Every once in a while, you get to be present to witness the establishment of a widespread platform. A platform that provides the means of making a market. Sometimes, it’s the first to market—like the iPhone or Roku. Sometimes, it’s a fast follower—like Microsoft Explorer or Google. We’ve seen it happen time and time again. With the Web and Mobile and Streaming Media. But it’s rare to see that happen locally.
In what now seems like ancient history, the Portland startup community used to have a gathering called Beer and Blog. Back when the community was smaller. And when people actually used to blog more regularly. Back then, it was the way to meet folks from our online community, offline.
Admittedly, I get a little cranky about the posts that appear on the Portland Startups Switchboard from time to time. But there are also a bunch of good posts that pop up there all of the time—posts that might not get the attention they deserve. So rather than focusing on the negative, I thought it might be nice to accentuate the positive.
Sometimes, I think that I miss podcasting. But then I listen to myself on a podcast. And then I realize… Yeah. Probably best left to others. Others who are more well spoken and entertaining. Oh. And interesting. Don’t forget interesting. Nonetheless, I may have said one or two compelling things. Either thanks to the talent of the interviewers or because, you know, even the broken clock is right twice a day.
Last night, the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) held their annual Oregon Tech Awards celebration gala, their biggest event of the year. (Coincidentally, GeekWire held their big Seattle tech awards last night, too.) And the Portland startup community was well represented.
I always say that the Portland startup community is big enough to be statistically relevant, but not so large that you can’t move the needle. So the fact that our community is severely lacking in terms of diversity and inclusion presents both a problem and an opportunity for the community. Part of the solution must include ensuring that everyone has access to resources and support that give all entrepreneurs the greatest chance of success. That was the motivation behind Prosper Portland’s Inclusive Business Resource Network.
If you’re a startup that’s looking for some support, there are a couple of opportunities to apply for that sort of assistance. Cascade Angels is currently accepting applications for early stage startups seeking funding. And XXcelerate Fund is accepting applications for the next round of its XXcelerator program for women founded companies.
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.