“At a certain point in your career…it becomes more satisfying to help entrepreneurs than to be one.”
– Marc Andreessen, cofounder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz
I get it, Portland is cool. It’s renowned for coffee, craft beer, tattoos, TV shows, beards, eclectic donuts, funky clothes, an NBA team, an MLS champion and a vast sea of counter-culture heroes.
But, none of those explain why there is a chasm of entrepreneurial spirit between Vancouver and Portland, one wider than the Columbia and Willamette combined. There is no reason for it…right!? We all live, work and play in virtually the same area, and yet there remains a real lack of successful startups.
The truth is, there are amazing founders and growing startups here in Clark County too. What we lack are great hangouts, meet ups and events where we all meet each other and connect to strengthen the startup scene on the North Bank.
The question is – What can we do to change that? And it’s pretty simple. GET ENGAGED.
We have great founders who live up here. We have hundreds of innovative, resourceful people who will make great things happen. But, we need to start socializing and talking more about the great things we want to build together!
So who needs to start talking?
Um, well, you and people you know like you.
These folks are everywhere around us in Clark County. You pass them in a Fred Meyer aisle, they put a blanket down next to you at Esther Short Park, they’re laughing at a table across the room at Loowit or perhaps you see them every day at HP and have no idea they want to start their own company.
Being an Entrepreneur is an amazing journey that doesn’t happen alone. It takes a village to help us develop the will, the drive, the skill and passion to start and run our own business. That village is here…but staying at home, watching Netflix or playing video games in your spare time won’t get you connected to that village. Rather, you’ll need to attend events, meet-ups and networking opportunities to meet other great Entrepreneurs- inspiring us to build and achieve!
What truly matters is the mettle of a person, or small group of people, who want to impact their community and bring about real economic change. They have an idea that could profoundly change our lives…or maybe just the way we shop.
The point is, our community needs more entrepreneurs and commercial identity. Your business needs more people who think like founders. We’re all in this together! This isn’t benefaction, it’s proaction! Let’s help empower a new wave of makers, job creators and innovative employees.
I can’t promise that you’ll get to hire or even become one of these bold, brash innovators; but I can guarantee you’re going to help this business community thrive in the years ahead. We can create the community we want, but only if we start doing!
Startup Weekend Vancouver is one such event where you can meet and experience this amazing entrepreneurial energy. It happens on January 29th at Clark College.
It’s the first event of its kind in Vancouver and we hope it lights a fire we can’t contain. Please check it out, register, find a way to participate! Trust me, one day soon, Portlanders will wake up, stare across the nation’s second largest river and wonder how Vancouver turned into a Five Alarm Founder’s Hotbed!
– Jerrod Poss, and the entire team at Startup Weekend Vancouver