Sponsored by Oregon Business

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

Power Players

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY ROBERT MULLIN

A new energy-sharing agreement sparks concerns about independence and collaboration in the region's utility industry.


Read more...

Finding a Balance

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, January 29, 2015
012915-passinvst-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Active vs. passive investing: what you need to know.


Read more...

Downtime with the executive director of Greater Portland Inc.

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Janet LaBar, Executive director, Greater Portland Inc.


Read more...

Are wolves good for business?

Contributed Blogs
Friday, March 06, 2015
030615-wolf-thumbBY JEFF DELKIN | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

As a local business owner, I believe it’s important to build our economy on a platform of conservation values.  


Read more...

The week journalism died

Linda Baker
Sunday, February 15, 2015
deadjournalismthumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

As the investigation against the governor moves forward, those of us in the news business should reflect on our own potential for subverting the democratic process.


Read more...

Courtside

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Power lunching at the Court Street Dairy Lunch in Salem.


Read more...

On the Road

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

My daughter turned 18 last week, and for her birthday I got her a Car2Go membership. Not to label myself a disruptor, but it felt like a groundbreaking moment. The two of us, mother and child, were participating in a new teen rite of passage: Instead of handing over the car keys, I handed over a car-sharing card — with the caveat that she not use the gift as her own personal car service.


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