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OTBC Graduate SHeerID Raises $5.3 Million

SheerID logo

The Portland Business Journal reported that OTBC graduate SheerID has closed a $5.3 million funding round.  As the Journal stated:

SheerID’s software is used by major national retailers and other membership organizations to manage customer identities and allow certain customers access to exclusive deals such as student, teacher or military discounts., Foot Locker and Spotify are among the company's clients.

Frontier Sponsors Gigabit Service for Beaverton Challenge



BEAVERTON, Ore. – Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR) has joined the Beaverton $100K Challenge as the first corporate sponsor. The city and startup incubator Oregon Technology Business Center (OTBC) have teamed up to create the Beaverton $100K Startup Challenge. Frontierwill provide 1 gigabit FiOS service to the OTBC incubator offices for the startups chosen in the challenge for one year.

The challenge is also sponsored by the city and Westside Startup Fund, LLC, and each will contribute $50,000 to help five startups kick start their business with coaching and mentoring support from the OTBC. Applications are due Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Question: I'd like to pitch at events, but I need an NDA

NDAA question came up today from an entrepreneur who would like to attend entrepreneur pitch events, but wants a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).  When entrepreneurs say they need an NDA before giving their pitch, I usually have 2 questions:

Beaverton Announces $100K West Side Fund and Startup Challenge

The City of Beaverton announced today the West Side Seed Fund and has teamed up with OTBC to create the Beaverton $100K Startup Challenge. The Challenge is sponsored by the city and Westside Startup Fund, LLC, and each will contribute $50,000 to help five startups kick-start their business with coaching and mentoring support from the OTBC.

Read the full release here.

FAQ are here.

Read more, and link to the application form here.


New Book: The Savvy Corporate Innovator

Exciting news from one of our past OTBC residents! Dorian Simpson has just launched his book, The Savvy Corporate Innovator. While his book’s focus is to help innovators inside established companies, the book is very appropriate for startups and provides practical tools, strategies and tips that follow the Lean Startup methods. It’s definitely worth a look.

A great attendance to the May Founder CoFounder Event

We had a great turn-out on Friday for the Founders Seeking CoFounders event - 30 attendees. Not bad for a Friday afternoon! Startup concepts covered quite a range. A sample: drinking-chocolates, tethered wind power, SaaS for students seeking a job; faster fermentation; hardware for real-time conversion of 2D video to 3D; productivity tool based on a post-it notes paradigm; and on-demand delivery for retailers. Sound interesting? Check out the startups here.

Pitching a Panel for Idea Feedback might be a Poor use of Time

I just finished reading an email asking for people to volunteer for a panel to give students feedback on their startup idea, and that made me reflect on the whole idea of pitching an 'idea'. I generally find that having people "pitch their idea" to a panel for feedback isn't that helpful. The panel has no better crystal ball than the entrepreneurs - or than investors.

West Side PubTalk (tm) a Rousing Success

More than 50 people registered for the first West Side PubTalk on May 20 at the Golden Valley Brewery to learn about Crowdfunding.  Ryan Frayne and Zeke Comusio with Windcatcher Technology and Mike Whitehead and Ron Khormaei  wtih FINEX Cast Iron Cookware shared their lessons learned from their recent Crowdfunding experience.   Windcatcher Technology raised $149,405 in 30 days, 298% of their fundraising goal, and FINEX raised $211,027 in 30 days, 844% of their fundraising goal.

7 Steps to Finding a Co-founder

Finding a co-founder takes networking, but that networking will be more effective if you take the time to be prepared.  And even without a co-founder, you can make headway in moving your business forward, and that, by itself, is very empowering.  Here are 7 steps that will help you move your business ahead while increasing the odds that you'll find the right co-founder:

OTBC Receives Highest Rating in PSU Study

The Oregon Technology Business Center (OTBC) received the highest possible ranking in the Oregon Founder’s Study, a collaborative study performed by the Oregon Entrepreneurial Network (OEN) and Portland State University (PSU) Associate Professor Charla Mathwick. 

“Based on that question, OTBC was ranked as one of the top providers of services to the local start-up community,” said Mathwick. "Founders have told me that the best advice for guiding their business often comes from fellow founders.” OTBC was rated among many mentors, but was the only incubator that received top honors, 3 out of a possible 3. 


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