October 21, 2011

Nearly one hundred members of Portland’s entrepreneurial community gathered at @Large Films on Thursday evening, October 20, for Startup:PDX, a networking event sponsored by the Portland Development Commission (PDC), the Software Association of Oregon (SAO) and Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN).

The event was the first in a series of initiatives developed by PDC and its partners to improve connections among the startup community, nonprofit organizations and government. A startup summit held earlier in the day drew entrepreneurial support organizations, business accelerators and incubators from throughout the state to discuss best practices and opportunities to improve the area’s startup ecosystem.

While Startup:PDX focused primarily on networking, the event was also the launch of PDC’s Entrepreneurship Scorecard and Action Plan for Entrepreneurial Support in Portland, both designed to better understand and develop Portland’s startup community.

“Portland’s vibrant startup culture is reaching critical mass,” PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton said. “PDC is committed to advancing Portland’s entrepreneurial development on multiple fronts, including funding entrepreneurs through the Portland Seed Fund, scaling startups, providing mentorship programs and developing place-based entrepreneurial districts.”

The city’s economic development strategy calls out the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in driving job creation and economic growth in the region.  PDC’s recent work to feed the entrepreneurial ecosystem includes the launch of the Portland Seed Fund to make small scale investments in startups, and support of the local software cluster, which plays a prominent role in Portland’s well-recognized and active startup culture.