Contributed by Anne Mangan, Portland Development Commission
Portland Development Commission has a sweet deal to announce this Valentine’s Day: the launch of Startup PDX:Challenge, Portland’s search for the right match to join our growing entrepreneurial community. Applications open Thursday, February 14 for this competition to select up to six startup businesses to receive a $10,000 working capital grant, a full year of rent-free office space in Portland’s Produce Row, and free professional advice and services. For-profit startups in any industry are invited to apply – as are graduates and all applicants of PIE, Portland Seed Fund, Nike+Accelerator, and other incubators and accelerators.
Portland is deeply grounded in a sense of community and collaboration. It’s no coincidence that in this city known for its bikes, brews and beauty, startups have grown and thrived – including three area firms which landed on the Forbes 2013 list of the Most Promising Companies just last week.
Startup PDX:Challenge – the first of its kind on the West Coast –is built on solid partnerships with the city’s outstanding service providers and accelerator programs, and focused on helping Portland-based entrepreneurs compete in the global economy. All of the Challenge winners will co-locate at 1220 SE Grand Avenue, a 3,000 square foot ground level space with two conference rooms, a kitchenette, showers, and secure bike storage. Ideal applicants would exhibit one or more of the following characteristics:
- A graduate of an incubator or accelerator program preparing for the next stage of growth (for example, app developer, digital media firm, apparel or footwear designer)
- A startup working on a new idea, potentially interested in applying to an incubator/accelerator program (for example, designing a new product line or a new widget, developing software and/or digital media)
- A small, innovative, and growth-oriented business looking to move to the next level, particularly businesses that aim to sell more than 50% of products or services outside the region
- A startup from out of state who is interested in moving to Portland and becoming part of the entrepreneurial community
The Challenge will build a bridge between dreams and reality for the winners of this competition.
Tell your friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, Facebook and Twitter followers (#startuppdxchallenge or #pdxchallenge) – or apply yourself. Facts, FAQ and the application are at www.startuppdxchallenge.com and applications are due by Thursday, April 4.
Spread the word!