Technology Industry Growth Lands Portland Among Top 25 Best-Performing Cities in the U.S. in 2012
Wednesday, January 23rd 2013 by Skip Newberry
This past Friday, the Miliken Institute released a study of the top 25 best-performing cities in the U.S. Portland was in the top 25, and it jumped 42 spots from 65 to 23 from 2011 to 2012. The following quote is compelling:
"Not only does Portland boast the sixth-highest concentration of high-tech output in the country, it outperformed the national average in high-tech output growth by 5 percentage points—the third-fastest region. Computer product manufacturing, especially semiconductors, combined with scientific and technical services to add more than 4,400 mostly high- paying jobs."
The full report can be downloaded here. Data specific to the Portland-Vancouver Region can be found on page 22 of the report.
Top Tech Talent is Getting It Done in Portland
Monday, July 23rd 2012 by Jared WienerThe Portland tech scene is in the midst of resurgence and companies are developing innovative solutions to the problems faced by businesses and customers across the world. But it’s not just the products and ideas that make our tech industry seem so promising, it’s the influx of highly skilled and talented individuals in this field who are choosing to work out of Portland to "create what’s next” in the industry.
Simple is reinventing personal banking with a modern online and mobile experience, no surprise fees, and great customer service. They promise to take care of you and let the banks take care of your money. Simple chose to relocate to Portland less than a year ago and last week ramped up their product release. To accomplish this milestone, Simple is relying on leading technical talent.
Simple was started out of founder Josh Reich’s frustrations with the American banking system. Josh has played leading roles in tech startups such as CTO, Chief Strategist, and Director of Technical Research in his work history. Add to that CEO and co-founder with Simple. He is well-regarded for his strong analytical talents, leadership ability, and the skill to grasp the entirety of a situation. As proof of that, Josh added Alex Payne as a co-founder and technology expert to the team. Before joining Simple, Alex worked at Twitter where he was one of the company’s first hires. While at Twitter, Alex worked primarily on building the company’s developer platform, and later on the service’s core infrastructure. And the talent at Simple expands beyond the co-founders. According to Simple’s Director of Finance Ryan Hildebrand:
"Simple moved its HQ to Portland from Brooklyn and San Francisco for a combination of reasons. We are reinventing a centuries-old industry that has grown too complex… Portland provides the right environment for us to grow our team and solidify our culture. We found that we have access to a strong technical community and are proud to be in a growing startup center. Portland offers a great quality of life that has already attracted a number of our engineers to make the move from all over the world. Further, the city gives us access to a pool of creative, intelligent, and affordable talent.”
"Portland offers all of the usual amenities of a big city with a cost of living and work-life-balance that is unheard of in many metropolitan areas. The food, wine, and nightlife scene is on par with, and arguably better, than many bigger cities. Specific to technology, but by removing ourselves from the echo chamber of San Francisco, we're better able to focus on our products and customers. It also lets us fly under the radar a bit more.”It seems the top tech talent is catching on to what we already know. Portland is a great community where people are willing to work together, it’s an affordable place to live, and it allows you to focus in and get things done.
Jared Wiener, PDC, Software Industry Liaison
Elemental On A Roll...And Hiring
Tuesday, May 8th 2012 by Kerry McClenahanIt’s always fun to share good news, particularly when it involves one of our members here at the Software Association of Oregon (SAO).
Our friends at Elemental Technologies just announced they have raised $13 million in Series C financing, led by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) and joined by existing investors General Catalyst, Voyager Capital and Steamboat Ventures, who also participated in the round.
This is another great win for an Oregon-based company and more proof, as if we needed it, of the creative vitality here in Techlandia. The new funding comes as Elemental invests aggressively to extend its leadership in the multiscreen content delivery market - and follows on the heels of last month’s report that a number of leading international broadcasters will use Elemental products to deliver coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
In response to all these impressive developments, Elemental is expanding its workforce and aggressively seeking new talent - which is great news for Elemental, our gifted pool of local high-tech pros, and of course the larger Oregon economy.
Elemental’s well-deserved success on the global stage is another reminder of how important the technology industry is to our state’s economic health. At a time of economic transition, Oregon’s high-tech sector is helping lead the way toward growth - a proof-of-concept for SAO’s vision for Oregon’s high-tech community to become a driver of economic development and be recognized as the hotbed of innovation it truly is.
Oregon’s thriving high tech industry has long been one of the state’s best-kept secrets, but with success stories like Elemental - and with advocacy and support from organizations like SAO - news is getting out that Oregon is a fantastic place for tech companies to start-up, grow and succeed.
And did I mention that Elemental is hiring?
SAO Board Member
CEO of McBru
Did Techlandia Experience the Recession?
Friday, April 20th 2012 by Jared Wiener
The recent recession – often referred to as the Global Recession, the Great Recession, the Little Depression, The Great Reset, the Bush Recession or the Obama Recession depending on whom you ask, has had a profound effect on our economy. Many businesses went under; workers lost jobs; investment accounts suffered, forcing delays in retirement plans; and the value of many homes decreased to "underwater” levels. So how did the technology industry or Oregon and Greater Portland fare during this difficult time? The short answer is better than most. While the negative effects of the recession are still being felt, the downturn ushered in a new wave of entrepreneurship and creativity as old economic models broke down. Elemental Technologies, Puppet Labs, Urban Airship, Thetus Corporation, Simple and many others have been able to hire workers, develop a profitable business plan and raise capital. In fact, companies in the Techlandia community raised more than $100 million in funding in 2011 alone! The software/tech industry’s ability to minimize the impacts of the largest economic loss in recent history is a testament to its strength in the region.The performance of Techlandia companies relative to the U.S. – and the change over time – is particularly informative. Software employment in the region increased by more than 1,300 jobs since the start of the recession in 2007. The computer and electronics industry across Oregon did experience employment reductions, but has lost only six percent of its employment levels since 2007 compared to the national loss of 13%.
And while the job numbers present a mixed picture, wages have continued their upward climb or held constant. In fact, wages increased by an equal or greater percentage across Oregon compared to the US in all but one of Techlandia’s industry sectors (BLS, 2007-2010 annual wage data, U.S. Totals and State of Oregon Total).Wages and employment strength in Techlandia industries are strong compared to national averages and other industries in Portland and Oregon. This is particularly valuable since a larger portion of Portland and Oregon workers are employed by technology industries than the nation as a whole. This data reasserts the value and importance of the Techlandia partnership to our economy and society.
Want to see more data? Check out Techlandia’s recently updated Industry Data page.
Welcome To Techlandia, Population…?
Tuesday, March 20th 2012 by Rick TuroczyThere's something happening here in Oregon. Something creative. Something entrepreneurial. Something world changing.
We all know it. We just haven't really been able to put our finger on it.
And we've all been gushing--okay maybe I’ve been gushing--with anecdotal evidence about all of the activity. About all of the great things happening here. About all of the amazing people and projects and companies. About how things are changing drastically and for the better.
But we've been distinctly lacking in facts. In the metrics to defend it. To quantify it. To measure it.
Today, that changes. With the launch of Techlandia.
I've been in the Portland startup scene for more than 16 years. And I honestly can’t say that I've seen an endeavor like this one. It’s a project that will help us quantify the impact of technology on the economy of Oregon and Southwest Washington. That will help connect our community. And that will make Oregon and Greater Portland as strong as we know them to be.
And it’s all thanks to the Software Association of Oregon embarking on this journey.
In my opinion, there is no better local entity to lead this effort. To enforce the collaboration that will make us successful. And to help guide the activity that will help ensure this is a valuable resource for years to come.
But launching is only a first step. Now, it’s up to us--the community--to take Techlandia from here. And to continue championing Oregon as an amazing place to start, build, and succeed with technology companies.
If you're a software, hardware, or technology services company, create a profile on Techlandia. The website is a community effort so please give us your feedback on how we can improve and grow over time.
Let’s get started.