Community

Longing for a startup pitch event like PIE Demo Day? Get ready to be happy

It’s been a while since we’ve had a PIE Demo Day. We’ve helped host pitch competitions, sure. But we haven’t had a Demo Day. And Demo Days are different. Attending, you get that feeling that everyone is in it together, that everyone in the audience is there to help everyone on stage, and that every speaker is pulling for every other speaker.

And while we’re a ways off from any future PIE Demo Days, there is an event coming up next week that reminds us very much of our Demo Day dynamic: PitchBlack.

Why: To connect the region’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem with the increasing number of African-American founders.

This event is the brainchild of Stephen Green @PDXStephenG, economist, entrepreneur & strong advocate of CHEATING to support small businesses. By day he is the Community Manager for Townsquared where he is engaging area small businesses to support each other and share knowledge. Stephen, along with others in the community have been looking to spread broader narratives about black founders locally.

The event will be held August 30, 2017, at Instrument in Portland, Oregon. Tickets are available for $22 and all proceeds go to the cash prizes for the winning pitches.

If you can’t attend but are still interested in supporting the event, Business for a Better Portland highlights other ways folks can contribute.

For more information or to RSVP, visit PitchBlack.

Community, News

Not just tech, anymore: PIE explores support for consumer products companies

Historically, we’ve focused on tech companies with PIE — and more explicitly SaaS and mobile companies. Usually with a B2B bent. But that hasn’t prevented hundreds of consumer products companies with compelling concepts from reaching out to us.

From clothing to mead to protein bars to box subscriptions, we’ve had the pleasure of comparing notes with all kinds of startups with all kinds of business models. It’s been educational for us, over time. And it has piqued our curiosity more than once.

Now, we’re moving beyond simply being curious to exploring more of these opportunities. And while we’re still in the planning stages, we wanted to make sure that folks knew a little bit more about our history with consumer products and what we’re doing as we lead up to our expanded scope.

Our first foray into the world of consumer goods was with brand partners like Coca-Cola, Daimler, Nike, and Target where we were fortunate to learn about the ways successful consumer goods companies approached and collaborated with their respective markets — and where curiosity was driving these large corporations to explore other opportunities.

Next, we had the opportunity to collaborate with the Startup PDX Challenge, a City of Portland sponsored incubator that PIE has worked with for the past three years. During that time, we had the chance to see a broader spectrum of the kinds of companies were being built in Portland, what types of challenges were impacting those founders, and which types of companies seemed to generate the highest likelihood of traction and success.

Now, we’re getting more engaged with a broader range of consumer goods through our partnership with Built Oregon, a 501(c)3 not for profit organization focused on consumer goods companies throughout the state of Oregon.

And this year, we’re proud to be sponsors of the inaugural Built Up Festival, a first of its kind event that brings both startups and established companies from around the state of Oregon together to discuss the opportunities and challenges that consumer goods companies face.

To us, it was important in year one to really connect the dots of the consumer product legacy and impact in Oregon. It’s a legacy that is stitched together through stories, insights, and a sense of collaboration. In that vein, we have set up a series of fireside chats, conversations that will look to bridge the rich legacy and highlight the current trends and innovations.

From food and beverage to apparel, footwear, and product design the founders who are participating in these conversations have stories that will not only instigate discussions, but also inspire the next generation of consumer leaders.

Attendees will hear from companies like Deschutes Brewery, Hanna Andersson, Lucy Activewear, and Society Nine, as well as some of the most promising startups in the consumer good industry.

But it’s not just about presentations, it’s about conversations. The event will feature opportunities for discussions and brainstorming among founders, buyers, and investors, enabling folks to make connections that are often hard to come by in the real world. Because those sorts of connections and peer mentoring are what PIE is all about.

More soon on PIE opportunities for consumer products startups, but if you’re building a company focused on clothing, beverage, food, hardware, tools, vehicles, or any other sort of consumer-facing product, we’d love to hear from you.

For more information on the event or to RSVP, visit Built Up Festival. For more information on the organization, visit Built Oregon. And if you’re a consumer goods startup, please stay tuned to PIE as we ramp up this next phase of our efforts.

Community, News

Think you can’t make it to the 1776 Challenge Cup Portland? Think again

If you’ve had any experience with PIE in the past — be it events, visiting mentors, or Demo Days — you know that we love our livestreaming. So when it comes to something like the 1776 Challenge Cup Portland, what are we going to do?

That’s right. Livestream it.

Admittedly, we would much rather have you joining us in person, but we also realize that might not be possible for everyone. So if you can’t be at Revolution Hall on July 6, 2017, at 6:00PM PDT, then please join us from the comfort of your own web browser. And it’s all thanks to our friends at Blaze Streaming Media.

1776-challenge-cup-2017

Click to view the Livestream of 1776 Challenge Cup Portland 2017

Or, if you’d like to have the opportunity to “like” (👍) along with the event, please feel free to tune in via Facebook Live.

Screen Shot on 2017-07-05 at 22-02-53

Community, News

1776 Challenge Cup Portland 2017: And the startups pitching are…

Thanks again to all of the amazing startups who applied to be part of the first stage of the global 1776 Challenge Cup competition. We’re proud to be the hosts in Portland. So proud in fact, that everyone who applied was automatically advanced to the second round of the next PIE cohort selection.

Now, it’s time to get down to the competition itself. And we’re very excited to reveal the companies we’ve selected to take the stage:

  • American Leaseback, who is rethinking home buying to make it more accessible
  • C3Backflow, who is improving the water we drink
  • CMDSense, who is transforming modern construction
  • Curio Learning, who is enabling educators to better collaborate
  • Democracy Squared, a democracy toolbox
  • eBundler, who is fighting against big money in politics
  • EVmatch, who is helping democratize electric vehicle charging
  • habu health, who is increasing consumer confidence and knowledge of cannabis
  • Madorra, who is developing a medical device to treat vaginal dryness
  • Mogol, who is helping transportation officials to better understand traffic patterns
  • Paidtogo, who incentivizes commuters to take alternate forms of transportation
    Scopic, who is empowering the freelance economy
  • SmartVineyards, who is using technology to improve vineyard irrigation
  • Sphaera, a P2P knowledge platform advancing Sustainable Development Goals
  • ThermChem Corporation, who is converting low value waste into valuable products
  • Tozny, who is rethinking tools for data privacy and security

Join all of these companies—as well as sponsors like Prosper Portland, Blaze Streaming Media, Built Oregon, CENTRL Office, Development Now, PSU Center for Entrepreneurship, StackPath, and TechfestNW—as they take the stage 6:00PM on July 6, 2017 at Revolution Hall.

For more information or to RSVP, please visit 1776 Challenge Cup Portland. (And if your company is interested in supporting this event as a sponsor, there are still spots available. Simply ping rick@piepdx.com.)

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.

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.