I am honored to be a mentor for the next version of the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE). It is a great organization and the next version of it promises to be something really special. If you’re thinking of creating a start up, you should apply to be part of the program.
I’ll admit it. When PIE was first announced in 2009, I didn’t get it. I couldn’t figure out what Wieden and Kennedy was doing or why.
But despite not getting it, I still had a strong affinity for PIE. When my friends started Urban Airship, PIE was its first home. When Mobile Portland outgrew the space at About Us, PIE hosted our meetings.
PIE was attractive because it was vibrant and full of smart people. But until I read Rick’s history of PIE, I still didn’t get it.
All of that time, I couldn’t believe the W+K and others would donate space to a big experiment. I thought there had to be some master plan that I just didn’t get. They said it was an experiment from day one, but it took me reading about the various versions of PIE to finally get that yes indeed, it was a grand experiment.
Which is why I’m so excited about what PIE has now become. The experiment had results. And those results include:
- BankSimple (funded)
- COLOURlovers (funded)
- PHP Fog (funded)
- Urban Airship (funded)
- Bac’n (acquired)
- Bass Masta (acquired)
- Here File, File
- Paleo Plan
- Refresh Media
- Subscription Tools
- Uncorked Studios
That’s an amazing list. The three other companies in our building—Bank Simple, Uncorked Studios and Urban Airship—all spent time at PIE. We owe a lot to PIE.
Which is why I’m so happy that PIE is getting serious about its role as an incubator. They are taking applications for startups right now—the deadline is August 1st so apply soon.
And mostly, I’m looking forward to mentoring some fantastic new startups and helping PIE add them to the list above.