A science kit creator, a syrup maker, and a subscription service for local artisans.
These are three of six unique winners that just won the second annual Startup PDX Challenge, an initiative that awards entrepreneurs with $15,000, free office space for 12 months and a handful of free startup services.
Run by the Portland Development Commission, the Challenge is designed to support early-stage startups for one year and spur entrepreneurial growth in the Rose City. This year, the Challenge focused on entrepreneurs with diverse founding teams — namely veterans, women and minorities — that aim to expand nationally or internationally. A group of investors, founders and accelerator managers ultimately picked the winners after receiving 134 applications.
Here are the Portland-based winning startups:
- Yellow Scope, a creator of rigorous science kits just for girls;
- RAFT Syrups, which brews organic botanical and cane sugar syrup for cocktails and home soda making;
- Society Nine, a fight gear and activewear apparel brand for women;
- Noappfee.com, a technology solution to rental market problems for landlords and tenants;
- Design + Culture Lab, a research-based urban social lab addressing issues of cultural, racial and ethnic inequality; and
- Tique Box, a subscription service for specialty items from local artisans.
And here’s what the Challenge winners will take home:
- $15,000 working capital grant (no equity taken)
- Free rent for one year in Old Town starting on Oct. 1.
- Free legal services
- Free marketing and PR services
- Free hiring and HR services
- Free memberships and access to seven different organizations and programs that focus on entrepreneurs