We’ve all had different experiences in this community. My favorite experiences have been at WhereCamp, Open Source Bridge and CubeSpace. Filling out this survey is a chance to create more of those experiences and get support for them. If this sounds good to you, respond to the PDC software survey.
This is PDC’s second interview in the process of identifying the tools needed to develop a thriving software cluster in the Portland region.
Their first survey in April had 280 respondents, and this survey seeks to validate some of the ideas that were shared. Software is one of only four clusters that the Portland Development Commission is focusing on, so our input on this topic will have a large impact on the PDC’s work.
Yes – this is a great idea!
Because a lot of us, whether we work full-time or not, need a place where we can all meet up. When we went to CubeSpace, it was like coming home. No matter what happened during the day, we knew we could find at least a few events going on at night. The space does not need to be open during the day – the majority of events that happened at CubeSpace were events happening between 5-9Pm.
It was open and welcoming, and a place to meet friends and collaborators, old or new. In a place where a lot of people work by themselves, and a lot of people do not work at offices during the day, regular community interaction becomes very important.
For the same reasons I stated before. There needs to be a space for people to meet, where meetings can be scheduled. A watering hole, so to speak, for ideas, collaboration and exchange.
Having a sponsored meeting spot open from 5-9Pm would not compete with any of the other daytime coworking spaces, as it would be an event space.
It’s an interesting idea, although I’m not clear on the details enough to have an opinion on this right now.
I assume you are using the phrase ‘User Groups’ as a way of describing groups of people with interests related to certain types of technology, methods, or ideas.
In that case, these are the groups I’m involved in (or have been in the past).
I used to go to 2-3 group meetings a night, until CubeSpace closed.
Knowledge is brought to life by people, and people are often difficult to find. User groups allow information to pollinate and multiply. It drastically speeds up the ability for one to get things done. When one tries something alone, it’s often easy to get stuck. When one is surrounded by users who are familiar with a system, help is never far away.
It’s been attempted before, especially with sites like PRTLND.
An easy to use directory with community tagging capabilities would be useful, especially if it imported Twitter data and allowed one or others to fill into profile information, recommendations, etc., wiki-style.
Linkedin does this, but it’s not locally oriented.
Not very valuable
Well, if you think about it – having a community in place, with a place to have events, takes care of the mentorship idea. A community naturally has mentors and newbies. Those who contribute to a community get community support in the form of funding, reviews, and collaboration. Having a structured and stringent program might not be as effective as simply allowing it to happen and providing a space for it.
I don’t know if it’s simply the idea of bringing VC’s into Portland that would address the financial needs of software companies.
I think the key is to provide actual learning experiences or good managers for companies. A lot of great developers out there are very good at coding, but are quite inept at design or bringing products to market. The idea of the product lifecycle, or the need to market a product, is sometimes misunderstood.
Learning about business – and this means business planning, legal issues, taxes, business plans, and simplicity, are all things that are needed. VC’s that provide this would be nice, but startups also need to understand how to run startups on little to know funding at all. If they can turn a profit without having to go to VC’s, it’s all the more impressive.
I raised money for GreenIt!, a renewable energy company I started with two colleages of mine during college. We raised two rounds of seed funding.
Angel funding (less than $500k)
The amount of time it takes to obtain funding
Some have mentioned that we need to do a better job connecting start-up companies with “seed funders” (very early stage investors under $500k) in order to decrease the time that start-ups devote to raising necessary capital.
- Building a matching database
- Streamlining the review process
- Having “speed dating” events
Not very valuable
While a center like this could provide User testing, QA testing and focus groups that would not be available to an otherwise unconnected entrepreneur, this is something that naturally emerges from a community. Providing the place for community should still be the highest priority. A startup can have a meeting within that space that can act as a ‘Proof of Concept Center’.
Helping entrepreneurs to simplify their ideas and get their products to market.
Have a clear guide to regulations, legalities, and process.
Starting a company is difficult. I had a lot of help starting a C corp because my team was part of a college. There was no business program, so the college president and his business development team helped us in securing funding, connecting us with attorneys and conferences. Without them, no progress could have been made.
Also, a focus on success stories here in Portland is essential. Patterns of development and best practices can be easily found if one interviews successful entrepreneurs here. Take, for example, Andy Baio, developer of Yahoo!’s Upcoming.org. There are many more of these stories. If a community has good role models and examples, they’ll be more likely to succeed.
First name: Amber
Last name: Case
E-mail: caseorganic at gmail dot com
Yes – I have several side projects
Other: It’s a tremendous liability to move to developing a company full time. Often it’s not the most intelligent choice, especially in a place like Portland. It’s far safer to keep it as a side-project while remaining fully employed. There aren’t a ton of customers in Portland either. One has to be able to connect nationally and internationally in order to make a blip outside of the Portland sphere. That’s not especially easy to do, no matter where one is.
(Note: There was no way to choose both. Vertigo provides both types of services).
(Note: They didn’t provide designer).
I’d rather not say.
There’s still a lot to be done, and I need your help. Do you like the idea of a 5-9 meeting space as well? Let me know on Twitter, or in the comments below.
Amber Case, (@caseorganic) is a Cyborg Anthropologist and a happy member of the Portland Tech Community. She is happiest when surrounded by wonderful people sharing ideas.