As much as I love local coverage of the Portland startup community, it’s the national and international coverage that really tends to move the needle for companies around here. That’s why I was psyched to see recent mentions of Ride Report and Open Sesame in Forbes. And even more excited to see this CNN piece featuring Portland startup in-it.
We’re approaching the end of another Women’s History Month, which means you can be expecting a recap of Built Oregon’s month long effort to feature Oregon consumer product companies led by women. But ahead of that, I thought it might be nice to highlight women founders from the Portland startup community who presented at PIE Demo Days.
After a blistering January of blogging, it’s gotten a little quiet around these parts. I apologize. But rest assured, it’s not you, Portland. It’s me. I’ve been heads down working with the PIE and PIE Shop startups on their PIE Demo Day 2019 pitches. And I’ve been working with my Startup Champions Network peers on the Startup Champions Summit. And, of course, working on Portland Startup Week 2019. All of which has made it super quiet around here. Mea culpa.
It’s a little weird when you meet someone who shares your birthday. It gets even weirder when that birthday is the exact same day. Like day, month, year. Same, same, same. And then, what if you were both working a similar sort of job? Now imagine putting those two — Libras, mind you — together on a podcast. And that’s pretty much what you get with Saul Colt’s “We now join the program already in progress” podcast — with me as a guest.
While admittedly there are any number of resources that share the stories of entrepreneurs, the voice of those stories is decidedly homogenous. So when I get the chance to share a story that’s not part of the homogeneity — or when I get the chance to use the word “homogeneity” in a post — I’m going to do it. Like the story of Sylvia Salazar, the Latina founder of TonoLatino.
In the early days of any new technology, there is always the challenge of compatibility. As various file formats, schemas, and structures spring to life, interoperability is often the last thing to consider. So it’s always nice to see this sort of thing happening sooner rather than later. Like Portland startup The Wild enabling folks to work with SketchUp files within The Wild VR environment.
The past couple of years, I’ve been lucky enough to get invited to the Kauffman Foundation’s ESHIP Summit. A chance to gather and learn from folks who help entrepreneurs, participate in economic development, and generally try to make the whole world of startups more accessible to both founders and the mentors that they need.
I’m always impressed by the motivations of folks who are starting companies in Portland. Because more often than not, they’re driven by a desire to solve problems. Or to create better products. Or to contribute to the greater good. Now a new Portland startup—In-It—is seeking to give folks a platform to share what drives them and to gather more collective voices in support.
If you’ve talked to me about markets that have a lot of potential in Portland, we’ve no doubt discussed reality of some flavor or another. Virtual, Augmented, Immersive, Experiential… whatever you want to call it, folks in Portland have been exploring creating content with those technologies for years. And now, XR is inspiring a new crop of products in town that enable folks to create that content more easily.
This Spring, I was given the opportunity to take the stage for TEDxPortland. Which, I later learned, is among the top three TEDx events in the world. And it’s a good thing that I learned that later, because that definitely would have tempered my acceptance of the opportunity. But as someone who suffers from stage fright—and someone who did not yet understand the stature of the event—it seemed like one of those interesting personal challenges. A growing experience. I mean, what could go wrong?