Portland is a proud city. We’re proud of our identity, our culture, our environment, and (somehow) our weather. We’re proud of our own startup ecosystem and we try not live in the shadows of the Bay Area, New York, Seattle, Boston, or Boulder.
And now, the Portland startup ecosystem is thriving in a way that it hasn’t in years. This shift didn’t happen overnight, but it’s really starting to pick up steam now.
I’d argue that a major reason for this is that there has been a shift in Portland companies’ thinking. We’ve accepted that Portland doesn’t have all the needed resources and we’ve begun pulling resources in from other ecosystems with both hands.
There used to be a bunch of discussions about the lack of early stage investors in Portland. I haven’t heard those discussions in awhile. Instead Portland companies began taking money from the Bay Area, Seattle, and Boulder and bringing it back here.
Similar discussions around hiring executive talent (and hiring in general), companies are bringing people in from elsewhere. In fact, two-thirds of our applicant pool of engineers for Glider are from out of the state or out of the country.
Similar discussions around advisors and mentorship.
Each time a company takes outside money, hires outside talent, or an incubator accepts an outside company, the ecosystem grows (and wins).
The next step is making that investor/hire/advisor/company an evangelist of the city, but that’s a topic for another post.