Jive CFO Bryan LeBlanc.

Is Portland becoming the newest hotbed for tech talent?

It very well could be, at least according to one CFO. Jive Software, a maker of online tools that help workers collaborate on projects, is expanding its Portland office and CFO Bryan LeBlanc told the Portland Business Journal that he finds it easier to hire in Portland than in the Bay Area. 

LeBlanc told the PBJ that Portland has a “very strong tech community,” and that he find it easier to hire engineers and technical people in the Rose City.

Jive Software, the one-time darling of the Portland technology scene, filed for a $100 million initial public offering back in 2011 and moved its headquarters to Palo Alto, Calif. However, the company still has deep connections to the Pacific Northwest, including Portland where it still operates a large operation of sales, marketing and product development.

John Cook wrote an interesting piece earlier this month about how more people are locking down VC money in Portland:

For years, Portland was largely overlooked in the tech world — certainly a distant cousin when compared to the scene in Seattle. Portland still doesn’t boast a tech giant of the scale of Amazon, Expedia or Microsoft (Yeah, I know Intel is huge in Oregon, but I am talking about headquarters).

But things are changing in Portland. And one of those changes is coming in the form of VC dollars — at least here in the first quarter of 2013. So far, there’s been more than $88 million invested in Portland startups  — largely spread across three huge deals: a $30 million round for Puppet Labs; a $33 million round for Janrain and today’s $25 million round for Urban Airship. (By my count, the Seattle area’s tally for the first quarter stands at more than $53 million, spread among a number of smaller deals, such as $7 million for Rover.com, the $1.7 million for Tred and the $8 million for Simply Measured).

Previously on GeekWire: Seattle vs. Portland: Which city is more hip?

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  • Portland

    Also since there are no jobs in Portland that helps.

  • pdx bob

    For the past year, EVERYONE is Portland has talked about a severe lack of developer talent to hire. The new “Big Three” in town have become so well funded and hired everyone with reasonable skills. You look around at dozens of smaller companies who can’t find anyone available to hire. Seriously, it’s Grade-D talent that’s available at this point. Or, the rare “A” talent who’s trying to nab $150+/hour.

    Add a severe lack of rental housing (plus increasing prices) and it’s even hard to import talent. Maybe JIVE can pay to attract the talent they need; but small-mid size tech companies find Portland a desert, not an oasis.

  • Sinful in Seattle

    The headline starting with CFO rather than CTO says it all. Of course you can pay less for Grade B tech leaders that will in turn hire Grade C staff, as surely as night follows day no matter what city you’re in.

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