Community, News

Prosper Portland selects PIE to carry on diversity and inclusion incubator efforts

If you follow PIE on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, you know that we’ve been hinting at some new flavors of PIE. Now, we’re able to reveal one of those new efforts: PIE is among 11 partners who have been chosen to help Prosper Portland (the organization formerly known as the Portland Development Commission (PDC)) on its small business efforts.

Prosper Portland Executive Director Kimberly Branam said, “This network of small business providers will transform the resource landscape for minority and underrepresented business owners. I’m excited to see Prosper Portland take this next step in its support of Portland’s small businesses, especially those owned by people of color and in low-income communities.”

For more, see the press release from Prosper Portland.

Community, News

Applications still open for 1776 Challenge Cup, PIE… and Shark Tank

PIE is excited to once again play host to the first round of the 1776 Challenge Cup, a global competition taking place in 75 cities around the world in an effort to identify promising early stage startups who are talking complex challenges that impact cities, education, energy, food, health, money, security, and transportation.

So excited, in fact, that we’ve extended the deadline for applications. But just a few more days. Startups interested in applying must do so by June 18, 2017. The event takes place at Revolution Hall on July 6, 2017. It will be livestreamed, as well.

The event is free to applicants and attendees.

As an added bonus, any company who chooses to apply for the 1776 Challenge Cup will be automatically advanced to the second round of the next PIE application period—whether you’re selected to pitch or not. (You read that right. We’re beginning to ramp up for our next flavor of PIE and we’re super interested in the awesome startup you’re building. More details about that in the coming weeks.)

So it’s two applications for the price as one.

Finally, the folks at Shark Tank—yes, that Shark Tank—are on the prowl for more companies to participate in the popular ABC program. If you’re willing to make a deal with the sharks, you might consider throwing your proverbial chum in the water. You can apply by sending Shark Tank an email.

shark-tank.jpg

Community, News

REMINDER: You have one week left to apply for the 1776 Challenge Cup Portland

PIE is once again playing host to the 1776 Challenge Cup Portland, a pitch competition for early stage startups.

[1776 Challenge Cup is a] global competition for the world’s most promising startups tackling complex, regulated challenges to share their vision on a global stage, engage with industry leaders, and win grand prizes.

That’s all good. What’s not so good? The looming deadline. Which is June 9, 2017.

So if you’ve got an early stage company that deserves an audience with the Portland startup community — and potentially the entire world — please get your applications in before the deadline.

P.S. As an added bonus, any startup that applies to the 1776 Challenge Cup Portland will be automatically advanced to the second round of the companies being considered for the next PIE cohort, which is currently in the planning stages. So get those applications submitted.

News

1776 chats with PIE

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.”

Alumni, News

PIE alum Lytics selected for new Snap accelerator

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.”

Community

1776 Challenge Cup Portland: Apply today

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.

Advice, News

An open source guide for building the startup accelerator of your dreams

pie-cookbook-beta-complete

It’s been one year since the completion of the PIE Cookbook Kickstarter campaign, so it seemed only fitting that we let you know that we’ve reached the PIE Cookbook 0.9 beta release!

That’s right! All of the content in one spot. With a table of contents, even.

Now, admittedly, the beta still has quite a few flaws. There are any number of typos. It’s repetitive in sections. It’s repetitive in sections. And we have an ever-growing list of things we still desperately want to write.

Still, even with all of that, this release provides plenty of details and tips on how to start and manage your very own startup accelerator — and provides you with plenty of opportunities to tell us how to improve it.

In this version of the PIE Cookbook, we cover things like:

But we’re not stopping there. We remain dedicated to continuing to write, refine, and publish this guide, out in the open, so that we can create the most comprehensive documentation available to support folks who run accelerators — or who dream of building their own one day.

Read the PIE Cookbook 0.9 beta.

What’s next?

  • Realizing that a Github repository isn’t the easiest format to consume, we’re working to make versions of the current document available in a more digestible web format, in PDF, and in ebook format. Stay tuned!
  • We’re continuing to refine the document in preparation for the release of PIE Cookbook 1.0.
  • If you have suggestions for topics, find typos, or need us to provide additional content on an existing topic, please feel free to submit an issue on Github.
  • If you want to stay up-to-date on the PIE Cookbook and collaborate with other folks in the accelerator community, please consider joining our Slack channel.

More soon! ❤️

Advice

An early stage startup accelerator is an emotional rollercoaster

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.

Alumni, Community

Cloudability acquires Australian company, plans move to new office

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.

Alumni, Community

Have fun chasing unicorns. We’ll be over here with our zebras.

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.

Why 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.