Tag: Startup

Portland Startup Weekend: Five startup projects launched in 54 hours

Portland Startup WeekendWhat did you do this past weekend?

Yeah, really? Oh? You don’t say. Oh, that sounds nice. Me? Oh, you know. The usual.

Say, you’ll never guess what a bunch of our peers did over the weekend, though.

Oh, not much. Just started five separate startup projects.

That’s right. The group that gathered for Portland Startup Weekend managed to launch five startup projects: Get Gathered, Life Grant, Mugasha, Startup River, and TreasuRecycle.

They’re all in various states of startupedness, currently. But, rest assured, I’ll be dedicating posts to each of these projects as they gain their footing.

For now, let’s focus on Portland Startup Weekend, itself, with a good ol’ fashioned Silicon Florist round up:

No doubt more posts will be emerging as the participants recover from the weekend. And I’ll work to capture them here.

If you’ve posted something that I’ve missed, please comment and I’ll make sure to link it up.

Portland Startup Weekend now being held at Vidoop offices

Heads up! There has been a last second location change for Portland Startup Weekend. The event will now be held at the Vidoop offices in Old Town. The event begins tonight, May 23, at 6:00 PM.

On a side note, I’m not sure if a Twitter hashtag has been proposed (or if Twitter will even be functional), but I thought I would propose one for those folks watching from the sidelines. How about #pdxsw?

[Editor’s note: As much as I’d love to be in attendance, I’ve been sidelined by illness. That said, I will definitely try to swing by during the weekend. Best of luck to the participants.]

Portland Startup Weekend: It’s still a “Go!”… are you?

Portland Startup WeekendRoughly six months ago, the Portland startup community put its collective effort into casting votes for “Portland Startup Weekend,” a local version of the successful Startup Weekend events designed to test our collective entrepreneurial mettle by challenging participants to form a company in a 54-hour period.

Thanks to that collective voting effort, Portland was among the first cities selected for the 2008 series of Startup Weekends. And those who were interested in the event—myself included—were, for lack of a better word, “psyched.”

In the following months, the Startup Weekend team expanded to support its rapidly growing popularity. Founder Andrew Hyde stepped aside to hand off the planning for Startup Weekend—including Portland Startup Weekend—to the someone who could focus on the events full-time.

Everything seemed to be moving in the right direction.

But then, things got quiet. Too quiet.

And now, Hyde has informed us that Portland Startup Weekend—scheduled for May 23-25—has fallen victim to some organizational issues:

Sorry for the lack of communication, the person that was in charge of putting together this weekend quit last weekend without notice, and the lack of communication was worse than I realized. If you have any questions, please email me at andrew@startupweekend.com and I will get right back to you. I am very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused everyone.

It’s unfortunate that any Startup Weekend encountered these difficulties, let alone our Startup Weekend.

But, Andrew and his team are working overtime to recover the fumble.

Jeremy Tanner, who has now taken the lead on Portland Startup Weekend planning, had this to say:

This is disappointing to the planning process, but not breaking the spirit of the event (This being Startup Weekend and all). This is an incredibly talented group, and I can’t wait to see what the group can accomplish in just 54 hours….

The real goal of Startup Weekend is community, and I can’t wait for SWPDX to show what it has. Plan on meeting some brilliant folks, working with those you have only known through twitter, and showing what you can do. Don’t expect to create the next Google, unless you are on my team, which, then it would be totally cool.

What now?

But now, comes the real question: How will this stumble affect attendance?

If you were planning to go, are you still going? Have you opted out? Never thought about participating?

I’ve heard some rumblings about attendance on Twitter—both positive and negative—but that’s far from conclusive. So I thought I would take the opportunity to launch a quick poll. Just to gauge the interest—and possible attendance—this weekend.

[polldaddy|626477]

Please take a second to respond, either via the poll or the comments.

I’d really appreciate hearing from you on this topic.

Portland Start-up Index for May 2008: Platial debuts at 12, Frappr at 5

Techvibes has released the latest version of its Portland Start-up Index, with an interesting pair of debuts. Portland-based Platial has been added to the list, debuting at #12. What makes this interesting is that Platial-owned Frappr also debuted this month—at #5.

How did the other companies and products fare? Take a look. The usual “apples and oranges” rules apply.

  1. AboutUs
  2. Discogs
  3. Kongregate
  4. COLOURlovers
  5. Frappr
  6. Splashcast
  7. Earth Class Mail
  8. Jive Software
  9. Sandy
  10. MyOpenID
  11. Gone Raw
  12. Platial
  13. eROI
  14. NetworthIQ
  15. Stikkit
  16. Grabbit
  17. Attensa
  18. GadgetTrak
  19. Active Reload
  20. Art Face Off
  21. Walker Tracker
  22. Rocketbook
  23. Iovation
  24. ChoiceA
  25. Pibb
  26. Lunarr
  27. UrbanDrinks
  28. Iterasi
  29. FreeRange
  30. KnitMap
  31. WeoGeo
  32. GoLife Mobile
  33. Goboz
  34. Picktastic
  35. fmyi
  36. GoSeeTell
  37. MomHub
  38. Imindi
  39. VocalNation.net
  40. Kryptiq
  41. Cendix
  42. Lightfleet
  43. Kumquat
  44. Pheedo
  45. Jama Software
  46. Workplace2go
  47. Avnera
  48. Box Populi
  49. IDP Solutions
  50. Collaborative Software Initiative
  51. Techchex
  52. YourList
  53. Worldwide Nest

Techvibes ranks the sites, products, and companies by comparing Compete and Alexa rankings. To learn more about the metrics and the movement within the list, visit the Techvibes Portland Start-up Index for May 2008.

Portland and Boise startups: A lot more in common than I-84

Editor: I grew up near a town that was the big city for a fairly rural state. It was the home to many traditional high-tech companies. It had great skiing nearby. And it had a river running right through the middle of it.

Thing is, it wasn’t Portland. It was Boise, Idaho.

And, I had a strange feeling that those aren’t the only similarities between our two towns.

So, when Chris Blanchard offered to write a guest column on the state of the Boise tech environment, a bit of my former Idahoan homesickness came into play. And I jumped at the chance.

The biggest surprise for me? How closely connected the two communities are. And how they, in Boise, are struggling with some of the exact same issues we, here in the Silicon Forest, find ourselves struggling.

Boise, ID: Not ready for prime time? Don’t tell us that.

I feel like the Apostle Paul writing a letter…

Greetings to you Silicon Florists, Portvangelists, Portvangelistas, members of the Twitterverse and others of the technology startup brother/sisterhood from your Brother here in Boise, ID.

Anyway, our friend Rick was kind enough to let me guest post from over here in the Silicon Sandbox, Boise, Idaho.

Why? I’m getting to that.

Last year me and a few friends started a company called Pronetos, the first social network for scholars.

The idea is to give scholars a place to network and collaborate, and ultimately give them a platform to publish their work. We’re still testing the publication tools—a combination of open source software and print-on-demand components—but they are pretty slick and pretty cutting edge, especially when you’re from Boise and resources are limited.

Thanks for your help, Portland

We spent a lot of time last year in Portland, and have a lot of props to dish out to the PDX community for helping us with technology, marketing, business planning, etc. We couldn’t have come this far without you, PDX!

  • Brian Jamison and the guys at OpenSourcery built the Pronetos site in rapid fashion.
  • Nate Angell (raised by wolves; cloned daughters) led us through the academic community over there (and to a great restaurant in McMinnville)
  • Mark Gregory at pdx.edu was a great help in our development (and encouraged us to move to PDX)
  • We met with the entire crew at Engine Works—very sophisticated and smart guys
  • Scott Kveton has helped us with contacts, business advice, and bacon addiction
  • @wendemm, @Turoczy, and the guys at Box Populi have been good friends to us as well

So thanks PDXers for helping grow Boise’s start-ups in addition to your own.

The state of technology in Boise

Boise is doing OK as a region. You might have seen that Forbes named us the 7th most promising new tech region or something or other. We get lots of awards like that.

Quality of life is GREAT! Still, the tech community is young. There are very few contract developers here. There are lots of software gigs open here all the time. Boise State graduates about 25 CS engineers every year and 100% have jobs when they graduate. Still, we do have a MySQL office here!

As far as financing goes, a couple months ago at a Kickstand meeting (this is the local tech start-up group) we heard from an angel investor that the local angel group had reviewed 100 business plans in the span of 90 days or so, and funded exactly zero.

We’ve got only one VC here in town and they don’t fund seed deals (and not often true early stage deals). So we have an angel group that wants to fund companies with 3 years of operating history and a VC that wants to fund mezzanine deals (oh, I can hear them racing to the comment link below).

So, if you’re interested, here are some cool things about Boise that may heighten its appeal—and your perception of our town:

  • If you are developer—Boise could be a place you want to pay attention to (especially if you are an open source guy—we have lots of MS devs here). We had exactly one Ruby dev in this town as of very recently, and all the PHP guys are employed by the man (not too many solo operators or small shops).
  • If you are a VC or angel that is looking for early stage deals—those are here too—in spades.
  • If you are a guy (or gal) that understands anything about long tail b-plans, web 2.0, user generated content, new media—and you’ve had a successful company in those areas—we (Boise) could use your help too. Just last night it was interesting to note that a group of cowboys got stares in downtown Boise (boy times they are a changin’), but we still don’t have a good base of people who have been successful in this new landscape. We do have a fair amount of successful folks from the widget economy and a few good software entrepreneurs. But we can use more.

We’ve got a good night life scene, beer and blog group, the Tech Boise Blog, 180 Twitterers, and we ran a great Code Camp a couple weeks ago. We’ve also got good institutional support from places like Idaho TechConnect, and the Boise State TECenter.

So it’s coming together—but is Boise “not ready for prime time?” Well don’t tell us that, but I’m still glad for all of you over there in PDX that act as out adjunct tech community.

If you want to keep up on what’s going on over here (like we do with PDX) find me on Twitter—@LGM1—and I’ll point you in the right direction.

Peace to you, PDX. Now a letter to our friends in Corinth.

37signals: Start up your startup somewhere else (like Portland)

It seems everyone is getting into the Silicon Valley bashing, as of late. But that’s what happens when you’re at the top.

And while I’m not going to pile on with the negativity, I thought a recent 37signals post—entitled “Are you sure you want to be in San Francisco?“—brought up one very positive point that we should all bear in mind:

So stop worrying to much about where you are and start worrying about how you’re going to make your business succeed the old fashion way: Through having a better product than the competition that people are willing to pay for.

Every single day, I’m lucky enough to talk to people who get this. People who have started amazing companies here in Portland and the Silicon Forest.

But you know what else is interesting?

We’re starting to become a destination, as well. We’re starting to attract both the talent and the companies to employ that talent. Companies that have chosen to come to Portland to succeed. Companies like Vidoop, LUNARR, Intrigo, Jive, WeoGeo… the list goes on and on.

All of these companies see something special here in Portland. And that is even more exciting.

(Hat tip Josh Bancroft)

Now on tap: Portland Startup Drinks

Portland Startup Drinks: Not that they are going to be drinking beer out of a can mind youJust saw that Portland has launched its own chapter of Startup Drinks.

What’s Startup Drinks, you ask? Well, it’s another startup idea from the same folks who brought us—or more accurately will be bringing usStartup Weekend.

A simple concept: startup culture in cities around the world gathers around a bar to have a pint and discuss what they are working on, what they need help with and what they can do for each other.

Pints and startups? I, honestly, can’t think of anything more Portland than that. Well, okay, maybe Beer and Blog.

Here’s hoping that Portland Startup Drinks will add their get-togethers to Upcoming so we can track them in the Silicon Florist Upcoming group.

Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Portland Start-up Index for April 2008: COLOURlovers debuts at #4

I’m happy to report that, once again, it’s time to take a look at my favorite apples-to-oranges comparison of the Portland startup scene, the Techvibes Portland Start-up Index. For me, it’s like having birthday every single month.

The biggest surprise this month? Two-time Webby nominee COLOURlovers has debuted on the Portland Start-up Index at #4, cracking open an otherwise static Top 5. The only other new addition is the Collaborative Software Initiative at #46.

Second biggest surprise? Pheedo jumped up 25 slots. Now that’s a “mover.”

But what’s happening with the other folks? Who’s moving up? Who’s moving down? Where do we stand?

Well, let’s take a look.

  1. AboutUs
  2. Discogs
  3. Kongregate
  4. COLOURlovers
  5. MyOpenID
  6. Earth Class Mail
  7. Splashcast
  8. Jive Software
  9. Sandy
  10. Pheedo
  11. Gone Raw
  12. eROI
  13. NetworthIQ
  14. Stikkit
  15. GadgetTrak
  16. Walker Tracker
  17. Attensa
  18. ChoiceA
  19. Art Face Off
  20. Active Reload
  21. Grabbit
  22. Pibb
  23. iovation
  24. UrbanDrinks
  25. Lunarr
  26. Rocketbook
  27. Iterasi
  28. WeoGeo
  29. FreeRange
  30. KnitMap
  31. GoLife Mobile
  32. fmyi
  33. Imindi
  34. Goboz
  35. VocalNation
  36. MomHub
  37. GoSeeTell
  38. Workplace2go
  39. Picktastic
  40. Jama Software
  41. Avnera
  42. Kryptiq
  43. Cendix
  44. Lightfleet
  45. Box Populi
  46. Collaborative Software Initiative
  47. Worldwide Nest
  48. Techchex
  49. Kumquat
  50. IDP Solutions
  51. YourList

For a details on the movement of each startup-list entity or to get more details on how the rankings are tabulated, visit the Techvibes Portland Start-up Index.

Portland Start-up Index for March 2008: AboutUs retains top spot

It’s the 15th of the month again. And that means its time to update the Techvibes Portland Start-up Index. While there was neither much movement this month—the top 4 remain in the same positions as last month, with AboutUs retaining the #1 spot—nor, apparently, any new sites added to the index, I do find it interesting that two of the most newsworthy companies in the area, Jive and SplashCast, have actually dropped down the list one and two spots, respectively.

Given that the list changes month to month, here’s the ranking, for historical reference. To see the metrics and movement, please visit Techvibes. And, as always, I offer this with the “fruit salad” caveat: This is a very apples and oranges comparison, in terms of companies and products. The other caveat that bears mentioning is that widget- and mobile-based tools often report far lower Alexa and Compete numbers than Web-based services.

So, here’s the list:

  1. AboutUs
  2. Discogs
  3. Kongregate
  4. MyOpenID
  5. Earth Class Mail
  6. Sandy
  7. Splashcast
  8. Jive Software
  9. eROI
  10. Gone Raw
  11. Stikkit
  12. NetworthIQ
  13. Walker Tracker
  14. Attensa
  15. Grabbit
  16. Pibb
  17. GadgetTrak
  18. Active Reload
  19. Iterasi
  20. Art Face Off
  21. Iovation
  22. Rocketbook
  23. Lunarr
  24. ChoiceA
  25. UrbanDrinks
  26. WeoGeo
  27. FreeRange
  28. GoLife Mobile
  29. KnitMap
  30. Goboz
  31. VocalNation.net
  32. MomHub
  33. Lightfleet
  34. Cendix
  35. Pheedo
  36. fmyi
  37. Picktastic
  38. Imindi
  39. Workplace2go
  40. Kryptiq
  41. Techchex
  42. Jama Software
  43. Avnera
  44. GoSeeTell
  45. Lumeno.us
  46. Box Populi
  47. Worldwide Nest
  48. Kumquat
  49. IDP Solutions
  50. YourList

The Portland Start-up Index is compiled by Techvibes using an average of Alexa and Compete rankings. It is updated on a monthly basis.

MyStrands wants to invest $100,000 in your startup

Corvallis-based MyStrands has just announced a program designed to find the best early-stage startup focused on “recommendation” technologies. And, once found, to fund that startup to the tune of 6-figures of investment.

The $100,000 investment prize will be awarded to:

[T]he best early-stage project in the area of recommendation technologies, considering the technology, business opportunity and team behind the project (without limitations as to which field the technology is applied).

This is a worldwide competition, but I’m confident that some of you Portland and Silicon Forest types—side project or otherwise—have got some cool technology that has a chance of winning this thing.

Why not give it a shot?

All Proposals will be judged using the following judging criteria: (a) implementation and integration of recommendation technologies, (b) originality and creativity, (c) likelihood of long-term success and scalability, (d) effectiveness in addressing a need in the marketplace, and (e) team bios.

Get into the finals and you’re off to Switzerland to present.

Five Finalists will be invited to present their projects during the ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys08) next October 23rd to 25th, 2008 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Finalists will be announced on October 6th.

So what are you waiting for? I think you can win this. And I’m sure the investment would help make your dream a reality. And if you’re not going to do it, then maybe our idea for Portland Startup Weekend should be based on recommendation technology.

Entries will be accepted until September 15, 2008.

For more information on the contest and requirements, see MyStrands’ post on the contest.

[Update: I just noticed that ReadWrite Web has posted on the contest, as well, encouraging MyStrands to continue its work in implementing open data standards.]

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