The Big Pink Building Recruits Portland Tech Companies

The Big Pink Building Recruits Portland Tech Companies

The Big Pink Building Recruits Portland Tech Companies


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The U.S. Bancorp Tower, or “Big Pink” as it’s known to most Portlanders, is Portland’s 2nd tallest building. Coming in at 42 stories high. To some, it’s also one of the ugliest buildings in Portland.

Ugly or not, it’s fairly massive in size, (over a million square feet), got a makeover in 2013, recently sold for over 300 million, and now it’s attracting tech companies as of late.

Brian Pearce, Unico Properties senior vice president of real estate services, explained to that technology companies want attractive work spaces with open ceilings, rich amenities and bike parking:

“The creative and tech tenants are driving the markets.”

Unico is listening to what tech companies want for their spaces. They’ve given The US Bancorp Tower a renovation in hopes to attract more of them. It seems to be working.

The article goes on to mention a few of those technology companies who have made the Big Pink it’s home:

1) SurveyMonkey –
Create and send free surveys. SurveyMonkey moved into the renovated 16th floor, and eventually expanded up into the 17th floor too.

2) Webtrends –
Make sense of your customer data and improve your digital marketing strategy. Webtrends has 66,000 square feet on one floor.

3) New Relic –
Analytics for your software. New Relic takes up 62,000 square feet on 3 different floors.

4) Lattice Semiconductor –
Provides intellectual property and low-power, small form-factor devices. Moved in from Hillsboro last year.

Startup Events, Incubators, & Programs In Portland

There’s a lot of technology and startup “stuff” going on in Portland! Probably more than most realize. The Portland and metro areas actually have a nickname, “The Silicon Forest“, a play on California’s “Silicon Valley”.

Portland Startup Weekend

You’ve got the Portland Startup Weekend, which is actually happening now as we write this.

Startup weekends happen all over the world. Teams of developers, entrepreneurs, designers, etc, gather for this 54 hour event to build a working prototype for their ideas.


PIE (Portland Incubator Experiment) is an incubator for Portland startups who need mentoring.

“Our mentors are veterans with experience in all stages of business, from incubating, accelerating, fundraising, growing, sustaining, exiting — to crashing and burning.”

Since starting in 2009 PIE has helped more than 40 startups launch and improve their companies. Each of these companies become part of their mentoring network.

One of our favorite PIE alumnis from 2014 was Nutmeg, an app that makes it really simple to text GIFs:

They actually went on to be bought out by Giphy this year.

Starve Ups

Starve Ups was Oregon’s first startup incubator. Since opening in 2000, they’ve helped over 113 startup companies.

“Of those 113 Starve Ups companies, 82% are still in business, nearly 2/3 have raised Angel and/or VC rounds of funding, and 16 of our membership companies have been positively mergered, acquired or have gone public.”

Here’s one of their alumni, Shwood Limited, a Portland eyewear company:

Portland Tech & Startup News

Silicon Florist

No Portland tech/startup article is complete without mentioning Rick Turoczy. Rick started his Silicon Florist blog years ago:

“to help provide a repository for interesting technology startup news—particularly Web-based, mobile-based, and open source technology—from Portland, Oregon”

Speaking of Portland Incubators, Rick just posted an article last week on a few who are hiring: Jaguar Land Rover Incubator, Oregon Story Board, and Startup PDX Challenge.

Rick is also a co-founder of Built Oregon, which was launched via a Kickstarter that we were more than happy to contribute to. Built Oregon helps shine a spotlight on small businesses and entrepreneurs all over the state of Oregon.

Portland Startup Digest

Be sure to sign up for tailored, Portland Startup Digest emails here. From the same folks that put on the previously mentioned Startup Weekend.

NewTech PDX

NewTech PDX is a meetup event that happens on the 3rd Monday of each month. Hosted by Thubten, who writes the Startup Chronicle.

Why Portland?

And finally, we ran across this question recently on Quora: Why are there so many startups in Portland? Andrew Wallner gives a great answer:

“…There is a growing lot of affordable talent, reputable money, and generally forward thinking and impassioned individuals. All of this stems from a local corporate backbone for successful companies of various sizes that either call Portland their home, or make a footprint here while being headquartered in another state (think WebMD, Nike, Wacom, Adidas, Leatherman, Columbia, etc.)…Mix all that positive corporate vibe, geography, and thinking with the character, reputation, and inspiring persona that rainy, gorgeous Portland has come to build and it begins to make a bit more sense why startups like Simple, Conversa Health, etc. call this place their home as well.”

We’re no Silicon Florist, but we’d still like to help spread the word and spotlight Portland tech and entrepreneurship! Have a story idea? Do you write about tech? Please get in touch, we’d be thrilled to hear from you!

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WAO Staff We're a couple of Oregonians who are working to find and share interesting stories, photos, and videos. Is there something you'd like to see covered here? Let us know!