When it comes to helping people get their ideas going, there are few weekends that compare to a Techstars Startup Weekend. Fifty four hours of sprinting from idea to product and pitch. It just goes to show how quickly something can come together. And that’s why I’m always happy to hear about new and different flavors of the event. Like Techstars Startup Weekend Small Town Advantage which takes place this weekend in Independence, Oregon.
There have been in any number of times throughout history where humans have done things that they thought were totally fine — only to find out later how detrimental those activities were. Pick your favorite. I’m not here to judge. That said, I am here to propose that the normalization of startup founders being constantly stressed out, never sleeping, and always on may very well be one of those things.
I’m lucky that I get the opportunity to sit at the nexus of passionate founders building early stage companies and the community of mentors who wants to support and bolster those founders as they strive to build the next great Portland company. While we all recognize that building a startup is ridiculously difficult, sometimes we forget that founders are suffering from any number of stressors and pressures, despite the stiff upper lip they project.
Like most things Portland, there are a ton of awesome makers and manufacturers in town doing a ton of awesome things. But thanks to our culture of aggressive humility, we don’t always know about all of that awesomeness. That’s why it’s nice to have things like the Friends of Fictiv happy hour. If only to bring some of those hidden gems in our midst to light.
Wait what? You thought the TechfestNW PitchfestNW applications were due in 2018? Well, they were. But that was only the first group. There’s a second application period. And it ends this week. So if you’ve been procrastinating, you should probably get on completing that application.
I remember when TechfestNW — then called the Portland Digital eXperience — barely had 75 people in the audience. Now they have 75 startups — and potentially more — attending the event to participate in PitchfestNW. And that’s not even the main event.
For all the optimism about the beginning of the new year, there’s also a fair amount of realism. And some well informed pessimism. Most notably, for the latter, surrounding the economic correction that we’ve all been anxiously awaiting as we watched the longest running bubble in startup history continue to gently waft along.