Community, News

Beta testing PIE Shop, application deadline announced

While PIE has amassed nearly a decade of experience in assisting and accelerating early stage startups, the bulk of that experimentation has been with software companies. So when we embarked on a new project to apply PIE’s startup accelerator methodology to companies that manufacture physical objects, we wanted to be sure we knew how those types of companies would make use of the physical space we provide.

We understand how much space software companies use… but how much space do startups who make things use?

In an effort to answer that question, we did what we usually do. We began experimenting.

PIE Shop beta cohort

We’ve been quietly beta testing our PIE Shop space with a few different physical object startups, who were specifically selected from early applicants to help test drive the space and help us gain a better understanding of their needs and use. Given that the experiment seems to be going well, we felt it appropriate to share those companies with you, as well.

Bip: Bip is a small format connected device designed to be worn by residents of assisted living facilities as a means of opening lines of communication among residents, staff, and family, and providing critical data points that inform other assisted living management solutions.

CMDSense: CMDSense uses a variety of connected devices and other tools to gather outdoor and indoor data in cities in order to help transform cities into places that benefit every urban citizen.

Dorsum: Carrying unsupported weight puts strain on the back, increasing the risk for injury. Dorsum has designed and are developing the AdaptiveSpine™, a spinal exoskeleton and supportive device that transfers weight and stress to the hips.

Foundry Collaborative: The team who built the Adidas connected ball has spun off from the apparel company to continue to innovate on the technology they created. They will serve as both a PIE Shop company and mentors in residence for the other companies in the space.

And we’re also happy to host a couple of community pursuits that help make Portland a better place.

PDX Women in Tech: Established in 2012, we are a community-based non-profit organization. Our purpose is to strengthen the Portland women in tech community by offering: educational programs, partnerships, mentorships, resources and opportunities.

Portland IQ: A public private partnership formed when Portland’s rapidly maturing higher-ed anchor institutions recognized that shared goals, overlapping constituencies, close proximity, increasing community investment, and complementary real-estate development projects presented a rare opportunity for collaboration — collaboration that would provide exponentially more value as a combined effort than it would as individual projects.

Adding additional companies to PIE Shop

After beta testing the space, we are confident that we can likely fit one or two more companies into the space. All companies selected to participate receive free office space, access to the Autodesk desktop manufacturing facility, free use of Autodesk’s entire suite of software, and the opportunity to take part in the PIE program of mentorship and acceleration.

So if you’re interested in applying to be one of those companies, please complete the PIE Shop application. Applications will close September 16, 2018, at 11:59PM Pacific Time.

NOTE: If you have already applied, you do not need to resubmit your application. However, you are more than welcome to submit, again.


The Future of Stuff

At PIE, we like to take advantage of our name—after all, it’s the Portland Incubator Experiment. And as such, we like to try new things. It is this spirit of experimentation, that brings a new level of energy to each class, and also pushes us to find ways to make an impact in the community.

Last year, we launched PIElette, a seven-week intensive entrepreneurship program for underserved teens, in partnership with local Portland nonprofit, Self Enhancement Inc.  The program brought in 8 teens, a dozen mentors from around the community, and culminated with a demo day  – attendees included members of the local media, the Portland Development Commission, local tech startups, and the Technology Association of Oregon.   The development for PIElette continues, and we’re excited about future sessions.

As class 4 approached, we were once again, presented with an opportunity that couldn’t be passed up.  After hearing about PIElette, TED-fellow and founder of New York based, Project Breaker Juliette LaMontange came to Portland and met with the PIE team.  We learned that Concordia University and the Construct Foundation were working on setting up a two week Portland based Breaker Project called The Future of Stuff, and they wanted PIE to be involved.

So, what is The Future of Stuff and why does it matter to Portland and for PIE to be involved? From May 4 – 19, 2014 the facilitated design challenge will have students from across the city researching, designing, and testing the viability and social impact of business opportunities they identify for making and manufacturing industries. It also presents a unique opportunity for executives, school administrators, designers, teachers, and community based organizations to learn with and from the Breaker team as they explore the intersection of challenge-based learning, design-driven innovation, and social entrepreneurship. With local organizations like ADX, Spooltown, and the ever-expanding maker/manufacturing community, you might say that Portland is leading the resurgence of American Made. The Portland Development Commission thinks so, and since 2009 has dedicated resources to promoting advanced manufacturing and the athletic/outdoor industries, adding high wage jobs and growth to the economy.

Want to be involved or know a student (17-24) who should join us? Applications are still open.

We’re looking forward to adding another experiment to the PIE portfolio, and believe the impact of Breaker will reinforce the advancement of the maker movement.