OtherStartup Weekends Galore: Portland, Bend and Insights from a 16-Year-Old Alum


Portland Startup Weekend
(Nov. 16-18)
is back and it’s more popular than ever! In fact, while the event has officially sold out, there are still a number of ways to stay up to date on what’s percolating over the weekend. Friday night pitches and Sunday’s final presentations will be live-streamed and media partners, like OEN, will offer a full recap of the 54-hour marathon that takes ideas and makes them into startups.

Check the Portland Startup Weekend blog for the link to the live-stream and OEN for more details.

With Portland being sold out, you may want to think about heading over the mountain to check out Bend Startup Weekend (also Nov. 16-18). The event has about 50 attendees already registered but is looking for more innovators to bring their creativity and ideas to Bend. Still unsure? You won’t be after reading: Five Great Reasons Why You Should Attend Bend Startup Weekend.

Finally, OEN recently checked in with one of the teenage entrepreneurs who has been involved in Portland Startup Weekend in the past. Colby Aley, a 16-year-old sophomore at Lincoln High School, plans to return to the Portland event on Nov. 16, proving that entrepreneurship knows no age boundaries.

Tell us a little about yourself…
I’m Colby and I’m a 16 year old sophomore at Lincoln High School. Since a very young age I have been interested in technology, both hardware and software. Over the years my interests have adapted to the changes in technology, and I now have an increased interest in social media technologies and software development.

How did you get involved in Portland Startup Weekend?
The first day that tickets became available for the Q1 2012 PDXSW, I registered. I knew that I wanted to pitch, and I had a small list of ideas that I was interested in working on. About two weeks before the event I selected the idea I would pitch. The idea was simple: an easy way for bloggers (like myself) to get feedback on their writing from people all around the world. On the day of the event I got some really great feedback from other attendees and my idea got enough votes to move to the second phase of Startup Weekend, forming a team and making the idea come to life. Over the weekend we faced many ups and downs as a team, and being the group leader it was my job to sort things out. After facing more problems than it was worth, we decided to discontinue developing the idea about a month and a half after Startup Weekend. Even though the idea wasn’t a “home run,” I still came out of the experience with some great knowledge that will benefit me for years to come.

Why were you interested in being an entrepreneur at such a young age?
My dad being a small business owner, I have grown up surrounded by business. In addition to technology it has always been a passion of mine and something I’ve been interested in. Over the summer of 2012 I did a Business Internship at LaunchSide, a Portland Seed Fund graduate company. Throughout the course of the internship I learned a ton about business and forming a startup. Like Startup Weekend, it was an invaluable experience that I will forever remember.

What’s next for you?
Down the road I plan to better educate myself in the world of web and mobile development, so that when I’m ready to start another startup, I have all the tools I need. Though I am not actively thinking about this early on, I do see higher education in my future. I plan to attend Q4 2012 Startup Weekend to learn more in the world of startups, and to make new connections with people who could help me down the road.

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