About Starve Ups

Starve Ups was Oregon's first startup accelerator, and is its only scalerator, taking its membership companies from inception to acquisition. From day one Starve Ups was built with its cornerstone as peer mentoring, which is exactly what Starve Ups stands for, excels at and focuses on as a group. Now, after 17 years in existence we are getting a new look and are further taking “proven peer mentoring for founders” to an even higher level.

As part of the upgraded branding we also recently trifurcated the group, into three distinct groups, yet we all remain one unified entity. In turn Starve Ups is now made up of the SURVIVE, STRIVE and THRIVE groups. It is simple, the end-to-end educational approach, known as a scalerator, and full circle purpose of Starve Ups is to get each of our membership companies to:

Survive Stage

Survive

the first 18 to 36 months where as many as 2/3 of all startups fail and where the greatest mistakes are made and the most time is wasted.


Strive Stage

Strive

into great sustainability, profitability and expansion when interest, investment and support tend to slow down and the real models take hold.


Thrive Stage

Thrive

for their positive exit, IPO or existence strategy when our members turn into active investors, seasoned mentors and close the startup circle.

Starve Ups was launched by founders and is solely for founders. The group works tirelessly to change the game to make startups exponentially more successful in a more efficient and effective ecosystem.

Today, Starve Ups companies are 4 times more likely to garnering funding, 4 times more likely to be acquired via a positive exit and nearly 6 times more likely to stay in business than other startups nationally.

Our History

Starve Ups was founded on October 15, 2000 by a group of founders, from seven Oregon-based startup companies, as the state's first accelerator, and only scalerator, dedicated to helping founders of startups create successful companies via optimized proven peer mentoring. In attendance were the founders of what became AssetExchange, CoolerEmail, eROI, Rumblefish, VIA, Versation and wired.MD.

Since the founding all 7 of these companies reached profitability, 6 became multimillion dollar annual revenue generators, 5 have been acquired for very positive investor returns and 1 became an Inc. 500 company. All 7 companies included 1st time founders of startups. It was a statistical anomaly with a 100% success rate with first time founders.

A greater explanation is that Starve Ups is an exclusive founders-only scalerator serving idea and early stage founders who provide each other their insights, resources and networks at no cost in order to provide peer mentoring at the highest level. In turn Starve Ups is the only full lifecycle accelerator with its cornerstone as proven peer mentoring, which is exactly what Starve Ups stands for, excels at and focuses on as a group.

It is simple; the end-to-end educational approach and purpose of Starve Ups is to get each of our membership companies to: 1) SURVIVE the first 18 to 36 months, 2) STRIVE into profitability and expansion, and 3) THRIVE for their positive exit or existence strategy. This full lifecycle accelerator approach created by Starve Ups is known as a scalerator.

Starve Ups, in the last 17 years, has an 79% survival/success rate amongst its 145 membership companies, collectively have raised over $497M in funding amongst membership companies, has had 22 membership companies mergered or acquired, 1 membership company who went IPO, and 4 Inc. 500/Inc. 5000 companies within it. The enterprise value, at the time of the 22 exit events of Starve Ups companies, was $822M for investors and shareholders.

Founders, and their startups, in Starve Ups are 6 times more likely to stay in business, 4 times more likely to raise angel and VC funding, and are now 4 times more likely to get positively acquired than the national average. Today, Starve Ups and its "proven peer mentoring for founders" model has been argued in international news as the most successful accelerator in the world.

Leadership

Starve Ups Timeline

October 2000

Starve Ups is founded by 7 companies

Starve Ups is founded by 7 companies as an entrepreneurial group where success and sustainability are the model. All of the 7 founding companies are still in Starve Ups and all are profitable.

July 2001

"Starve Ups Square"

"Starve Ups Square" event is held in historic Pioneer Square where entrepreneurs could visit 20 tables discussing the key elements of running a start up including business plan writing, financing, etc.

September 2001

Starve Ups increases membership cap to 15 companies

Starve Ups increases membership cap to 15 companies as inquiries are received weekly from new companies wanting to join. Over 40 companies inquire about joining in the first year of the group.

June 2002

Starve Ups increases membership cap to 18 companies

Starve Ups increases membership cap to 18 companies at any given time. This level of capacity was discussed with leaders of other entrepreneurial organizations as the ideal size for a group such as Starve Ups.

July 2002

"Starve Ups Square II"

"Starve Ups Square II" event runs again in Pioneer Square. Over 500 attendees and entrepreneurs visit tables, each focused on key areas of focus for building businesses including marketing, sales and branding.

May 2004

Portland State University contracts with Starve Ups Marketing Agency (SUMA)

Portland State University contracts with Starve Ups Marketing Agency (SUMA) to assist with and consult on opening the Portland State Business Accelerator. The group was approached by PSU to help them launch a traditional business accelerator in a building purchased by the university just outside of downtown Portland. Starve Ups Marketing Agency was contracted with to create a brand identity, necessary marketing materials, the accelerator's site, to garner tenants and to run entrepreneurial events for a 1 year term. SUMA provided all of these services to the university and to the accelerator and brought in 8 tenants including both anchor tenants and helped launch the single largest accelerator in Oregon.

March 2006

Starve Ups Runs "Build A Business In A Day" Event

4 teams of individuals from Starve Ups and local entrepreneurs compete to build and sell the most derivative products, based on bayou beads, in one day.

December 2007

Starve Ups Provides Emeritus Status

Starve Ups provides Emeritus status to two of its founding membership companies; CoolerEmail and AssetExchange.

November 2008

Starve Ups increases membership cap to 21 companies at any given time

This level of capacity was agreed upon by the group as the demand for membership continues to be consistent amongst idea and emerging stage companies. To date around 135+ companies have had interest in the group. In turn the membership capacity needed to be increased, but still needed to remain manageable.

December 2008

Starve Ups Provides Emeritus Status

Starve Ups provides Emeritus status to two membership companies; wired.MD and Elsapel.

May 2009

Starve Ups runs Launch Pad I

This event is an idea-stage company crash course camp and is the first of its kind. The event brought founders of 14 diverse idea and emerging stage companies from Oregon and Washington states to a two-day highly intensive and interactive event. The event consisted primarily of 5 expert panels that covered key areas of business focus in the first 1-18 months of a business including Fundraising, Incorporation/Legal Structure, Brand Building, Sales Strategies, and more. The panels were each followed with a highly interactive team event where teams of participants would apply the knowledge just gained from the panel and their results would be voted on. At the end of the day the team with the greatest results won the support of their peers and over $3000 worth of gifted prizes. The greater value for everyone was the resources, network and knowledge gained over the course of the event.

December 2009

Starve Ups Provides Emeritus Status

Starve Ups provides Emeritus status to four membership companies: eROI, Rumblefish, viaLanguage and Versation.

March 2010

Starve Ups participates in third "Build A Business In A Day" event

Seven teams competed and collaborated over one day to build the branding efforts and to sell a sticker product reading “I Support Haiti” for a local non-profit focused solely on Haiti before and after the earthquake. In the end the teams outperformed any previous Build A Business In A Day results and food and on the ground relief is being sent.

May 2010

Starve Ups runs Launch Pad II

This event is an idea-stage company crash course camp and is the first of its kind (for the 2nd time). The event brought founders of 25 diverse idea and emerging stage companies from Oregon and Washington states to a two-day highly intensive and interactive event. Like last year, the event consisted primarily of 5 expert panels that covered key areas of business focus in the first year and a half to two years of a start up business’ life including Fundraising, Incorporation/Legal Structure, Brand Building, Sales Strategies, and more. The panels were followed by a highly interactive team event where teams of participants would apply their knowledge from the panel and their results would be voted on. At the end of the day the team with the greatest results won the support of their peers and gifted prizes.

October 2010

Starve Ups celebrates 10 year Anniversary

October 15, 2010 was the 10 Year Anniversary of Starve Ups from the day the group was co-founded in the lobby of Rumblefish. In attendance on that day were the founders of AssetExchange, CoolerEmail, eROI, Rumblefish, viaLanguage, Versation and wired.MD. Since then all 7 of these companies reached profitability, 6 became multimillion dollar revenue generators, 2 have been acquired for positive investor returns and 1 became an Inc. 500 company.

Today, the group stands at 47 membership companies including past, present and emeritus membership companies. Approximately 85% of those 47 companies are still in business, 65% have reached profitability, 4 have been acquired and 3 have become Inc. 500 companies in total. These stats are the polar opposite of the U.S. nation average where 84-86% of start up companies are not in business after 7 years.

These stats and results are as compelling as they are because of one thing, “peer mentoring”, which is all that the group stands for, excels at and focuses on as a group. It has proven to be the missing link in entrepreneurship and is the undercurrent to how Starve Ups works to get each of our membership companies to: 1) survive the first 18 to 36 months 2) thrive into profitability and expansion and 3) strive for their positive exit.

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