Startups have to juggle a lot. A lot. So picking their battles — or applications as it were — is an important part of deciding how they’re going to spend their time. And in my opinion, if you’re a founder who identifies as a woman, person of color, or LGBTQ, you’d be smart to spend your time applying to the Backstage Capital Accelerator. Because there isn’t a more truly and earnestly inclusive investor and accelerator, local or otherwise.
With funds raising larger and larger rounds, the economics of cutting smaller checks for seed stage companies get more and more lopsided. And that leaves a gap for the youngest and most vulnerable of companies. That’s why it’s always nice to see folks raising funds specifically targeted at early stage companies. Like Seven Peaks just did.
In the startup world, there are some prevailing assumptions about venture capital and building companies. But just because those assumptions are prevailing doesn’t mean they’re correct. That’s why I always like resources that help demystify the world of venture capital and its impact on companies. Like Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson.
One of the challenges of the Portland startup community has always been momentum. We sometimes have great—at times even fantastic—startup news, like an exit or a major announcement. But more often than not, that happens as a solitary instance. And then it’s some time before the next major announcement. So it’s rare to have a day like today where both Torch 3D and Vacasa have major news.
Not so long ago, banks were a viable means of financing business. But as the terms of that financing became more inaccessible and onerous, we saw new models arise. One of those models was venture capital. Now—thanks in part to efforts like the Zebra movement—the VC model is beginning to show its own imperfections, inadequacies, and inaccessibility. So it only makes sense that folks would start thinking about new models for financing. One of those folks is Portland’s Luke Kanies, founder and former CEO of Puppet.
Over the past ten years, we’ve seen a change in venture capital in Oregon. Previously dominant VCs have stopped investing or become less active while a series of new players have entered the market. And outside investment—folks from other states who have invested in Oregon companies—has definitely seen an upswing. But who are the new leaders in VC in Oregon startups—and are they local? PitchBook crunched some numbers for us.
It’s not just you. There’s a definite shift in the feel of Portland, as of late. It’s definitely feeling a little more California. And a lot more Bay Area. And there’s a reason. Apparently, Portland is doing more than its fair share of importing both people and money from the Golden State.
If you tend to follow a lot of Portland startup folks on social media, there’s no doubt that, today, your social streams were lit up with images of the governor of Oregon in a Microsoft HoloLens, a jam-packed crowd at Oregon Story Board, and news of Portland’s newest VC, Elevate Capital, and the big reveal of their first six investments—with four technology local startups among them. Read More