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?
Let’s be honest. Talking about the past is a lot easier than guessing about the future. Regardless of how sound your strategic thinking. All we know for certain is that we’ll continue experimenting. Because that’s what we’re best at doing. And it’s in our name.
Apart from that, the PIE team is super interested in pursuing the following goals in 2017. (And, obviously, we hope that you’ll tag along for the journey.)
- Completing the PIE Cookbook: Our primary objective for the first half of 2017 is to complete our efforts on the PIE Cookbook 1.0 release. While it’s been great to build this documentation out in public, many members of our community have found it challenging to engage with the information in fits and starts. We’re hoping that with a complete—albeit still lacking—document, we can all engage in conversations that move this discussion beyond a PIE-centric discourse and toward creating documentation that is truly utilitarian for everyone pursuing Accelerator models, of all types, around the world. (Speaking of editing documentation, I think even Faulkner would take issue with that sentence.)
- Expanding the PIE Cookbook community: During 2016, we’ve spent a great deal of time interacting with the folks who backed the PIE Cookbook on Kickstarter. But all of us have felt that getting more voices in the room would be helpful. For that reason, we have chosen to open the PIE Cookbook Slack instance to the broader community, so that accelerators, startups, and mentors alike can all have the benefit of communicating with one another. (If you’re interested in accelerators, please apply to be added to our Slack instance.) If all goes well, maybe we’ll even look into planning some real-world events that get a bunch of likeminded folks together in the same room—either in your community or in ours.
- Increasing efforts around diversity and inclusion in our community: PIE has happily had ever increasing responsibility in working with the City of Portland’s economic development agency on the Startup PDX Challenge, an annual competition to find, select, support, and highlight the amazing women founders and founders of color in our community. In 2017, we have the opportunity to take an even larger role in this effort by vying to manage the entire program. While we’ve had a ton of experience with this program and we’re excited by this opportunity, we realize that we cannot—nor should we—do this alone. So if you’re interested in partnering with PIE on this project, please let us know.
- Exploring new and different applications of the accelerator model: At its heart, PIE is an ongoing experiment, after all. Nearly a decade ago, PIE started with Wieden+Kennedy recognizing an opportunity in the Portland startup community and capitalizing on that opportunity with an accelerator. We cofounded Oregon Story Board as a means of exploring how the accelerator model might be applied to the traditional creative industry in Portland. Now, we’re intrigued to explore how the accelerator model can positively influence another significant group in our community: makers of physical and connected objects. Can the accelerator model be applied to this industry? Can we help the founders of those companies move further, faster than they would move on their own? Can we bring together mentors who help those startups make new mistakes, rather than repeating the mistakes others have made? We’re sure as heck going to try.
- Continuing to support existing partnerships: Just because PIE is giddy with anticipation about new projects, doesn’t mean that we’re going to forego the partnerships that have made us what we are today. We’ll continue collaborating with the corporations, organizations, mentors, and alums that helped make PIE what is. That includes supporting our accelerator partners, continuing to help the companies in the PIE portfolio, and engaging with the Portland in ways that benefit the whole startup community.
- Creating more content, publishing more often, and generally being more transparent: While we had a litany of amazing one-on-one conversations in 2016, we were admittedly too quiet, publicly. And we’d like to change that. From writing more to interacting more through our Slack, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts, we’ll be experimenting and exploring more ways to engage with—and grow—the PIE family and the broader startup community.
Long story short, we’re really looking forward to 2017. And we hope you’ll be part of the story. If there’s anything we can be doing to help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.