Stumptown Startups Blog

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.

Vizcards offer new way to be more visible online

Vizcards offer new way to be more visible online

Ever get that feeling you’re just not good enough on social media?

We all know by now that just signing up for the big sites like Twitter and Facebook doesn’t impress potential followers or future employers. You have to take it to the next level.

You’re supposed to be fun and professional, witty and informative - all at the same time.

Portland startup Vizify, which offers a quick and free way to create an interactive, online slideshow about your life, is now offering what the company says could be a cure to social media writer’s block: vizcards.

Nike, TechStars bring 10 tech companies under their wing

Nike, TechStars bring 10 tech companies under their wing
Image courtesy nikeaccelerator.com

There are few other companies a fitness or athletics startup would want to be associated with as much as Nike. Now, ten are getting the chance.

The startups, which were announced this afternoon, are moving in today to a new, shared office space. It means the next cool gadget or app from the prestigious brand could come not from its Beaverton headquarters, but rather from the brains and sweat of people working out of Northwest Portland for the next few months. The office space is located at 1714 NW Overton.

The next big thing? Portland Seed Fund chooses next round of startups

The next big thing? Portland Seed Fund chooses next round of startups

Since starting my #StumptownStartups blog here at KATU, I've taken a special interest in the Portland Seed Fund

As a journalist reaching out to the average TV viewer, the 90 day "business boot camp" for startups stands out because it uses a combination of private and public money (thanks to the state of Oregon and cities of Portland and Hillsboro).

So, Oregonians, here is the first public list for the next "class" of startups that you are helping along.  The idea is that they'll find success and then bring jobs, tax revenue and recognition to the local area.

Which do you think will be the next big thing?

A Portlander's take on Austin's SXSW Interactive

As Portland startup mentors, hopefuls and success stories return home from a busy, and I would imagine pretty fun, few days in Austin, Texas for South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW), I find myself intrigued and a little jealous that I wasn’t there. 

But thankfully, my co-worker got to go.

Lucid Energy first in U.S. to get investments through Israeli crowdfunding site

Lucid Energy first in U.S. to get investments through Israeli crowdfunding site
Courtesy: Lucid Energy

World collaboration just has a nice ring to it. Well, here’s more proof that innovation, creation and investing are more important than country lines or language barriers. 

Lucid Energy, a Portland-based startup I wrote about in January that is doing a pilot project to put turbines in the city's main drinking water pipe and create clean energy, is the first U.S. company to receive funding from a new crowdfunding platform based in Israel, OurCrowd.
 

PIE anyone? Startup accelerator accepts applications next week

PIE anyone? Startup accelerator accepts applications next week

Heads up: you may have more than your taxes to turn in by April 15.  That’s also the deadline for applications to the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE)

The startup accelerator is a collaboration of people and organizations that provide space, funding and guidance to a group of aspiring businesses over a three month period.  PIE has a proven track record with alumni like Urban Airship and Simple.

Libraries becoming startup accelerators? It's happening.

Libraries becoming startup accelerators? It's happening.
Multnomah County Library.

We all know the public library can be a great resource and physical space for job seekers, but what about for job creators?  

A friend and co-worker sent me this recent article that got me thinking: maybe the Multnomah County Library could benefit from helping startups just as much as the startups it could help.

Fun stuff near you? There's an app for that...

Fun stuff near you? There's an app for that... »Play Video

Fear not – you won’t miss out on any local discounts or specials with a new smart phone app launching this week in Portland.  It’s called FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) Sonar.

It uses GPS technology to notify you on your phone about discounts and happenings at the places you’re near at any particular time.  You have control over what businesses you allow so you aren’t overwhelmed with pop-ups. So far, six businesses have signed on to be included in the FOMO app.

Here's how it works: When you're in the area of a particular bar, you'll get notifications for what's happening at that bar. Certain bars and restaurants offer deals for discounted or free items if you are signed up for the app.

City hopes to lure startups with money and office space

City hopes to lure startups with money and office space
Image from producerowpdx.com

With a new mayor in town reevaluating each area of the budget, I had questions about the city’s future financial support for local startups.

Those questions would be part of a series I’m working on about the Portland Seed Fund, which gets about half its funding from public money (Portland, Hillsboro and the state of Oregon). It then provides funding and mentoring to several new startups twice a year. I wanted to know if new Mayor Charlie Hales would continue to back it.

Well, it seems the city isn’t just supporting that startup program, it’s also starting its own.