PIE (Portland Incubator Experiment) is an ongoing experiment exploring the potential for mutually beneficial collaboration between the Portland startup community and more well-established entities like corporations, government, and educational institutions. We've spent years mentoring, nurturing, and accelerating startups from around the world in Portland, Oregon. It's all been part of our mission to "build better founders."
PIE is a program predicated on providing founders — often first time entrepreneurs — with access to the mentorship and networks they need to be successful. And we do it by focusing on what each company needs, rather than being driven by a one size fits all curriculum. Think of it as an independent study, enabling you to focus on the issues, problems, and opportunities that matter most to you — all while being supported by a network of peers and mentors. What’s more, in addition to programming, PIE provides access to discounted and free services designed to equip your company with the tools you need to succeed.
Best of all? PIE provides all of this at no cost. The program asks for no equity and charges no tuition. It is absolutely free and clear.
There are currently three flavors of PIE: SaaS startups, startups creating manufactured objects, and startups focused on consumer products.
Our longest running program, PIE is focused on rapidly scaling software based businesses, including Software as a Service (SaaS), mobile applications, and the like. Our ideal candidate has a working prototype, has identified a potential target market, and is pre-funding and/or pre-revenue. (That being said, we’ve also worked with solo founders, back of the napkin concepts, and companies that have already raised millions of dollars in venture capital. Again, ideal is ideal, but we’re open to a variety of companies.)
Run in partnership with Autodesk, PIE Shop focuses on hardware based projects and manufactured objects. Our ideal candidate has a founding team with a functional prototype — even if it’s running off of a breadboard or Raspberry Pi — and has identified a potential target market. Preference will be given to companies that are interested in using Autodesk Fusion 360 as part of designing a product for manufacturing. Again, PIE Shop generally works with companies that are pre-funding and/or pre-revenue.
In collaboration with Built Oregon, PIE Consumer focuses on teams building traditional consumer product offerings — like food, beverages, apparel, beauty, outdoor, pet products, home accessories, and the like — designed to be sold via retail, ecommerce, or direct to consumer. Unlike other PIE programs which focus on early stage endeavors, this program seeks growth stage, traded sector companies that are post-revenue. The program is designed to serve the founding team of the company.