Contact: Shawn Uhlman, PDC, 503-823-7994
May 03, 2012
Portland 100, a pilot program to provide focus, new resources and targeted services to help scale the region’s most promising “gazelle” firms, has launched with an inaugural class of software/tech companies – Athletepath, Chirpify, Cloudability, Giftango, Meridian, Simple and Vizify. The companies were selected on the basis of their commitment to the Portland region, high growth profiles, and ability to create high paying local jobs. The program has also secured the support of Puppet Labs and Urban Airship to serve as ambassadors to important audiences such as tech talent, investors, entrepreneurs, executives and media.
Portland 100 is a partnership between Portland Development Commission, the SAO and several leaders from Portland’s software/tech community. The program is the result of a process that began almost a year ago and involved nearly two dozen investors, entrepreneurs, start-up founders and service providers who weighed in on what was most needed by the region’s entrepreneurial community.
Portland 100 will focus on three core services: securing capital, finding executive talent and mentoring. Strategic marketing of the region and firms to tech investment hubs around the country will also be part of the work.
Nitin Khanna, CEO of Merger Tech, said, “The ability to take a company public or get it acquired has been a gap in our entrepreneurial ecosystem. Now Portland 100 will help scale some of our most promising tech startups. I’ve done it, I’ve also been an investor, and I’m proud to support this program that shines a spotlight on our city’s most promising companies and entrepreneurs.”
Scott Kveton, CEO of Urban Airship, said, “As the CEO of a company in the process of scaling, I know first-hand how helpful this type of program and expert guidance will be for many of my peer companies.”
PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton said, “While Portland 100 will begin by focusing on the software/tech industry, we hope to open up the program to all the city’s target industries. Portland will reap the benefits of high paying jobs, increased local angel and venture capital investment, experienced mentors for future startup firms, and a deeper pool of executives and serial entrepreneurs.”
Khanna, Kveton and Quinton are joined on the Portland 100 board by Chris Logan, general manager of SweetSpot Diabetes Care and founder/chairman of cc:Sync, Inc.; Brewster Crosby, partner at Unique Investments; and Skip Newberry, executive director, SAO.