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If you’re working on a startup and you feel like you could use more help, connections, and mentorship, then I have a little homework assignment for you, this weekend. Because it might be time for you to apply to PIE or PIE Shop with your startup idea.

Not familiar with PIE? It’s an early stage startup accelerator, designed to help build better founders by connecting promising entrepreneurs with the resources and mentorship they need to take their companies to the next level. Plus, you get office space to boot.

Best of all, it’s all free and clear for founders. No cost. And no equity taken. Free as in free.

PIE has been doing this work for 10 years. Connecting the Portland startup community in ways that have helped a variety of companies in the Rose City. What kinds of companies? Well, folks like AllGo, Airship, Brave Care, Cloudability, MilkRun, Outdoor Project, Simple, Switchboard, and Workfrom are among the 100+ companies that have been part of the PIE family — and that’s not even mentioning the hundreds of mentors associated with the program.

But it’s not just about the business. It’s about you as a founder.

And it’s not just the aspects of the business that present a challenge. Because when it comes right down to it, this isn’t just about generating revenue or raising venture capital. We recognize that you’re human. And being a founder is hard. Really really hard. It’s lonely. It’s stressful. It’s confusing. And then there’s the constant haranguing doubt. And imposter syndrome. You rarely feel like you’re “crushing it” or “killing it” no matter how many times you confidently voice the potential of your concept. Sometimes, you just want to let down your guard and be real.

Not quite ready to apply? No worries. You’ve got a little time. Applications close August 18, 2019, at 11:59PM Pacific Time. But maybe you should get a head start and begin preparing your application by using the PIE cheat sheet.

More questions than the cheat sheet answers? Cool. PIE is hosting a series of Q&A sessions to get those questions answered.

So please start working on that application. And maybe even turn it in. But at the very least, get started. And figure out what questions you have. So that you can apply before the application closes.

For more information, visit PIE.

[Full disclosure: I am the cofounder and general manager of PIE. And I would love to get the chance to hang out with you and help you build the company you want to build.]

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So if you’re a regular car sharing user here in town, you’ve likely tried both ReachNow and car2go, two of the providers here in Portland. Not so long ago, those two entities merged and started calling everything Now. ThisNow, ThatNow, NowNow. So when news that ReachNow was shutting down in Portland and Seattle broke, everyone seemed to conclude that we had no more car sharing in town. That is not the case.

According to ReachNow:

This decision does not affect the car2go service in Seattle or Portland. While ReachNow Members are not grandfathered into car2go, we highly encourage any Members that are not already signed up with car2go to join their service. Today’s news also does not have any impact on the other REACH NOW (formerly moovel Group) businesses. They will continue to work with city partners to improve the accessibility of public transit.

So you only get to drive Mercedes. No more BMWs. That’s about it.

For more information, visit ReachNow.

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It’s a poorly held secret that I battle a URL buying addiction. I’ve managed to keep it under control in recent years. But still. This news does not help. Serial entrepreneur Ray King has launched a Portland based domain registrar. Meet Porkbun.

Porkbun is an amazingly awesome ICANN accredited domain name registrar based out of Portland, OR. We’re different, we’re easy, and we’re affordable. Use us, you won’t be sorry. If you don’t use us we’ll be sad, but we’ll still love you.

So the next time you’ve got that perfect idea for a domain, consider shopping local at Porkbun.

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There’s nothing quite like peer support. That’s why I’m always a fan of events and programs that get peers together. Not even necessarily to talk shop. Just to let them know that they’re not alone. And if you’re the cofounder of a company, one of those events is happening tomorrow: Coffee with Co-Founders.

About Coffee w 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!

And this month, there’s an extra bonus. You’ll get to hear from Paige Hendrix Buckner about her journey as a founder.

Paige Hendrix Buckner knows a lot about starting and growing a company. Not only has she been helping founders through her efforts at Founders Gym, but she has also been running ClientJoy which is a boutique birch box service with an Oregon focus. This month we’ll sit down to talk about her incredible story and learn about some of the challenges she has faced along the way.

The event will be held Thursday, July 18, 2019, at 10:00AM at WeWork Labs in the Custom House.

For more information or to RSVP, visit Coffee with Co-Founders.

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In my experience, Portland founders are pretty good at giving back. Through volunteer work. Or donations. Or participating in organizations like Business for a Better Portland. But like so many things Portland, the measurement of that participation is largely anecdotal. That’s why it’s nice to see a survey working to capture more details and metrics on this behavior.

In partnership with New Economy Initiative (NEI) and Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE), we are conducting research on how business entrepreneurs engage and give back to their communities. As an entrepreneur, we would love to hear from you so we can represent the perspective and voice of today’s entrepreneurs in our report.

It would be awesome to see a bunch of Portland responses to this effort.

If you’re interested in participating, please set aside around 15 min. Then, you can take the screener survey to see if you qualify for the longer survey.

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We’ve all heard — and perhaps even subscribed to — the mythology about starting a company. You come up with an idea. Someone recognizes your genius. They give you a bunch of money to build it. And then, before you know it, you’re wealthy beyond your wildest dreams.

How many of you founders have actually experienced that path to building a business? Show of hands. I’ll wait.

Right. None of you. Because being a founder is hard. It’s lonely, depressing, and soul crushing. It’s a pursuit that causes even the strongest of egos to wind up in fetal position on a regular basis.

To survive, founders need to prioritize self care. But what does self care regimen entail? That’s what Anthony Ware is working to quantify with his survey for underestimated (traditionally underrepresented) founders.

Will you share 3-5 minutes to complete this research survey to help me help our underestimated founders (PoC, Women, LGBTQ+) peers create generational mental wealth?

Survey for underestimated founders in #UK and #US https://t.co/pbK50ThCkz – Please complete by July 10th. pic.twitter.com/Qp5Z2CEjmt

— anthony ware (@theanthonyware) July 7, 2019

If you have five minutes and you identify as LGBTQ+, a woman, and/or person of color, please take a few moments to complete this survey before July 10, 2019.

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I know, I know. You’re still trying to get back into the groove after having a weird Thanksgiving in the summer sort of vacation vibe. I get it. But best to hit the ground running because there are two deadlines approaching this week that you won’t want to miss.

July 9, 2019: Female Founders Alliance: Ready Set Raise accelerator

Our goal is to find, support, and advance high-growth, pre-seed startups across North America. Women and non-binary founders are extremely undervalued and overlooked by the investment community. We believe they provide an incredible financial opportunity. Applicants must have a woman or non-binary CEO and their company must be positioned to accept investment. A selection committee made up of investors will review all applications and select up to 12 startups to participate.

To apply, visit Female Founders Alliance: Ready Set Raise.

July 10, 2019: Founder Gym Cohort 10

The FG Cohort is a 6-week virtual program designed for underrepresented founders who want to raise capital to scale their startup. The entire cohort experience is 100% virtual, so founders can participate from anywhere in the world. Cohort Trainers are announced as they are confirmed. FG Cohort 10 operates from July 22 – August 30, 2019, and the application deadline is Wednesday, July 10, 2019.

To apply, visit Founder Gym Cohort 10.

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Going into the long weekend, I though you could use some longer form stuff to read. And clearly, I’m never going to find the time to write it. So I’m going to give you someone else’s content. Like Willamette Week which just published a cover story on the current state of Oregon startups and the infrastructure that seeks to support them.

In an effort not to end the debate but to shed light, WW interviewed two dozen founders, venture capitalists and officials who form the connective tissue of Oregon’s startup ecosystem. What we found is a healthy economy filled with lots of entrepreneurs and big challenges.

Despite the well phrased if not clickbait headline, the article is well worth the read. But if you don’t have time, I’ll summarize. As far as the questions about unicorns, most folks are thinking that — while Portland was built upon an ancient unicorn burial ground — there aren’t likely to be many more unicorns in our presence any time soon. And folks seem to think that Mitch Daugherty’s mantra that “Oregon is the Silicon Valley of consumer products” has far more likelihood of paying off.

For my contribution, I suggested that maybe we should be considering some additional metrics when judging the health of a startup ecosystem that move beyond the financial indicators. And which, in my opinion, are far easier to divine.

Rick Turoczy, who has been an evangelist for startups for more than two decades, pens the blog Silicon Florist and runs the Portland Incubator Experiment, says metrics such as VC totals and jobs created describe the economics of a startup ecosystem, while the health of the ecosystem is best understood through the people who volunteer time and knowledge while expecting nothing in return: its mentors.

“The more startups, the more opportunities for mentors,” Turoczy says. “The more mentors, the stronger the connections and cohesiveness of the community … [and] the healthier the ecosystem.”

It’s a virtuous cycle. In which each and every one of us can participate. Regardless of whether we have money or a startup or whatever. Say it with me, “Anyone can mentor.” And that means that anyone — literally anyone — can help improve the health and connectivity of the Portland startup community. And that, my friend, is an opportunity that I’d like to continue to work on. With all of you.

So add this one to your reading list and join in on the Twitter thread if you so desire, but most of all, please enjoy the long weekend.

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