Stumptown Startups Blog

Pitch your idea for the next big thing and get paid with 'Pitchlandia'

Pitch your idea for the next big thing and get paid with 'Pitchlandia' »Play Video

Pitch your idea and get paid; that is, if the crowd likes it.

That’s the idea behind Pitchlandia. The organizers call it “the world’s first completely crowd-sourced, crowd-based and crowd-selected startup pitch event, all Portland-themed.”

It gives anyone in Oregon and Southwest Washington a chance to get involved with startups, and perhaps even get a big idea off the ground with little effort. You don’t have to quit your day job or empty your savings account, at least not yet.

“You don’t have to go through processes, spend 6-9 months of your life turning a project into a company, or an idea into a company, you can do it in just a few weeks,” said one of the organizers and a startup founder himself, John Friess.

So here’s how it works: come up with that great idea (it can be anything like food, clothes, a new tool) and fill out a one-page business plan online by the end of April. If the Pitchlandia organizers choose your idea in the top 20, you’ll pitch it in person to a crowd of 300 people on May 27. Up to 10 ideas will be chosen to get at least $2,500 each.

“It’s enough you could potentially do a prototype of your product, you could go out and get a patent issued or at least filed, and potentially allow you to build a piece of software,” Friess said.

The more money Pitchlandia raises now, the more money the winners will receive. Anyone can buy a ticket to be part of the crowd who votes. Ticket sales also contribute to the total amount of money raised.

“Everyone that's ever had a great idea and put it all out there, has been terrified. Anyone who tells you they were not terrified in lying to you,” said another organizer and attorney of a startup law firm, Robert Scott. “It's a gamble, but if you really believe in it, go for it.”

Portland startup hopes to change the face of medical training

Portland startup hopes to change the face of medical training »Play Video
Michelle Oulman (not pictured) and her daughter, Emelia, have agreed to be videotaped and added to the ReelDX video library for future learning.

Portland startup, ReelDx, believes it’s leading to better, faster medical diagnoses in children and potentially saving lives.

Not every startup can say that.

Dear Mommy, is it snack time yet? New email app designed for kids

Dear Mommy, is it snack time yet? New email app designed for kids

PORTLAND, Ore. – You’re never too young to LOL.

That’s what Vin Thomas is banking on, at least.

Thomas is raising funds to start an email app called Cubtab, aimed specifically at children as young as three or four years old.

“Rather than just throw them into the deep waters of the internet, we wanted to find a way to introduce them to email, messaging and the internet in a fun and safe way,” he said.

Tag yourself in the crowd: GigaPan's latest social media tool

Tag yourself in the crowd: GigaPan's latest social media tool »Play Video

I’m in a visual medium and work with photographers daily, so I know there’s something special about a truly candid image.  No one is cheesing it up for the camera; it’s just a real moment captured in time.

I think that’s why I’m having so much fun playing with GigaPan’s re-launched and expanded social media tool, GigaPan Tag.

'Uber' wants to operate in Portland, but barriers stand in their way

'Uber' wants to operate in Portland, but barriers stand in their way
A screenshot from the Uber app shows how users can see which cars are available nearby then use the app to hail a town car. The service is currently available in Seattle and San Francisco but not in Portland.

I was in Seattle earlier this year when a friend and I needed a ride from my hotel to his house. My first thought was to find the front desk and have them call a cab. How quaint.

In Seattle, tech-savvy commuters do things a bit different. My friend pulled out his iPhone and opened the Uber app. He glanced at a map, saw a town car was nearby and requested the car.

Within about three minutes the town car was pulling into the hotel driveway.

Why, I wondered, didn’t we have this service in Portland?

It turns out Uber wants offer their service in the Rose City, but regulations stand in the way. They include a requirement that all town car reservations be made at least 60 minutes in advance. That would effectively quash Uber’s business model.

NASA used Portland technology to make hyper-detailed Mars image

NASA used Portland technology to make hyper-detailed Mars image
Part of the 1.3 billion pixel image of Mars. (Image courtesy GigaPan)

A Portland-based company has put together one of the coolest images you’ll ever see.

Technology created by GigaPan, a company that creates incredibly high-resolution images, stitched together about 900 individual images to create a 1.3 billion pixel image of the Mars rover Curiosity.

Again, that’s 1.3 billion pixels.

Intriguing video helps launch TechTown Portland collaboration

Intriguing video helps launch TechTown Portland collaboration
A still frame from the "TechTown Porltand" video by Uncage the Soul Video Production.

Uncage the Soul did it again. You know, the video production people behind Finding Portland. At last check, the latter video has nearly 500,000 views on Vimeo, and the new release is well on its way with more than 8,000 views in just a few weeks.

Both videos are selling Portland's flair. Those fancy, and might I add flying, camera angles know how to highlight the best of Stumptown. This time around it’s all about "TechTown".

Graduating seniors should take advantage of startup opportunities

I realize many (if not, most) startup founders and employees have invested life savings, sacrificed time with families and taken risks based on years of experience in order to follow their passions and build businesses over time. They cringe at the idea startups only begin as portrayed in the movie, The Social Network.

But let’s face it: there are opportunities for the many graduating college seniors about to walk across a stage and into the “real world.” These barely-20-somethings with little experience and, often times, little to lose will be the ones willing to take a risk, enjoy a career adventure and grab onto an opportunity simply to prove themselves.

A “match.com” for runners wins Portland Startup Weekend

A “match.com” for runners wins Portland Startup Weekend
The "LivFly" team took home top honors during the Portland Startup Weekend.

Portland Startup Weekend is kind of like a 54-hour relay race.  You have to pick your team, work together and hope to finish as the winners. And you can expect sweat, tears and beer by the end.
 
For a group of six guys (pictured), they ran it just right. LivFly took home the “Overall Winner” award with an idea to connect local runners.
 
Here's their idea:  Match running partners using where, when, how fast and how far they run.

Portland-based brandlive wins Oregon Entrepeneurs award

Portland-based brandlive wins Oregon Entrepeneurs award
Photo courtesy @oenorg on Twitter.

It says something when a company gets the check from investors and the “favorite” vote from the audience.  You must be doing something right, brandlive.

The Portland-based startup won the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network’s Angel Oregon 2013 Investment award as well as the “audience favorite” among the Launch Stage companies during Wednesday’s event.  The OEN Angel Oregon award is $260,000 – so far. Fritz Brumder, CEO of brandlive, says he's already had "great conversations" with other investors for this funding round.

GlobalSherpa working with TriMet to test payment app

GlobalSherpa working with TriMet to test payment app
Image courtesy of TriMet.

Portland’s GlobalSherpa is finding some business right in its own backyard.

The local tech startup, which makes mobile ticketing apps for transit systems, is working with TriMet to beta test a new payment app for Portland’s transit system.

KATU’s Kerry Tomlinson previewed the app in a story on Thursday.

Here’s an excerpt from Kerry’s story:

At least 1,000 people have already applied to be a beta tester for the free app that will be available on iPhone and Android devices this summer. TriMet has had such a big response that they will be ending the application process this Sunday at 5 p.m. They'll be choosing about 150 beta testers to try out the app.