editor: John Sechrest has put together what is, arguably, the most comprehensive collection of Oregon Angel events and organizations in existence. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to publish this guest post.]
[HTML1]Just as the sun is starting to fade and the rain is starting to be a daily occurrence, the Northwest Startup Ecosystem is starting to bloom. During the quiet of the summer, seeds were being planted, companies reviewed and now in October, things start to move. In Oregon and Washington, there are many activities that give startup companies the chance to present to Angel Investors.
In Oregon, there is a flow to the year. Beginning with small opportunities to get out in front of people and followed by big events that can put you in front of potential investors. Read More
[HTML2]To many, the lure of entrepreneurial pursuits is overwhelming. They’re driven to start stuff. And as such, they can’t help but startup everything from side projects to full-fledged companies. They’re crazy that way.
But what if you’ve got a great idea and nowhere to start? What if you’re not quite sure how to dip you toe in the water? What if you’re not even sure you’d have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
[HTML2]Portland-based Webtrends—arguably the leading company focused on helping other companies figure out what people are doing on their Web sites—is having a renaissance of sorts. They’ve refreshed their executive team, re-engaged with the Portland tech startup community, and signed some impressive partnerships. Heck, they’ve even started a little controversy. But perhaps most impressive—especially in a time of low-cost or free Web analytics software—is the fact that they continue to build a successful Web analytics business.
How successful? Well, successful enough to engage in M&A activity. You see, they just picked up Seattle-based Widemile. Read More
I know Rick’s reach stretches up north, so if you’re near Seattle, check out Lunch 2.0. It’s a blast; I know because we made a little road trip up there a month ago to check it out and spread the Open Source Bridge word. And it was good.
And, if you split time between Portland and Seattle, like Brian Westbrook does, you can enjoy nearly twice the free lunches, and who can argue with that?
Seattle Lunch 2.0 is also in the running for a Seattle 2.0award in the “Best Social Event for Startups” category. The awards are focused on Seattle startups and will be held on May 7, 2009.
So, if you feel so inclined, head over and vote. You can do so until April 28.
Rick was kind enough to handle the driving duties, which left the rest of us free to chatter and OH all the pearls of wisdom on Twitter. After about 20 minutes, Rick went into shock from being surrounded by people tweeting, but unable to do so himself.
This spawned a discussion about a steering wheel keypad with a heads-up display that would finally allow Rick to see all his TweetDeck columns without scrolling.
But you already knew that because you were following our road trip on Twitter.
Even though we started off a bit slow, we arrived with plenty of time to spare and then quickly wasted it looking for a coffee shop with a restroom.
Josh Maher, the organizer of the Seattle Lunch 2.0 chapter, holds happy hours as well as lunches, and Friday’s was a happy hour. Since we were on a diplomatic mission, and it was a happy hour, Rick brought a gift, Portland beer. He’s such a thoughtful guy, and that’s such a Portland thing to do.
Axios Law Group hosted the happy hour at their offices in downtown Seattle, and TalentSpring, whose office is in the same building, co-sponsored the event. Dawn wasn’t there to get a count, but I think there were about 30 to 40 people spread throughout the office. Then again, I’m not very good at counting, so it could have been more.
In classic Portland style, we included our Twitter handles on our name tags, which drew attention from several Seattleites, many of whom were just making the jump into Twitter. There were also funny references to how happy were were to get out of depressing Portland, alluding to that recent Business Week article.
We mixed and mingled, and as always, Kelly’s LED name badge garnered a lot of attention. I’m pretty sure John DeRosa wants one of his own. I chatted with John, Matt Woodward and several other people. My pea brain doesn’t do well with names, so apologies for not calling out all the good people who chatted with me.
After about an hour of mixing, Josh introduced the gracious hosts, Adam from Axios and Bryan from TalentSpring. Then I stumbled through a “hello from Portland” and threw Rick under the bus to talk about Open Source Bridge, the other reason we headed up there. As usual, he did a great job despite the tire tracks.
Brian Westbrook and Danielle Morrill streamed the event live to Seattle 2.0, and I’m hoping to get the recordings of the interviews he did with Selena and Rick. If/when I get those, they’ll be added to this post.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get many pictures of the event. All we had were our iPhone cameras, and Rick’s nice camera took a header into the CubeSpace parking lot before we even got on the road. In hindsight, I guess we should have brought Aaron or Mark along to snap photos.
After the happy hour ended, it was back on the road; six hours in the car for a two-hour event. That’s dedication.
Here in Portland, we love the Lunch 2.0. But we can always stand to improve it. So Jake Kuramoto, the Portland Lunch 2.0 guy, has proposed that we take a trip up to Seattle to see how our neighbors to the north handle Seattle Lunch 2.0.
So this Friday, March 6, we’re doing just that.
It’s a diplomatic envoy or something. And it has two goals. The first is partaking in Seattle Lunch 2.0 but the second part? Talking to all the cool open source folks in the Emerald City in hopes of convincing them to come visit us in the Rose City for Open Source Bridge.
Jake, Selena Deckelmann, and I will be heading up for the event. I know that Brian M. Westbrook, who oscillates (wildly, I might add) between Portland and Seattle, will be in attendance, as well.
We’re all looking forward to getting the chance to hang out with our fellow Lunch 2.0 types, like Eric Berto, John DeRosa, Josh Maher, Danielle Morrill, and more. So if you’re from Seattle and debating whether you should be attending or not, hopefully this will be the little push you need to show up.
Josh Maherstarted a chapter in Seattle a little over a year ago, and they’ve been very active at both large and small hosts. I contacted Josh early this year for any tips and advice he could share before starting a chapter.
If you travel up to Seattle a lot, or are headed there soon, check out their wiki and for details.
Josh and I spoke recently about our the Portland chapter, which apparently is one of the few that hosts regular events, along with the Silicon Valley/Bay Area orignial chapter and the Seattle one. He also invited any Portlanders/Vancouverites up to enjoy the Seattle flavor of Lunch 2.0. So, if you’re going to be up in the Emerald City, check out their take on Lunch 2.0 and report back with your thoughts.
Otherwise, it’s a roadtrip. I guess if anyone’s up for that, you could carpool up there on a diplomatic mission. Of course, as Rick pointed out, the beauty of Lunch 2.0 is that it’s local and convenient, neither of which fits a trip up to Seattle.
Anyway, it’s an open invitation, and obviously, Josh is welcome to come down to do Portland Lunch 2.0, assuming I can convince someone to host one.