3 Incubators for Portland's Next Smashing Start-Up

Got a great business idea? These entrepreneurial pros can help.

By Tuck Woodstock December 23, 2014 Published in the January 2015 issue of Portland Monthly

Image: Courtesy PIE

Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE) 

This Wieden & Kennedy–backed venture pairs promising start-ups with mentors from the likes of Nike, Google, and Intel, as well as WK’s own creative minds. The competitive annual application results in no more than 10 start-ups per cycle; the chosen few receive $20,000 and three months in the accelerator in exchange for 6 percent stakes. PIE success stories include Urban Airship, VendScreen, and Cloudability.

Portland Seed Fund 

This accelerator sources private and public funds, including capital from the City of Portland and the lottery-funded Oregon Growth Account. Six to 10 companies—typically in software, mobile development, or consumer products—receive $25,000 to $50,000, mentorship, web services, tax consults, field trips to Seattle and Silicon Valley, and other prime perks. PSF’s most notable alumni, Vizify, sold to Yahoo! last March.


For as little as $95 per month, members will soon have access to mentorship programs at this new innovation lab. The “Parts Department,” a cohort of local experts, currently provides daily workshops and one-on-one consultation. In the pipeline: Launch Lab, a business accelerator for start-ups; Next Impact, pairing members with retired professionals and potential investors; and Purpose Wheel, a gathering for social enterprise.

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