Contact: Shawn Uhlman, PDC, 503-823-7994

May 20, 2014

Applications are now open for the Startup PDX Challenge, an annual international competition to connect startups to Portland’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem and assist the businesses for one year through their early stage growth.

Up to six startup businesses will receive a $15,000 working capital grant, a full year of rent-free office space in the New Market Theater building at 115 SW Ash in Portland’s Old Town Chinatown neighborhood, free professional advice and services, and free access to entrepreneurial organizations and programs. For-profit startups in any industry are invited to apply, with particular emphasis on companies that are led by teams or founders who are diverse in terms of gender, race, and other demographics that are typically underrepresented in the startup community.

The emphasis on diversity in this year’s Challenge builds on a multi-year initiative PDC launched this spring, Include. Innovate. Invest. Portland, which seeks to increase high wage jobs in the innovation economy for underrepresented populations.

“PDC is dedicated to growing the next generation of diverse leadership in our innovation economy,” said Patrick Quinton, PDC Executive Director. “The success of underrepresented minority and women entrepreneurs will help Portland remain competitive in the global economy.”

The Challenge first launched in 2013, marking Portland’s national emergence as a top destination to grow a business and join a network of experienced and innovative peers competing in the global economy.

A committee made up of Challenge sponsors and experts from Portland’s startup community will select the winners based on their potential for growth and other factors. Applications close June 23, 2014. Finalists will be selected by early September; the full year program begins October 1.

Interested applicants may schedule a call or in-person appointment during Challenge office hours for assistance in completing the application.