PORTLAND – Friday was graduation day for seven new high-tech startup companies that are part of the Portland Incubator Experiment, a hub for community, entrepreneurship, and creative thinking.
There were no gowns and caps for the ceremony. The group was mostly in T-shirts and jeans. During the graduation, they introduce their companies to the public and to venture capitalists.
Each company gets just six to eight minutes on stage at the Gerding Theatre to explain what the company can do. Many hope to get more funding in order to move their companies to the next level.
Most of the ideas are Internet or mobile-based.
“To date our companies have created more than 500 jobs and have raised more than $125 million dollars in venture capital,” said PIE general manager Rick Turoczy.
PIE started three years ago as a way to mentor and encourage great ideas. Companies from around the country compete to be a part of the group. Ad firm Wieden + Kennedy often gives them capital, and office space to learn from others who have been successful.