BuiltOregon

Category - Editor’s Notes

Making the Connections Stronger

Issue two is almost ready to be published, but as we look to extend the reach and impact of Built Oregon, a few things have become apparent. Organizing in-person events around the state matter. Integrating new platforms matter. So as these new ways to connect deeper have surfaced as important keys to our success, we’d thought it would be good to share how we are looking to address them.

We had our first in-person event in Portland on the 4th of February. It was a panel discussion titled “Startup Week is Every Week, and Not Just in Portland.” The discussion centered around collaboration, sense of place, and opportunities/challenges. The event brought together a diverse panel and more than 100 attendees that mingled, networked, and connected. It’s the type of event we want to do around the state to better connect the entrepreneurs in each region, and to bring awareness to what is taking place.

This leads to our next event, which will be titled “Built Southern Oregon.” The event will be held in Grants Pass March 13-14. We’ll have more info very soon, but the idea is similar: bring cross-industry and regional entrepreneurs together to discuss opportunities, challenges, ways to collaborate, awareness into what each other is doing, and celebrate what these folks have already built.

As good as in-person events are, they’re not always the right tool for the job. New platforms can enable us to work on connecting the dots quickly and effectively. One of those platforms is called Switchboard. It’s an Oregon founded service designed to better enable connections within passionate communities like ours. With the help of these awesome Oregonians, we have launched the Built Oregon Switchboard. And we’d love to have you join us there.

Its power is based in its simplicity; you can post an Ask or an Offer as a way to engage the greater community. As simple as the platform is to use, its success is largely based on you — yep, we’re totally putting you to work (for a good cause!). Community members and the engagement of those communities is what will ultimately make this platform awesome. I would recommend checking out the PDX Startup Switchboard (1500 users!) as an example, and then read Rick’s intro piece as an overview on how to dive in.

That’s it for now. Always feel free to drop us a note via the contact page!

The Value of Membership

$24 a year.

What exactly does a Built Oregon membership provide? Why should you join us along this journey with Built Oregon?

As the founders of Built Oregon, we have all been asked these questions and even though we have some info on our Support Us page, so here is a brief synopsis of what your $24 gets you.

70-100 Stories — The focus of Built Oregon has always been on telling the stories of Oregon founders. Each of these stories are written by talented journalists from around the state, journalists who deserve to be paid a competitive rate for their efforts. Your membership helps to support the editorial content of Built Oregon — plain and simple. At some point we may add premium content that is members only, but we are also keenly aware that inspiration and collaboration should not be hidden behind a paywall.

Events — Collaboration and acceleration occur so much more quickly in person. That’s why we have started to organize events around the state. From panel discussions to company expos, the diversity of the events will hopefully match the diversity of entrepreneurship. Your membership provides free access to all of these events.

Affinity Program — We are working on expanding our statewide affinity program, where discounts are offered to members of Built Oregon. It’s not about focusing on getting deals, but rather opening your eyes to a wide array of companies you may not have heard of, and places you may not have visited as of yet.

Creation of a Community — Your support allows us to create a connected and collaborative Built Oregon community. A community of makers, foodies, techies, scientists, creatives, distillers, brewers, farmers, and on and on. Without your support, both as members and through engagement, we can’t sustain the momentum we need to make a real difference.

$24 a year.

Maybe it takes skipping a pint or latte every other month to support us, but we are confident that after reading these stories and helping to build this community you will see the true value in what your membership is supporting. Plus, if you happen to run into Mitch, Terry, or Rick there is a good chance that you will get that pint or latte back.

Here’s the signup page – come join our journey.

Cheers and Thank You

The Built Oregon Team

Shining a light

A core focus of Built Oregon has always been bringing awareness to what is happening around Oregon from an entrepreneurial and innovation standpoint – from the large companies to the small ones, from the coast to eastern Oregon, and from ranching to apparel.

It’s about shining a light on what these great entrepreneurs and companies are doing to build Oregon. To that end, we have started a campaign via Twitter that we hope all of you will participate in.

Over the next 30 days, we will tweet about 2-3 Oregon based companies per day.  The campaign tweets will begin with the simple call to action — “Learn About”.

Learn by visiting their website and reading their story.

Learn by following them on social media and supporting their efforts.

Learn by sharing something about each of the companies in your networks and begin a conversation.

Use the #builtoregon for this conversation thread, and instead of just trending, let’s try and accelerate what is happening in Oregon.

A small step towards big things

It was about 7 months ago when the idea for Built Oregon started to take shape.

Mitch and Terry, after teaming up to look into a coworking space, realized that a bigger impact could come from being a storytelling voice for entrepreneurship across Oregon—not a voice defined by one location or industry vertical.

In a Jerry Maguire moment, and possibly over a few pints of good Oregon beer, Mitch crafted the original Built Oregon mission statement. It was a reflection of what he and Terry envisioned and  a statement about the opportunity they saw around the idea of developing a digital magazine that told the story of entrepreneurship and innovation that is happening all across Oregon.

Storytelling to raise the awareness about what is happening in Oregon.

Storytelling to instigate conversations around the innovation community, which includes everything from food & beverage to sustainable farming and onto biotech and consumer products.

Storytelling that helps to connect entrepreneurial communities, regions, and the state.

They sent the mission statement to Rick looking for feedback. What they got in return was more than just feedback, it was one of the core leaders of the entrepreneurial community wanting to join them on this journey.

With that, the founding team was in place.

They dove into the concept and created a kickstarter campaign, with an incredible video as the focal point.

318.

318 people backed the campaign and helped us beat our goal by $12,000.

Then they got accepted into the Oregon Storyboard accelerator and were off to the races.

Discussions began. “What stories to do first?”, “Who will we get to write the stories across the state?”, “What will be the overall editorial direction of Built Oregon going forward?” There were many questions that needed to be answered. But none that would be new to any of the entrepreneurs we are looking to shine a light on.

So here we are.

After 7 months of concepting, crowdfunding, discussions, and excitement our first issue is out. Some of the stories are extensions of the video we produced. And others are of companies from across Oregon. What we hope is that these stories lay the groundwork for what we want to accomplish with Built Oregon.

To support the entrepreneurs across Oregon, instigate conversations, and create connections that fuel cross industry collaborations, and ultimately accelerate the economy forwards.

But this is just the first step. Our big things include an issue every month and events around the state in 2015. We hope that you enjoy issue one and continue to join us on this journey.