Portland, Oregon has become one of America's hottest destinations for entrepreneurs—thanks in part to its vibrant startup scene. Here's a guide for navigating who to know and what to see in the highly caffeinated Pacific Northwest city.

Talent Pipeline

Co-founded by Nike veteran Ellen Schmidt-Devlin, the University of Oregon's 18-month sports product management master's program on designing, producing, and marketing sports products connects aspiring entrepreneurs with angel investors at Oregon Sports Angels, founded by fellow ex-Nike employee Kate Delhagen.

 Portland Community College's intensive, 14-week "Getting Your Recipe to Market" course ends with students pitching products to local grocery chain New Seasons. Pitches that ended up on New Seasons' shelves include TanTan Foods' vegan Vietnamese sauces, Salsas Locas Mexican Foods, and Brazi Bites, gluten-free cheese bread.

Average salary for a software engineer
Source: Glassdoor
Average price per square foot for office space in the Central Business District
Source: Melvin Mark Commercial Real Estate
Number of Certified B Corps in the greater Portland area
Source: B Lab
Number of co-working spaces in Portland
Source: Glassdoor

Who to Know


Angela Jackson
CREDIT: Courtesy Ecotrust

Angela Jackson is the executive director of Portland State University's Center for Entrepreneurship and its business accelerator, and co-founder and managing director of the Portland Seed Fund, which invests in early-stage Pacific Northwest-based companies. PSF's portfolio consists of 78 companies, including Indow Windows (which makes energy-saving window inserts), software firm Cloudability, and apparel maker Wildfang. Successful local exits include Better Bean, GlobeSherpa, and eyewear startup Sightbox.

"Because our initial investments are small, we are able to take risks that others feel they cannot," says Jackson. "We're in it for the long haul."