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|Articles - May 2014|
|Monday, April 28, 2014|
When I first started working at Oregon Business a few years ago, I kept hearing the same stories (complaints) from tech entrepreneurs: Venture capital firms bypassed local startups in favor of those in Silicon Valley; business accelerators were few and far between; and qualified engineers were hard to come by.
In 2014 Oregon’s startup scene is still small compared to the communities in San Francisco, Boston and Seattle. Business leaders still call for more homegrown engineering Ph.D.s. Venture investment in clean tech and biotech remains sluggish.
Nevertheless, signs of a maturing cluster abound. Consider a few of the stories that came across my desk — in the space of two days in April.
Some of the broader indicators are also promising: Venture investors sunk $130.3 million into Oregon startups last year, up 5% from 2012, according to the National Venture Capital Association. Tech employment is up 3.4% compared to this time in 2013, the strongest annual growth in nearly two years, according to the Oregon Employment Department. Geographically, the Silicon Forest has spread, seeding tech clusters in Bend, Ashland and Hood River. More women and minorities are moving into the software startup fold, and a new generation of social venture startups are sprouting, as I chronicle in my article on the “fourth sector.”
Today the entrepreneurial mood across an array of technology sectors is, for the most part, buoyant. “Portland can really become a center of excellence for cloud technologies,” Nouvola co-founder Paola Moretto told reporter Peter Barnes. “We have to think big.”
Meanwhile, old growth PC companies are retooling with some success for the mobile age; in its first quarter, Intel (Oregon’s largest employer, and a breeding ground for startup entrepreneurs) reported revenue of $12.8 billion, up 1.5% from the first quarter of 2013.
In 2014, of course, technology is less an industry sector than the foundation that anchors all other industry sectors. As digital technologies multiply and diversify, Oregon’s startup ecosystem will, undoubtedly, continue to flourish.
Friday, June 27, 2014
BY 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.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY 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?
Thursday, July 03, 2014
BY TED AUSTIN & MIKE BAELE | GUEST CONTRIBUTORS
The Office of Economic Analysis announced that Oregon is currently enjoying the strongest job growth since 2006. While this resurgence has been welcome, the lingering effects of the 2008 “Great Recession” continues to affect Oregon businesses, especially with regard to estate planning and business succession.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Tom Cox interviews Steve Balzac, author of "Organizational Psychology for Managers."
Monday, August 18, 2014
Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
BY 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.
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Forest Grove sees growth in the burgeoning food and beverage scene.
Fifty-one Lane Powell lawyers were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® (Best Lawyers) 2015; of those selected, 23 lawyers are from the Firm’s office in Portland, Oregon.
Barran Liebman is proud to announce that Andrew Schpak, a Partner of the firm, has been named Chair of the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division for the 2014-2015 bar year.
Vanessa Sturgeon and Miller Nash LLP were selected as leaders in encouraging female advancement.