With fourth class, Portland Seed Fund shows global appeal

Posted on March 18, 2013

It seems like just yesterday that the Portland Seed Fund sprouted as a new tool to help grow the city’s under-nurtured startup scene.

Actually, it was just around three years ago, which really isn’t that long, but compared with the growth rate of Portland’s software companies, it may as well be three decades.

The city-backed startup accelerator program on Friday named 11 companies to its fourth class. It’s the program’s biggest class to date, which is another sign of the robust pool of entrepreneurial talent in Portland’s tech community. And it’s also a sign of the program’s global reach; One of the 11 startups hails from Israel.

“We have an unusually large class this time as opportunities continue to get better and better,” Portland Seed Fund Managing Director Angela Jackson said in a news release. “We see this as a direct result of the increasing strength and sophistication of the Portland entrepreneurial ecosystem. Now we are able to surface better prepared local talent as well as attract top teams from other cities who wish to start their companies here.”

The 11 companies — which also includes one from Seattle — will each receive $25,000 from the fund and partake in a 90-day boot camp, where they’ll receive coaching from mentors, fund managers, and peers. Their hope is to join a roster of Portland Seed Fund alums that, as of March 1, have raised $20 Million in additional angel and venture capital.

Here’s the roster for the seed fund’s fourth class:

  • Alum.ni (Irael) — Brings enhanced social value and connectivity to alumni networks (alum.ni)
  • Appthwack — Helps developers to instantly test their apps on real devices (appthwack.com)
  • Celly — Allows users to create instant mobile social networks called “cells.” Celly has already landed a $1.4 million round. (cel.ly)
  • Indie Vinos — A mobile app that enables the impulse wine buy at tastings and events. (indievinos.com)
  • Measureful — Helps users aggregate and share pertinent marketing data in a meaningful way.(measureful.com)
  • Minetta Brook (Seattle) — Synthesizes a million news items a day to gain real time “big picture” awareness of developing trends and connections. (minettabrook.com)
  • Opal Labs — An ideation and innovation platform for teams to surface new ideas and solve problems. (workwithopal.com)
  • PrestoBox — Helps companies create brands and logos in a few minutes online using a series of revealing questions. (prestobox.com)
  • Rally Cause — Enables fundraising for causes by shopping at local merchants. (rallycause.com)
  • Simple Emotion — An emotion recognition platform targeting apps for people with developmental disabilities. (simpleemotion.com)
  • Smart Mocha — Enables technologies for the emerging hardware/software ‘Internet of Things’