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.

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.

Community

Join us for Portland Startup Week 2017

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.

Community

A sampling of PIE in 2016

It’s that time of year. You know, that time when you’re supposed to take a moment to reflect on your organization and its accomplishments over the past year? Or maybe it’s more that your team has been so heads-down-busily-quiet over the last few months that you want folks to know what you’ve been doing. And your team hasn’t been publishing as much as you thought they would. Because they’ve been working on any number of things… Read More

Community

What experiment is PIE cooking up next?

It’s no secret. We’ve been rethinking the Portland Incubator Experiment. (It’s an experiment, after all.)

What began eight years ago as a collaboration between the largest privately held creative agency in the world, Wieden+Kennedy, and the Portland startup scene led to a coworking space, an early-stage and mid-stage startup accelerator, a corporate accelerator, hackdays, startup events, and a hub for community, among other things. And all these iterations have been valuable.

As we’ve been evaluating PIE, we wanted to continue to provide value to the startup community—in the broadest sense—and use our resources in the best way possible.

So after a number of conversations with startups, mentors, advisors, peers, and patrons, we’ve hit upon what we should be doing next. And now we’re ready to share the next phase of the experiment with you.

Introducing the PIE Cookbook

 

The PIE Cookbook will be an open source guide for creating, building, and improving your startup accelerator. Starting one from scratch? Already have one running? Traditional startup accelerator, new take on the accelerator mode, or corporate incubator looking for inspiration the PIE cookbook will have something for you. Once complete, it will contain everything we’ve learned over the eight years of running PIE—successes, failures, and everything in between. What’s more, it will be completely free and open source so that anyone, anywhere, can put what we’ve learned to good use.

Why are we open sourcing our program and processes?

 

First, we believe the most efficient way to scale PIE is to provide direct access to our learnings. Second, we believe each and every community—enabled with the right tools and insights—has the potential to assist and accelerate promising folks further and faster toward success. Third, we believe there’s no secret formula to running an accelerator, and that sharing is the best way to help us all help each other.

And that’s just good for everyone.

Even if all we manage to do is simply document the PIE process, we’ll consider this project a success. But we hope the PIE Cookbook is the beginning of something much more meaningful. As an open source project, you will have the opportunity take part in creating the most effective documentation for startup accelerators, ever. And anyone can use the PIE Cookbook as the basis for documenting and running an accelerator program—whether it follows the PIE path or just avoids our mistakes.

If this sounds interesting to you, please take a look at the PIE Cookbook Kickstarter campaign and join us on this project.

More to come…

 

We realize that many of the folks who follow PIE are founders. And their interests lie not in building an accelerator but in being accelerated. Rest assured, we haven’t forgotten our roots as a program designed to build better founders. There’s more coming in that regard. 2016 is going to be a lot of fun, and a lot of hardwork, and the PIE Cookbook is just the first experiment we have planned for this year.

So please stay tuned. We’re excited to share the next phase of the experiment as it comes together.