Portland, We Salute You! Portland Startup Week Recap

Entrepreneurs, developers, media and participants of Portland, thank you. Your city embraced the first Portland Startup Week like no other. Of all the Startup Weeks and Weekends I’ve participated in, this was the first that had live television coverage onsite and a constant stream of articles published for the general public as a whole – not just those involved in the tech and startup scene. Way to engage your entire community – maybe Boulder and Denver will do this in 2015 (hint, hint)! Here’s my Portland Startup Week recap complete with published articles in business journals, techie bloggers, mainstream TV coverage, 140-character tweets, pictures and one amazing keynote from my very first hackfest as a participant and not just the host! 


Docker & Fig Engineering Tutorial

We had a packed house for our first event –QLer Alex Johnson’s Engineering Lunch Sailing Away From Dependency Hell. If you missed it, don’t fret. We recorded it for you.

– Docker containers are an easy way to manage services like databases.

– With the right command-line options, you can work with code running in a container just like you would if it were running locally.

– Using tools like Fig, you can declare and manage service dependencies in much the same way way that you already manage code dependencies with tools like Bundler and NPM.

Deconstructing Women in Technology

Our CEO Ingrid Alongi gave her data-driven, solutions-oriented presentation on how to get more women in computing fields. Malia Spencer, tech journalist for the Portland Business Journal, stopped by and summarized her talk in the TechFlash report here.

Cassidy Quinn and Rachel Scott on Portland Startup Week - KGW Channel 8

Startup Week is Every Week in Oregon, Not Just in Portland

According to Skip Newberry from the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO), one in six people employed in Oregon work in the tech sector. So you can see this event was aptly named. Scott, Abram and Mark headed out to check out what the state has to offer from Bend to Eugene to the Gorge and everywhere in between.

Where Are Your Wearables Hackfest

As the hostess of the QL hackfests, I must say this was one of my favorite startup week activities and full of firsts to boot. And in all of the hackfests I’ve hosted, this was Quick Left’s first in Portland and also the first where I formed a team and participated!

From hardware hackers and software engineers to architects and designers to coding school students and instructors, many teams came together not knowing each other but formed fast bonds and built some pretty incredible (and hilarious) wearables in less than 3 hours (despite our intermittent internet woes – thanks Comcast!).

My colleague Mark Jackson and I kicked things off with our spoof wearable product – NeckMeo (follow us on twitter!). We’ll let our keynote speak for itself below:

-Turn Left – Comprised of Epicodus students, this team took the brown-nose approach and created a device that solves all those left turning challenges. Ambi-turning mode will be released in early 2018.

-Boy genius/Farmer/NSA Hacker – If I could summarize what in the hell this guy built, I would not be working at Quick Left. I’d be rich on an island somewhere. Utilizing his own hardware from Intel, he built a solar panel that from the sounds of it could solve everything from complex software problems to world-hunger.

-Track Hackers – Our third place team built a web application that reads several different wearable devices and normalizes the data from athletes to coaches.

SkipSnapChat – In second place, this team BUILT an EKG device that integrates with your mobile phone camera to take pictures based on elevated heart rate levels. No more missing that image of a bear you run into when you’re too busy texting – now you can snap that picture instantly.

-Rabbit – And our winner of the first edition of the Quick Left Hackfest, team Rabbit! Not only did they construct a beautiful wearable using the LilyPad kits donated by Sparkfun (and a sweet logo), they created a viable mobile product! Using GPS and preprogrammed workouts, the Rabbit alerts you via wristbrand lights on your pace and whether or not you’re working out within the specified zone with ease. You could program based on heart or music BPMs (if you’re more motivated by the right beat of music whilst working out). Best part is this team combined software engineers, a hardware engineer, designers, and IoT specialists that didn’t know each other to make the winning app.

Thanks again Jared and Alex from for sponsoring, Jason from Heliorana Film for pulling double duty catching the night on film while judging, and the media attention from Cassidy at KGW Channel 8 and Stephen at KATU Channel 2. Check out how nerdy I look when the camera starts rolling below!


A week designed to bring passionate, entrepreneurial people together across the city evokes more than just general excitement – it’s a catalyst for ideation, business partnerships, and best of all lasting friendships. My only regret is that I had to hop on a plane the day before the closing party. I’m already planning the next trip out this spring, and will have my bike in tow. Tweet at me if you want to meet up and ride, hack, or chat over a strong Portland brew of the coffee or beer variety.