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200+ Startups Make Bids for Portland Office Space

More than 230 startups from 10 states have submitted applications to a Portland Development Commission competition where the winners get $10,000 and free office space.

The PDC’s Startup PDX Challenge, which launched in February, accrued 235 submissions by last Wednesday’s midnight deadline. That figure could go up as the commission continues sorting through email submissions, spokesman Shawn Uhlman said Monday.

The Startup PDX Challenge is modeled somewhat on Boston’s Mass Challenge, where winners share more than $1 million in incentives. The idea is to attract promising young businesses to Portland with offers of financial and professional support and office space.

The Portland program includes a $10,000 payday and space in a 3,000-square-foot Central Eastside office at 1220 S.E. Grand Ave. that can accommodate four to six businesses.

The initial candidates will be screened by a panel of experts. Semifinalists will be invited to market themselves to the development commission and the public, which will have an opportunity to vote on the winning candidates.

Most of the applicants come from Oregon, the Portland area in particular. But Uhlman said submissions came in from California, Colorado, Utah, Washington, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, Tennessee and Texas. The Oregon submissions came not only from the Portland metro area, but also from Eugene, Corvallis, Salem, Bend and Ashland.

The bulk of applicants come from the software or clean technology spaces, though Uhlman said the athletic and outdoor industry, food technology and robotics companies are also part of the mix.

The PDC on Monday planned to contact the applicants with a timeline of next steps. Semifinalists will be notified by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 19, but won’t be announced until May 2.

Those semifinalists will take part in a public vote portion of the contest, for which they have to submit additional materials such as photos, video, links to social media, or web pages that will be posted on the PDC’s Produce Row website, at for an online vote. That material must be submitted by 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 1

Source: Portland Business Journal