Contributed by Anne Mangan, Portland Development Commission
Six startup businesses have made the cut to win the Startup PDX Challenge, Portland’s search for the best new members of our growing entrepreneurial community. Each company will 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.
The Challenge drew a field of 240 applicants, narrowed first to 16 companies and then to the six finalists by a selection committee which considered each semi-finalist’s application, personal interview, and the results of a public online vote in determining the winners.
Patrick Quinton, PDC Executive Director, said, “The response to Startup PDX Challenge – the first of its kind on the West Coast – demonstrates Portland’s national emergence as a top destination to grow a business. We look forward to welcoming the winning entrepreneurs to our expanding network of experienced, innovative companies competing in the global economy.”
The six winners are ActivEd; Alum.ni; ClutchPlay Games; CoPatient; OnTheGo Platforms; and Safi Water Technology, all from the Portland metro area; although Alum.ni and CoPatient recently relocated from Israel and Boston respectively to take advantage of seed funding here. The Challenge winners will move into the Produce Row space in late June; a meet and greet event on Thursday, June 27 will welcome them to the neighborhood.
PDC expects to announce Startup PDX Challenge 2014 later this year. The 2014 Challenge will encourage more widely-shared prosperity in the development of the next generation of successful Portland companies. The Portland Development Commission is seeking additional partners, as well as organizations interested in sponsoring the 2014 Challenge, either through cash donations or in-kind services.