Nice writeup from an interview with startup accelerator 1776. (PIE partners with 1776 to host the 1776 Challenge Cup Portland on July 6, 2017. If you’re interested in applying, the deadline for applications is June 9, 2017.)
From a coworking space to an accelerator, PIE, or Portland Incubator Experiment, is focused on creating successful startups in Portland, Oregon. PIE is constantly changing its own methods to better fit the local startups’ needs and has transitioned from a coworking space to an accelerator.
For more, read “Portland Incubator Experiment: Evolving With Its Startups.”
It’s always nice to see PIE alums getting interesting opportunities. That’s why we’re incredibly happy to report that PIE alum Lytics will be participating in the new accelerator for Snapchat‘s parent company, Snap.
According to Fast Company:
R/GA executive vice-president and global chief operating officer Stephen Plumlee says the focus of the program is to explore what the next wave of marketing technology will be, given the prominence of social platforms and mobile engagement alongside the rise of AI, bots, and other analytics and personalization enabling technologies. “We worked to identify startups creating the products, tools, and services that will enable brands and agencies to leverage the full potential, reach, and consumer data that platforms like Snapchat can provide, and enable them to engage consumers with more relevant, strategic, and personalized content,” says Plumlee. “We specifically looked at startups who were making it easier for brands and advertisers to leverage social platforms as a whole.”
PIE is proud to continue our collaboration with our friends at 1776, as we once again serve as the host for the first round of the 1776 Challenge Cup, a startup competition that has founders all over the world pitching their startup ideas at local and regional competitions with the hopes of making it to the main stage for the global finals.
Fun fact: One of the winners of the last Portland competition, NoAppFee.com, went on to win the People’s Choice Award at the global finals in Washington, DC.
Anyone is welcome to apply to the 1776 Challenge Cup Portland competition. You don’t even have to be located in Portland—just so long as you can make it to Portland for the event. Likewise, Portland-based companies are welcome to apply to any of the local competitions, around the world.
What types of startups should apply? 1776 is specifically interested in startups who are using their creativity to solve problems with civic impact. So if you’re working on solutions for cities, education, energy, food, health, money, security, and/or transportation—or you can tell a compelling story about how your startup positively impacts any of those areas—you’ve got a good chance of being selected to pitch.
Applications are currently open. They close June 9, 2017. The pitch competition will be held in Portland on July 6, 2017.
We’ve all heard it. “Going through an accelerator is an emotional rollercoaster.” And we’d be the first to agree. It’s not an easy or smooth experience. For anyone.
But what, exactly, does that rollercoaster look like?
At PIE, we’ve spent time analyzing the behavior of founders in our accelerator as well as other programs in which we’ve had the opportunity to participate. And that analysis has led to a rough sketch of the general ebb and flow of emotions that founders experience throughout the course of an accelerator program.
Happy Pi Day!
One of the most active PIE alums from our first accelerator class, Cloudability, continues to grow — through both acquisitions and hires — and solidify its position in the Portland startup community.
A couple of newsworthy items this week, an acquisition and new office space:
Fun fact: The new Cloudability office was previously home to PIE alums Urban Airship and Simple, among others.
Oh. And Cloudability is hiring, too.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned after nearly a decade of working with Portland startups — and startups that are attracted to Portland — it’s that financial gain is often the last thing motivating and driving our founders. And even if there are financial motives, they do not often come with a “growth at any cost” mindset.
Long story short, we do not chase unicorns. Because we do not have the resources that will help those types of companies. We have different strengths.
At PIE, we have found our motivations aligning with our founders’ motivations. We are here to build better founders. And a better community. We’re here to make new mistakes. And to help Portland be the next great version of itself. We’re not in it for the money, because honestly, there are millions of easier ways to make money than running an early stage startup accelerator — or helping other accelerators help startups.
So we’re an accelerator without the unicorns. So what do we have? What types of companies do well as part of the PIE family? To whom are we being helpful? What companies do well in Portland? And what were we supposed to call those companies?
Well, thanks to Jennifer Brandel and PIE alum Mara Zepeda, we now have a term for the types of companies that PIE loves: zebras.
- To state the obvious: unlike unicorns, zebras are real.
- Zebra companies are both black and white: they are profitable and improve society. They won’t sacrifice one for the other.
- Zebras are also mutualistic: by banding together in groups, they protect and preserve one another. Their individual input results in stronger collective output.
- Zebra companies are built with peerless stamina and capital efficiency, as long as conditions allow them to survive.
Sound like something you’re building? Join your peers at Zebras Unite. And consider attending DazzleCon in October. And, of course, we’d love to hear from you, too. We could always use more zebras in the dazzle that is Portland.
It’s always nice to see PIE alums continuing to thrive and grow. Outdoor Project, an alum of the Derby PIE class, recently announced they had secured funding to fuel continued growth — and more hires.
Here’s some of the local coverage:
Outdoor Project, an alum of the Portland Incubator Experiment, has been building in Portland for several years. The site lists more than 4,000 adventures that include camping on the north rim of the Grand Canyon, staying in a ski hut near Lake Tahoe and rock climbing in the Colorado desert.
The Portland company’s backers include the Oregon Angel Fund and Cascade Angels, two organizations that invest in early-stage technology companies. Outdoor Project said it will use the money to hire five more employees; the company currently employs six.
For more information, visit Outdoor Project.
Now in its third year, Portland Startup Week is a (little longer than a) weeklong celebration of the founders, companies, and supporters who make the Portland startup community what it is. PIE is proud to have been the founding organizer for this event, and we’re happy to continue as the organizer of the event, this year.
Because it’s important for startups. And for Portland.
From reviving classic Portland startup gatherings to discussing how we become an even better startup community, the week promises something for everyone. If you’re in Portland — or close enough to swing by — we’d love to have you participate.
For more information or to stay in the loop, visit Portland Startup Week, follow @pdxstartupweek on Twitter, or like Portland Startup Week on Facebook.
As if waking from communications hibernation, PIE recently shared a recap of some of the highlights from 2016. Which immediately begs the equally traditional New Year question: What will PIE be doing in 2017?