We always talk about PIE being “an ongoing experiment.” But what exactly does that mean? Well, as we were preparing to embark on a whole new series of experiments, we took a few minutes to diagram the experiments we’ve already tried, to date.
It helped us visualize our history. So we thought it might be helpful to share.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.