Building Ten $1MM Tech Startups
in Portland by 10/2010
Portland’s tech startup scene has
two primary problems:
“There aren’t enough fundable startups”
“There’s not enough seed funding”
It’s a chicken and egg problem:
Investors don’t fund companies
until they clearly demonstrate
ability to deliver ROI
Founders struggle to commercialize
without investor-caliber support
GEEKS FOUNDE INVESTO
Of the 3 main participants
in the startup ecosystem,
which is most likely and able
to act first to change this?
To answer that question,
it’s important to recognize
the main role each plays:
Identify and Fund a capable
pursue a team with
commercializabl traction, able to
e opportunity generate ROI
We believe founders create viable
opportunities for geeks & investors,
so our work begins there.
Identify and Fund a capable
Build cool pursue a team with
technology commercializabl traction, able to
e opportunity generate ROI
Portland Ten’s answer to
strengthen our local
is to work with founders–
to strengthen their ability
to turn a side project into a revenue-
Our philosophy is simple:
An engine is required for driving a
car; fancy paint, however,
For founders with limited funds, time,
manpower, and experience,
it's difficult to
turn the idea into a viable project with traction
develop the product
build the team
launch initial sales & marketing
In other words, founders struggle to build
"the engine"-- the critical tasks that convert
a great idea into a legitimate,
economically self-sustaining company.
Portland Ten assists founders in accomplishing
the critical first 18 months of the startup process:
Clarify and align the concept
Commercialize & manage a project at the $1MM or more level.
Plan and execute milestones in 90-day increments
Internalize and apply best practices from venture capital,
bootstrapping, and project management methodologies.
Our metric for success is to assist ten founders in
getting to $1MM in revenue by October 2010.
“10 by 2010.”
We require that participating founders
commit to this goal, and we commit our own
resources, network, and reputation
to reach this goal
Basics of The Program
First 3 Months 15 Months Post-Incubation
Weekly Founder's Group 3 Months of Advisor Check Ins
12 Month Milestones
Metrics Board Tracking Sales Google group
Emphasis on Market Validation Closing board meeting
2 Task Sessions/Week 15 Months Metrics tracking
Weekly 1-on-1 Check in Alumni pass to future P10 events
Monthly Founder's Group
Special guests & events
Access to P10 network
Monthly Friends & Family Social
Monthly Founder’s Lunch
Monthly Startup Checkup
3 startup books & an Uncalendar
90 Day Milestones
Timeline & Founder
Timeline Founder Commitments
Fall applications accepted: Tuition:
beginning July 27 $1000/month for 3 months
by August 30 Participation:
12 Week Fall Session: 6-8 hours per week for 12 weeks
September 21- December 13 10 by 2010:
Founders commit to generate
$1MM within 18 months of
starting the program.
What Our Founders Say
Ben Parzybok, WalkerTracker
“From the perspective of having successfully put together a boot-strapped product, I was particularly interested in
Portland Ten to learn about taking the project to a new level. My short term goals include working through the
enterprise sales cycle, understanding best-of-breed practices for startups and connecting with a community that is
undergoing the same process. Portland Ten has been an invaluable help as Walker Tracker re-envisions its
objectives and gets on task."
Kenneth Beare, Lingofeeds
“Portland Ten is driving me to understand Lingofeeds from all angles. It’s exhilarating, challenging in the extreme,
and brutally honest at all times. Most importantly, it is helping me put the pieces together to form a successful
"Lingofeeds.com is now five months into Portland Ten, and on the cusp of launching a solid first product. I’ve
developed important third party relationships, as well as done significant market validation. All of this has been
done on a bootstrapper’s budget. Without Portland Ten, it would all still be a ‘great idea’."
John Metta, Hydrasi
“Portland Ten is a group focused on razor sharp honesty. You call them reasons and learn that they are
excuses. You call them obstacles and learn that they are your own fears. You call them gold and learn that they
are just really horrible, horrible ideas. It’s hard and often painful, but so is starting a company and I’d rather take
the hard knocks in a room full of peers than one full of angry investors who learned too late that there’s no
market for my product.“."
"When I started Portland Ten, I had a vague idea. By the end of Portland Ten, I had the foundations of a strong
company, and a month later I have a co-founder, waiting clients, and am in full development. We’re bootstrapping
with strong revenue-driven goals and a no-nonsense attitude, and funding is now a choice, instead of a
Dave Miller, BashWorks
“First and foremost Carolynn Duncan’s Portland Ten bootcamp is a hell of a deal. The training is fun, challenging,
and comprehensive, with plenty of one-on-one problem solving. I’m learning a ton and having a great time doing
"Two months after our final session, Portland Ten continues to pay off with new connections, with the application of
much improved business practices, and as a motivator to reach the revenue goal to which we committed."
Alan Wizemann, Cularis
“We consider the experience and guidance from Carolynn and the PortlandTen to be an invaluable asset to our
growing start-up. Through the exercises, their experience, founders groups and private checkups, we have honed
our business procedures, product pricing, and go to market strategies while increasing our pre-sales for our
upcoming product, ShopIgniter. Coming from a technology background, P10 has helped me dive into the realm of a
business development founder and has become paramount to our strategy to become a million dollar company at
or before the end of next year. As any start-up founder can tell you, getting the right advice on your company is
almost impossible, as is exploring the world of angel and venture capital investment. With P10, we were able to use
the knowledge and experience of Carolynn to bridge that enormous gap and help us generate buzz around what
we are doing. I highly recommend any new business to try to get into P10, you will be glad you did."
Don Hollerich, DedicatedMaps
"This is my fifth start-up, of which 2 had successful exits, & the other 2, not so much. When I was first
introduced to Portland 10, my first reaction was: Been there, done that, why do I need this? But I decided to
give it a try. What I found was that I was forced (encouraged) to focus on the things that are important during
the start-up phase, like how does this product provide customer value & how does it make money, rather than
on just the things that I am good at, like developing software. I wish I had this group at least a couple of times
Eileen Quenin, Blabylon
“PortlandTen is proving invaluable to me. I spent the past few years "networking" & "talking" about my start up. I
was working on it, but not really focusing on the essentials. I didn’t know what the essentials were. I actually had
little understanding of the machinations of the market, of what venture capital was about, the "real" business side
of thing. I had never actually done true market validations, researched funding, or looked closely at my own
biases, blind spots and motivations behind my business/product development decisions. Carolynn provides a
wealth of experience and a unique kind of "tough love" that has proven essential to a new entrepreneur like
myself. She gives empathy and steadfast clarity. The other founders’ stories and adventures help me discover so
much about myself - what it takes to launch and run a successful company. I still believe I can do great job coming
up with product/features(s) to meet market needs and guide a company. The boot camp has knocked out
(thankfully so) a good deal of grandiosity and naivety. I find it challenging and appreciate the growth it provides. I
told a friend, ‘It is like the difference between slumping over reading a magazine on a treadmill and having a
personal coach push you to your edge while making sure you don’t injure yourself.’"
Steve Woodward, Nozzl Media
"We’re only halfway through our 12-week session, but Portland Ten is already helping put my business back
on track — a track I didn’t even realize we had left. Carolynn is relentlessly honest and backs up that honesty
with insightfulness, experience and smarts. The program isn’t for the faint of heart, but for an entrepreneur
who is ready to learn the tough lessons about what it takes to succeed, it’s the best deal in town."
Carolynn Duncan, Program Director
Serial entrepreneur and subject matter expert in venture
capital and angel investment. Hundred Dollar Business,
FundingUniverse.com, EPIC Ventures, Eastern Idaho
Entrepreneurial Center, TagJungle, Provo Labs.
Nick Cottle, Venture Analyst
Nick Cottle is a founder of 7 Summits Sports Inc. and
has worked to grow a division of the company called
Epic Relays. Nick is also currently a full-time MBA
student at Willamette University. Previously, Nick
worked for HP and received a Bachelor's in Public
Relations from BYU.
Mark Grimes, Ned.com, NedSpace
Serial entrepreneur and experienced angel investor. NedSpace, Ned.com, and Better World Media
Josh Friedman, NedSpace/Eleven Wireless
Serial entrepreneur. Better World Media Network, NedSpace, Eleven Wireless, Starveups.
Rob Wiltbank, Wilamette University, Buerk, Dale, Victor
Angel investment expert, Wilamette University MBA program professor, and partner at Buerk, Dale,
Victor venture fund.
Kristin Wolff, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce
Senior partner with CSW—a Michigan-based public policy firm, working with states, cities and
organizations across the US on economic, education and workforce issues.
We enjoy working to strengthen Portland’s
startup, tech, and investment communities.
If you’d like to get involved with Portland Ten or
recommend a founder for the 10 by 2010
bootcamp, please contact us.
You can also follow updates via Twitter or our
To apply for the current Fall 2009 session,
submit an application at http://www.portlandten.