Portland entrepreneurs, especially those in the consumer products world, have a bevy of events over the next two weeks designed to connect them to each other and a broader network of resources.
First is activity tied to Built Up, a festival organized by the team behind Built Oregon, an organization aimed at highlighting and connecting consumer product companies and startups around the state.
Built Up kicks off Sept. 28 and culminates in a day-long gathering on Oct. 5 at Ziba Design. Last year, 700 people attended the week of events, and organizers expect the same this year, said Mitch Daugherty, co-founder of Built Oregon.
“The idea around the festival has always been about collaborating with and connecting the companies and organizations and supporters of Oregon’s consumer product ecosystem,” he said.
Lead-up events include local staples such as the 4th Annual PitchBlack, slated for Oct. 1, where black entrepreneurs pitch their ideas or companies for a cash prize. The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network is also hosting its newest event, a Food & Beverage Showcase, Oct. 2.
The calendar of events can be found online and includes everything from open houses to funding strategy panels.
The main event will feature discussions between entrepreneurs in various industries on topics such as creating socially responsible companies to strategies on developing peer networks. Speakers include: Seth Tibott, founder and chairman of Tofurky; Darren Marshall, CEO of Smith Teamaker; and Emma Mcilroy, CEO of Wildfang.
Separate from Built Up, and starting the evening of Oct. 5, is Techstars Startup Weekend Latinx in Techat, the Portland State University Business Accelerator. The weekend-long event will have entrepreneurial teams designing and building products for a Latinx audience. Registration is available online.
Then Oct. 12, Portland investment firm Elevate Capital is hosting the Elevate Inclusion Summit at Portland Center Stage at The Armory. The event is designed to bring together women and minority entrepreneurs with investors. Speakers include Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith, as well as a conversation with Kathryn Finney, founder and managing director of Digitalundivided, an accelerator program for Latina and black women founders.
Elevate Inclusion Summit will also have several panels, one of which I will be moderating, so stop and say hi. Ticket and scholarship information is available online.