Community, News

Introducing PIE’s teen founders

As you know, PIE is one big experiment. I mean, you do know that right? Portland. Incubator. EXPERIMENT. So every year, while accepting applications, the PIE team keeps an eye out for any opportunity to try new things.

This year, we’re actually working on a few experiments. What does it look like to bring an open-source project into an accelerator? Can solo-founders be successful in a rigorous three-month accelerator, and what can we do to tailor the experience for them?

We’ve wanted to work with teen founders for yet another experiment, so we’ve brought two promising companies into the PIE space this summer:

WorldState, co-founded by 18-yr-old Patrick Finnegan from Williamstown, MA, gets readers excited about news by gamifying and incentivizing the reading experience.

W.A.N.T., founded by high school students Grace, John, Annika, Sydney, Andrew, and Annie of Catlin Gabel in Portland, is a ‘for teens by teens’ news, entertainment, and sports website that hopes to transform the way that youth consume media.

I know what you’re thinking. High schoolers? Yes. And no, they’re not causing a ruckus. They’ve had the opportunity to participate in mentor talks, get connected to the mentor network, and rub shoulders with rising startups in the space. They’re doing well–and we’re enjoying their company.

But don’t take our word for it. We asked them how their experience has been, and here are their thoughts:

“Originally when I was offered the spot at PIE I couldn’t believe it and I didn’t know what to expect. After being here for a few weeks, I consider PIE my home on the west coast. This place is a magic kingdom where people are so generous and passionate. Just last week a PIE Alum who had just met me let me borrow her bike for the remainder of my stay. This doesn’t happen anywhere else. Although intense, I am already making huge strides in my product and plan on launching it on the app store in September and for all you PIE readers a beta invite this week. I am most excited about working with mentors, WK, getting user feedback and hopefully presenting at demo day. My anxiety gets high when I think about pitching to VC’s and potential content partners.”
–Patrick F., WorldState

“Walking into PIE provides a daily jolt of adrenalin and inspiration. We love “borrowing” the knowledge of PIE mentors (and annoying them with our numerous questions). It’s been exhilarating to work in the PIE space around so many smart, interesting, creative people, and it’s super fun to learn about what the other start-ups are working on and to get their worldly advice on our business. I’m worried that we’ll be too awesome for the other startups to handle — haha, just kidding. Seriously, we’re still a bit anxious that our age and lack of business experience will cause potential advisors and other companies not to take us seriously…but we look forward to surprising them!”
–Grace, W.A.N.T.

Thanks WorldState and W.A.N.T. for experimenting with us! We can’t wait to see what happens over the next few weeks together.

Community, News

PDX News Roundup

There’s a lot happening around the Portland startup community so here’s a roundup of some news and interesting reads:

  • Congratulations to an original PIE founder Jason Glaspey for “selling out
  • Orchestrate’s Antony Falco wrote a  great post on Usability Testing.
  • Cloudability outlined emerging themes from the AWS Summit NYC in a recent blogpost here.
  • Stublisher moved to a new location. Now it’s quieter here, but we miss them.
  • And if you’re looking for an excuse to leave work early and a way to stay healthy, look no further.
Alumni, News

Vadio + Vevo = MOAR Music

Yesterday PIE alum Vadio (that kept the PIE office filled with music until the wee hours of the morning) announced a major partnership with Vevo.

Why is this so great for the Vadio team? Vevo is the world’s leading all-premium music video and entertainment platform, with over 5.5 billion monthly views. This partnership enables Vadio to bring Vevo’s catalogue of over 100,000 music videos, live concert events and original programming to its streaming media partners.

The Vadio team, with offices in Portland and LA, has created technology that enables their customers (radio stations) to synchronize their audio streams with video content.

Here’s a little more on that from co-founder and CEO of Vadio, Bryce Clemmer:

“Vevo is synonymous with quality music and entertainment programming, making them an ideal partner to enable the conversion of audio to video streaming content, While audio streaming continues to grow in popularity, video streaming has expanded exponentially. With Vevo on board, we can enable media companies around the world to take full advantage of the video revolution.”

Congrats to the Vadio team!