November 02, 2015

The Portland Development Commission has narrowed a field of 94 Startup PDX Challenge applicants from the Portland metro area to 19 semi-finalists in Portland’s search for startups with diverse founding teams and the ambition to scale to a national or international market.

Up to six for-profit startup businesses will receive a package valued at more than $50,000 per company with up to $25,000 in a convertible note or low-interest loan, a full year of rent-free office space at 222 NW Fifth Avenue in Portland’s Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood, and free professional advice, memberships and services.

The Challenge selection committee, comprising members of the entrepreneurial community in Portland and representatives of accelerator, incubator, investment and business organizations, will consider each semi-finalist’s application and personal interview in determining the winners.

The general public is invited to visit the Startup PDX Challenge website to learn more about each semi-finalist and vote for their favorites. Public voting begins Monday, November 2 at 8:00 a.m. and runs through midnight Monday, November 9; the winner of the public vote will receive a package of education, co-working, and membership services.

Patrick Quinton, PDC Executive Director, said, “The Startup PDX Challenge has really opened our eyes to the number of investment-ready startups we have in our community led by diverse founders. Being intentional about our goals for diversity is already making a difference in our entrepreneurial community, and we look forward to working with the next class of exciting, innovative startups.”

The 19 semi-finalists are AguaPDX, Audibility Inc., Cliqa Inc., Goumikids, Health Data Vault Corporation, LandApart Inc., Level Up Health, Morebots LLC, Poda Foods Inc., Popily, Roberts, Robins Nest, Royalty Spirits, Shop Hoppn’, Tanglewood Beverage Company, The Dyrt, Umi Organic, UpRaise Consulting LLC, and Workfrom. The group includes13 startups with women founders; seven with African American founders; seven with Hispanic founders; six with Asian/Pacific Islander founders; one with a Native American founder; and one with a disabled founder.

Challenge winners will be announced in mid-December. The move into the Old Town/Chinatown space is slated for early January 2016.