While it seems like the year has just begun, in reality, the first week in April isn’t that far off. But it’s a lot farther off than Portland Startup Week has been in the past. (We’ve traditionally organized the weeklong celebration of startups during the first week in February.) So given that we’ve got more time than we’re used to, it seems like a really good opportunity to make Techstars Startup Week Portland 2018 even more awesome than ever, right? Right. So let’s get on that. Like now.
While still striving to hold true to my promise to Jive cofounder Bill Lynch—that I would stop using Silicon Florist as a platform to celebrate fundraising announcements—I feel obligated to take a little tangential liberty to share a developing theme I’m seeing… Because this isn’t a typical. Portland companies have announced more than $51 million in venture capital, this year. And it’s not even a month old.
Startups can be hectic. And stressful. And unfortunately, that means that some very important things often get lost in the turmoil. Like culture. And managing your people and their professional growth. Worse yet, if you’re not taking care of those things early, they’re incredibly difficult to reverse engineer into your company later. That’s why, it’s great to see efforts like Human.School.
As a founder, you’re always looking for opportunities to promote your company. And locally, there are few opportunities as big as PitchfestNW, the pitch competition held as part of TechfestNW, Portland’s largest homegrown tech event. Plus, you get a free pass to the event.
Portland is lucky to be home to one of the most impactful and growing events for black entrepreneurs, PitchBlack, a pitch competition that has featured local black founders for the past three years and has now expanded to other cities. But where did the concept get its start? Free Enterprise sat down with founder Stephen Green to get the story.
I know, I know. It’s not exactly a rarity for me to babble about the Portland startup community. What is rare, however, is that someone takes the time to make it intelligible and digestible. But that’s just what Engine has done with their #startupseverywhere series.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: It’s so much easier to build a diverse company from the ground up than it is to try to retroactively unwind a white dude company later. So the sooner startups start thinking about a diverse workforce, the better off they’ll be in the long run. And if you need help to think about that diversity? There’s a startup for that: ScoutSavvy.
You know me, I’m always a fan of people who stop talking about doing something and actually start doing something. Even if other folks have tried to do that something before. So when a group of folks approached me with the idea of creating an online resource for startups in our community, what did I say?
For early stage startups, the idea of briefing industry analysts may seem like something to pursue in the distant future. But for the types of business-to-business companies Portland builds, they can be a great way to get in front of large corporate customers and buyers—especially if they think you’re cool. Like the way Gartner feels about Portland startup Lucid Meetings.