We all know the myths. Scrappy founders creating something out of thin air, raising millions of dollars, becoming an overnight success, and exiting with wealth beyond their wildest dreams. And if you’re happy with those myths, then you can stop reading, right here. But if you’d like to hear the not-so-pretty-and-often-unhappy truth about being the founder of a venture funded startup, then you’re going to want to join Rand Fishkin when he swings by Portland to talk about his new book.
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.
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.
Used to be, back in the day, folks would blog. And sometimes, I’d take a snippet of those amazing blog posts and try to raise the volume a little bit. By posting on my own blog. But that doesn’t happen as much these days. Or when it does, it tends to happen on platforms that have their own volume mechanisms. But Portland founder Mara Zepeda just wrote something that I wanted to make sure that you saw. And so I’m trying to raise the volume a bit. Like we used to. Read More
The Portland startup scene wouldn’t be much of scene without the capital to fuel its growth. And over the years, it’s been nice to watch that investment community come together, connect, and collaborate to enable some of our most promising young companies gain the initial footing they need to succeed. That said, it’s been a few years since Portland has seen a new investor enter the fray—Rogue Venture Partners and Seven Peak Ventures are among the most recent. Until now. Meet Elevate Capital. Read More
So it seemed like the perfect time to remind you that Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson of Foundry Group will be chatting with folks tonight about their book, Venture Deals, over at Urban Airship. Read More