Home Archives May 2008 Startups: The beat goes on in Portland

Startups: The beat goes on in Portland

| Print |  Email
Thursday, May 01, 2008

PORTLAND The downturn, big or small, is here. The gloomy economic pronouncements are being made. And for a lot of tech startups in Silicon Forest, things couldn’t be better.

As Oregon’s economy begins to slide, the startup community is coming off of a record year for raising funds: nearly $226 million. Companies are moving into hip new spaces in downtown Portland. Other companies from out of state, Vidoop is one example, are opening offices here.

Rick Turoczy, who runs Silicon Florist, the go-to industry blog that follows startups, says he sees a healthy flow of talent moving in and out of the state, and not just to Portland but to Eugene, Corvallis and Bend, too.

The question is, will it last? The answer, based on the anecdotes and individual perspectives of some in Silicon Forest, is yes.

Hideshi Hamaguchi has an almost philosophical take. Hamaguchi is one of the founders of LUNARR, a 2-year-old Portland startup that’s created a way for people to edit files together on the web. Big companies hate uncertainty, he says, but it’s a core element of a startup — innovative ideas always bring an element of uncertainty to an industry.

In a recession, where nothing is certain, big businesses falter. But since startups are already equipped to handle uncertainty, Hamaguchi says, they don’t face the same risks as their bigger counterparts.

Cost cutting at big companies, says Sam Lawrence, chief marketing officer for Portland’s Jive Software, is another reason startups survive in economic slumps: Big businesses see what they’re paying for big programs with lots of licenses and they being shopping around for something new. That’s great for Jive — which makes collaborative software that’s cheaper and easier to use than what’s offered by Microsoft.

Not all startups will be immune to the downturn. Some VC money will dry up. In Silicon Valley, employees at some startups are hedging their bets and moving to more established companies.

Their fears may be unfounded. Turoczy, who also owns the Portland startup communications firm Return, argues the “startups do better in a downturn” idea is flawed. A good startup will do well during practically any economic condition, he says.

“That’s the beauty of the startup. It seems risky, but in actuality, it’s the safer bet,” he says. “During downturns, startups simply start getting the attention they truly deserve.”                           

ABRAHAM HYATT


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Portland: Where young people go to work?

News
Friday, June 06, 2014
UntitledBY KATIE AUSBURGER | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

How to build a hipster-friendly work environment.


Read more...

South Waterfront's revenge

News
Thursday, July 24, 2014
MoodyAveBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Remember the naysayers?  Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle?  Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?


Read more...

The global challenge

News
Friday, June 27, 2014
062714 thumb globalmarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER

Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.


Read more...

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...

OB Video: Dress for Success

News
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
DFSOBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.


Read more...

Blips and trends in the housing market

News
Thursday, June 26, 2014
062614 thumb realestateBY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER

Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?


Read more...

Proceed with caution

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
0614leadersBY COURTNEY SHERWOOD

Business and civic leaders weigh the risks and rewards of going green.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS