There’s something cool brewing in Portland, Oregon.
The Rose City startup community came out in force last night for the PDX TechCrawl, as hundreds of Portland’s geeks had a chance to tour some of the city’s hottest startups like Puppet Labs and CrowdCompass.
We had a fantastic time hosting the final leg of the crawl, where we had the opportunity to meet countless entrepreneurs and engineers from the Portland area. A big thanks to GeekWire annual sponsors Filter and Frontier Communications for helping us put on the fun event.
We’re headed down to TechFestNW today, so check back on GeekWire for our reports from the tech conference. In the meantime, we caught up with a few folks last night who explained to us what the Portland startup scene is all about.
“It’s highly collaborative and there are lots of people supporting one another, giving each other help. The peer-to-peer mentorship is really big here. Everyone is extremely helpful — that’s the big thing that stands out.” — Lindsay Nelson, CEO and co-founder at Theme Dragon.
“When I came back to Portland 18 years ago, it was pretty dead. Now, it’s very vibrant and crazy on the startup side. Money is actually coming in to Portland. They always used to skip up and go from the Bay Area to Seattle. Now, they’re starting to take notice. It’s good to see. It’s making the whole West Coast a vibrant tech community.” — Scott Chandler, iOS developer at CrowdCompass.
“The tech community is attracting young people from all over the country. Even though there’s a really entrenched core group of people, you’re always going to see new faces because companies are growing so rapidly that it’s really changing the face of our whole economy, quite frankly.” — Abby Collins, senior account executive at Open Sesame.
“The tech scene in Portland can best be described by saying that it’s very entrepreneurial-driven. It’s very focused on viable commercial software that makes sense and solves a problem. I don’t think it’s just because of investor interest and angel money, but I think we have really fostered that culture here amongst Portland entrepreneurs.” — Angelo Seminary, Director of Sales at ITMotives.
“It’s a tight-knit community. There’s a lot of support here and people just want to help. That’s unique to our area. There’s also something new here every day. Just when you think you have an idea of what’s going on, something new pops up.” — Farrah Campbell, TechFestNW volunteer.
“It’s nice to have people talk about the Portland startup community and not mention Nike or Intel. There’s lots of cool ideas, lots of innovators. We’re sort of like a mini Silicon Valley right now — that’s the mentality, at least. That breeds a lot of great innovation. People are also starting to realize the quality of life that we have up here and the secret is getting out.” — Aaron Thompson, account manager at Jive Software.