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pieportlandlogoIt’s been four years since the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE) started as just that — an experiment. But since 2009, the workplace-turned-accelerator has come a long way, and today it welcomed the third PIE class to its downtown Portland office.

More than 440 startups applied this year to be a part of PIE, a partnership between big brands, tech mentors and kingpin advertising company Wieden+Kennedy, which houses PIE in its offices. Several big-name startups have used the PIE working space, including early residents like AppFog, Simple and Urban Airship.

The seven startups that made the cut range from early stage concepts to funded companies. Each will receive three months of mentorship, $20,000 in seed funding, office space and access to resources like mentorship and free gym membership thanks to Wieden+Kennedy.

Here’s a little bit of info on each company, with descriptions from PIE:

  • Carrot: Enables application creators and content providers to use Facebook’s social graph to dynamically refine content and measure sharing from within their apps. (Eugene, OR)
  • FX Serve: Enables designers/developers to insert dynamic content (video, images, sites, etc.) in real time over any surface within video. (Portland, OR)
  • Orchestrate: A central resource for developers looking to access and build functionality leveraging the internet’s most used data points, to enable highly efficient, next­generation apps and render databases obsolete. (Portland, OR)
  • Smart MochaConnects monitoring/measurement devices to the Internet of Things, enabling greater and more efficient access to critical data. (Portland, OR)
  • Splash: A mobile social network that rethinks “sharing” around the interests that inspire you, not just who you know. Splash uses mobile content creation to engage existing communities with shared passions. (Santa Monica, CA)
  • Stand In: Know photoshop? Now you can develop and functional prototype of a mobile app. Standin enables the cost­effective creation of rich interactive prototypes that deliver ‘hands­on’ experience. (Portland, OR)
  • Switchboard: Private “Craigslists”, connecting people to relevant opportunities within defined social communities. (Portland, OR)

techtownportlandPIE is also experimenting with a program called PIElette that’s geared at underserved youth and offers eight high schoolers the chance to work on a startup idea and learn from the mentors and entrepreneurs from PIE and its partners.

PIE is led by Rick Turoczy, who also runs the Portland startup news website Silicon Florist. There are a number of other Portland-based incubator/accelerators around town, from Upstart Labs to the Portland Seed Fund to the Nike Accelerator.

There’s VC money flowing into the Rose City, too, and the city is home to a startup scene that’s made some noise lately as the place to be for both entrepreneurs and software engineers.

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