There are any number of amazing Portland startups. (Clearly. That’s why I’ve been writing about them on this blog for nearly a dozen years.) But every once in a while, a startup comes along that becomes the center of gravity — the proverbial Cinderella story — for a generation of startups around here. Cloudability was very much one of those startups. And today, the denouement of that startup story begins, in the best of ways, with an exit. Cloudability has announced an agreement to be acquired by Apptio.
My first encounter with JR Storment, the cofounder of Cloudability, didn’t have anything to do with Cloudability, at all. He was simply a resident of the PIE coworking space. Working on a company called Dovie. (Fun fact: Alex Bilmes, part of the early Cloudability team, who would go on to cofound Reflect with Cloudability alum Brad Heller, worked at Dovie, too.) Then, he was suddenly working on this meet up that happened to include Mat Ellis.
And suddenly, there was a new startup in town.
Initially holed up in the Puppet offices on the Park Blocks, thanks to the generosity of Luke Kanies, they were top of mind when we converted PIE from a coworking space to an early stage startup accelerator. And after a particular amount of cajoling, they were finally convinced to apply. We selected them to join the inaugural class of our new accelerator program.
Cloudability's presentation at PieDay 2012 - YouTube
Then, they were off to the races. Joining the ranks of Techstars. Successfully raising venture capital. Giving back to the community. Winning startup awards. Growing. Mentoring. Giving back to the community. Acquiring other companies. Joining TAO and OEN. Giving back to the community. Helping Business for a Better Portland. Hosting events. And as always, giving back to the community.
Which brings us up to today.
What will the next chapter hold? That remains to be seen. All I know, without a doubt, is that they’ll continue to give back to the Portland startup community.
Turning to Cloudability, the Portland, Oregon-based company was founded in 2011, raising just under $40 million during its life as a private shop. The exit could be a nice result for Portland, the very first tech scene that I worked in. I retain a fondness for both the city and the people (shout-out to Rick Turoczy, Silicon Florist, et al).
The deal is easily the largest acquisition in Apptio’s history, Gupta said, but he declined to share specific financial details of the transaction. Cloudability had raised a total of $55 million in equity and debt funding, Ellis said.…
The deal is easily the largest acquisition in Apptio’s history, Gupta said, but he declined to share specific financial details of the transaction. Cloudability had raised a total of $55 million in equity and debt funding, Ellis said.
Cloudability employs more than 130 people, the majority of whom are in Portland at the company’s headquarters in the Pearl District. It serves more than 250 enterprise customers, including Atlassian, BP, Sony and Gannett.
Ellis has made a name as a key voice among the city’s emerging businesses. He’s working with such groups as Business for a Better Portland in hopes of encouraging equitable practices among Portland’s commercial set.
Apptio said Cloudability’s Financial Operations Platform manages more than $9 billion in enterprise cloud spending across the three major public cloud platforms. The Portland, Oregon-based startup has about 250 customers and has raised nearly $40 million, with its last funding round closing nearly three years ago. The company was beginning to wade back into the capital markets when Apptio called and “this was easily a better option than raising a Series C,” Ellis said.
It’s the latest in a series of deals for Oregon tech companies dating back to last year. The companies did not report terms of the transaction but Cloudability chief executive Mat Ellis said his company’s Portland operation is “core to the future.”
“This will accelerate our growth,” Ellis wrote in an email. He said Cloudability is “merging with an (almost) local company with a similar culture & focus.”
Apptio, which has been in business for a dozen years and sells its software through subscriptions, would expand its cloud analytics offerings by adding Cloudability’s product line and team to Apptio’s.
Apptio CEO Sunny Gupto said that Cloudability will give the company a strong foothold in optimizing cloud spending. The broader strategy for Apptio is to use Cloudability’s platform to meld business technology management software and DevOps.
The XXcelerator provides the education, mentorship, peer support and accountability that women entrepreneurs need to succeed. This intensive 12 month business building program was designed by women entrepreneurs, for women entrepreneurs, and is supported and backed by the best mentors, instructors and coaches. Participants can access the resources and help they need at this critical stage in their business growth.
There is a cost for the program, based on the stage of the company and the track that best suits your needs. And this year, the cohort has been shortened to three months, instead of the yearlong format it has used in the past.
So please take this opportunity to apply if this sounds interesting. Again, applications are now due May 22, 2019, procrastinator pants.
Now in its third year, the PDX Women In Tech State of the Community survey continues to provide much needed insights into the dynamics of both the Portland startup community and the broader Portland tech community. But illuminating those insights is only possible if you take a few moments to participate.
It is commonplace for tech industry anecdotes of pay inequity, workplace harassment, racism, sexism and hollow D&I initiatives to reverberate within whisper networks. These stories rarely surface, and even if they do, the lack of facts and figures cause them to fade away into ambient noise.…
In this year’s survey, we are going deeper into the topics of pay equity, harassment, D&I initiatives and what tech companies are actually doing to move the needle. Last year we had over 800 respondents, and this year we are aiming for 1000, casting our net nationally.
The survey is 100% anonymous, all individuals in or joining tech and in or outside of our community are encouraged to respond. The results will be made public on stateofthecommunity.pdxwit.org.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. Communities are not built on evening events, alone. Which is why I always love daytime events that make knowledge, people, and networks more accessible to folks who might not have the chance to attend events after work hours. Like Coffee with Co-Founders.
As a business owner you are faced with many challenges. You’re forced to make decisions every day that could make or break your business. Coffee w/ Co-Founders is a way to network with other Entrepreneurs to allow free flowing information with the intent to collaborate and help each other. So often we’re challenged and there’s very little we can do to express our challenges with the people we work with or the people we care about. Think of Coffee w/ Co-Founders as your own personal support group for business owners. We’re all here to help!
This month’s meetup will feature Jim Gochee, the Chief Product Officer at New Relic. It will also be hosted in an all new location, WeWork Labs Portland, this Thursday morning, May 16, 2019.
So if you’re a founder and you can carve out some time to hang out with your peers, RSVP at Coffee with Co-Founders.
The Healthcare and Life Science space is filled with women who are paving the way for the future of our industry. From providers to pharma to health tech, there are many things on the horizon we have to look forward to!
As women, it’s important to come together, connect through challenges and successes, and continue to lean on one another for support.
The event takes place Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at the Heathman. It is free to attend.
Not familiar with this event? Well, first there’s dinner:
If your [sic] serious about your startup or investing in startups, you don’t have time for trivial networking events. They’re a waste of your time. But, hey, you gotta eat. Every month, Startup Haven buys dinner and drinks for hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors. That’s right… all you can eat and drink all for free. Why do we do it? Because it works. When you bring great people together (i.e. serious entrepreneurs and investors), feed them and put a beverage in their hands remarkable things happen.
As dinner wraps up, everyone in the room gets the opportunity to make a very brief announcement and/or make an ask or make an offer. It’s a rare thing to be in a room full of high quality founders and investors and have the chance to get the word out about what you’re working on, what you’re looking for, or (our favorite) what you can do to help others.
And what about the poker? Well, that’s after dinner:
Startup Poker 2.0 is the flagship event of Startup Haven, a community-driven organization dedicated to connecting tech entrepreneurs with information, opportunities and each other.
The format of Startup Poker 2.0 is a monthly Founders Dinner and fun, low-stakes poker tournament. The event supports the startup community by bringing them together in a relaxed and fun atmosphere where the free flow of ideas, beer and trash talk are encouraged. Participants include founders and execs from more than 900 startup and early stage tech companies in Seattle, Portland, San Diego and San Francisco, with Los Angeles under development.
And the only catch? You need to be a founder or investor to attend.
Despite the prevailing startup mythology, the actual truth is that being a founder can be draining, depressing, debilitating, and lonely. Not exactly the “be your own boss” halcyon existence perpetuated in the media. To exacerbate things, many early stage founders choose to go it alone. Rather than seeking out the help they need. But when they do realize they need help? One of the folks many people seek out is Jerry Colonna. And as luck would have it, he’ll be in Portland on May 13, 2019.
One of the start-up world’s most in-demand executive coaches—hailed as the “CEO Whisperer” (Gimlet Media)—reveals why radical self-inquiry is critical to professional success and healthy relationships in all realms of life.
Jerry Colonna helps start-up CEOs make peace with their demons, the psychological habits and behavioral patterns that have helped them to succeed—molding them into highly accomplished individuals—yet have been detrimental to their relationships and ultimate well-being.
Jerry has taught CEOs and their top teams to realize their potential by using the raw material of their lives to find meaning, to build healthy interpersonal bonds, and to become more compassionate and bold leaders. In Reboot, he inspires everyone to hold themselves responsible for their choices and for the possibility of truly achieving their dreams.
And now that guidance will be even more accessible. Because Jerry has written a book to help capture his knowledge. It’s called Reboot.
Now, this venture capitalist turned executive coach shares his unusual yet highly effective blend of Buddhism, Jungian therapy, and entrepreneurial straight talk to help leaders overcome their own psychological traumas. Reboot is a journey of radical self-inquiry, helping you to reset your life by sorting through the emotional baggage that is holding you back professionally, and even more important, in your relationships.
His Portland trip is designed to give you a chance to meet with him and hear a few passages from his book. Well, and from a business perspective, help drive the pre-sales for what is sure to be a best seller.
The event will be hosted at Cloudability on May 13, 2019. Doors open at 4:30PM with a casual reception. Jerry will begin reading around 5:30PM. The event is free but requires that you show proof of purchase for the pre-order of Jerry’s book Reboot.
If you’re a startup that’s making a physical thing, having products like Autodesk Fusion 360 available to you free of charge can be super helpful. But it can also be frustrating if you don’t feel like you’re doing all you can to get the most out of the product. That’s why Autodesk Portland is hosting “Fusion 360 Stump the Chump in Stumptown.”
Paul Sohi, our Fusion 360 Evangelist extraordinaire / chump (https://www.instagram.com/fuseps) will be in our Portland office, so we’ve decided to host a Fusion 360 meet-up and put him on the spot to answer you questions. Meet fellow users in our Portland community, as well as the folks behind the software. Paul may even show off some of his own workflow tips for making the most of Fusion 360!
The event takes place Tuesday, May 7, 2019, starting at 5:00PM. It’s free and includes beverages and pizza.
As the application deadline for the inaugural Built Consumer Product Accelerator passed last Friday night, I was drawn to watch Wildfang founder, Emma McIlroy’s TEDxPortland talk again. It’s a talk focused on the optimistic mindset that crazy ideas just might work. That instead of saying “No,” we’re better off saying “Yeah, maybe.”
You see, over the past 4 years on a total budget of around $100K, the Built crew has never — ever — stopped having that “Yeah, maybe” attitude to make Oregon the hub of consumer product innovation and entrepreneurship.
My current crazy idea? Connecting 200+ Portland community dots. Not with a happy hour or some form of cursory small talk. But, instead, with truly interesting and meaningful connections — live and in person.
But in order to do that, I could use your help. Actually, I absolutely need your help. Because this isn’t so much one of those personal goal things. It’s a goal thing that requires your participation. You know, so I have at least 200 people to connect.
I’m all about creating connections in our community. The more connected we are, the better. When we reach 200 patrons, I’d love to try to gather all of my amazing patrons together, again. But this time, I’ll do a bunch of homework on each of the attendees so that we can make the gathering less a game of chance and more about intentional and meaningful connections among folks. So less happy hour. More connect-a-thon. With beverages. And snacks.
So if this sounds interesting to you and you’d like to participate. Or if you’d simply like to challenge me to pull this off. Maybe consider kicking in — quite literally — a buck. To help nudge that number up to 200 or so. (We’re currently sitting at around 100 patrons.)
Whatever the case, as an added bonus you’ll also get the random stuff I share on Patreon. And you’ll also gain access to exclusive content that I create specifically for Patreon folks. Whether they like it or not.
And you don’t have to even consider yourself part of the startup community to participate. Because that’s often better. To create more divergent connections. To expand the community. And to knit together that fabric that makes that entire ecosystem stronger.
This is just an experimental concept trying to better determine the potential value of that ad hoc community maintenance. And maybe, just maybe, a way to figure out how other folks in similar roles doing this work might find ways to support their efforts, as well.
So if it sounds interesting, great. If not, let’s just keep on keeping on. (But secretly, I’m hoping you participate.)