Okay. There’s a lot more to dig into here… but just to get the news out. We’re going to have WeWork Labs in Portland. Great right? Even better? It’s going to be headed up by none other than startup ecosystem builder extraordinaire and the unofficial mayor of Portland Stephen Green.
A couple of years ago, Stephen Green put together an amazing Reverse Pitch event that I got the chance to attend. (If you’re not familiar with the format, a “reverse pitch” is where investors get on stage to describe the types of startups they’re seeking.) During the event, I had the pleasure of hanging out in the audience with a newcomer to the venture capital world who was visiting Portland. Her name? Arlan Hamilton.
When we originally heard the rumors that WeWork was considering opening a Portland branch, I can say the initial reception was best described as “cautiously optimistic.” We’d always expected it to happen at some point, given that cofounder Miguel McKelvey was from Eugene. But it took a while for those rumors to come to fruition.
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.
Nearly two years ago, Ryan Buchanan penned a post that accurately described the Portland business community as being “too white, too male.” But rather than simply pointing out the issue, he took his own call to arms and took action. With the announcement of the Portland Emerging Leaders Internship program.
For many of us, our day to day is focused on very small early stage companies. Sometimes those companies are our own. Sometimes those are companies we know. Those companies we patronize. And those companies we try to help. But all of us could use a reminder about how powerful small businesses are. How important they are to our economy. And how much our support of them can mean.
One of the biggest challenges of being a startup is that you never have enough time to get everything done. So it’s always nice to have an advocate on your side. Someone who is watching out for you when you don’t have time to do so. But how do you find those advocates?
Portland is no stranger to regional offices. Or being an expansion market. We’ve had more than our fair share of companies picking the Rose City as one of their locations. And now, we’ve got another one. But it may very well be one of the most Portlandy ones of the bunch. Why? Because it’s a startup that’s designed to help small business be more successful. Meet Townsquared. Read More
Some folks love inaugural events. Me? I’m more a fan of watching the growth, maturation, and progression of events as they take place again and again. There’s something to the repetition. And the ongoing improvement over time. That’s why I’m really looking forward to attending the second iteration of Portland’s Pitch Black. Read More