The Portland Incubator Experiment, also known as PIE, is looking to hatch a new batch of startups this fall with the help of some of the biggest corporate brands on the planet. The next class of the Portland Incubator Experiment — bankrolled in part by ad agency Wieden+Kennedy — will get the chance to work with representatives from Nike, Coca-Cola and Target as they get their new startups off the ground.
PIE is looking for eight to 10 “brand-collaborative startups” from around the country to participate in the program, with each company able to access up to $18,000, said PIE co-founder and Silicon Florist publisher Rick Turoczy. (Note: Number corrected.)
The three-month program also features business and technology mentors, including Ward Cunningham, inventor of the Wiki; Alex Payne, formerly of Twitter; and Dave Hersh, former CEO of Jive.
“Where else can startups get the chance to learn from the guy who invented the Wiki, the guy who built Twitter’s API, the folks who made Old Spice entertaining, and some of the most easily recognized brands in the world?” asks Turoczy.
Up until now, Turoczy said that the Portland Incubator Experiment has largely been a co-working space with entrepreneurs renting desks. The new program is very much designed in the spirit of a traditional tech incubator such as Y Combinator and TechStars.
“PIE’s ability to curate technology and innovation, combined with W+K’s connection to brands and popular culture, should produce some interesting results in this next round,” said Turoczy.
The incubator is looking for emerging startups in the mobile space with an existing prototype; the ability to launch the service in three to nine months; and a business model that can quickly scale.
As part of the new direction, Chris DeVore of Founder’s Co-op in Seattle is serving as an advisor to the project.