About Starve Ups

In October 2000, thirteen first-time startup founders, from seven Oregon based companies banded together to create Starve Ups, Oregon’s first Startup Accelerator. From day one Starve Ups was built around founders sharing knowledge and expertise directly with other founders. This peer-to-peer mentoring approach led to positive exits for five of the seven original companies: AssetExchange, CoolerEmail, Rumblefish, Versation, and wired.MD. Other founding companies, VIA and eROI are still experiencing strong profitable growth as privately held companies.

After 18 years and 169 companies across three chapters, Starve ups is taking peer-to-peer mentoring to an even higher level. By mentoring member companies to scale across all three stages of their growth, from Survive, to Strive, to Thrive, Starve Ups has become Oregon’s Scalerator.

Starve Ups Stages

SURVIVE

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. This is the stage of the startup lifecycle where a good portion of founders seek out an accelerator and seed capital to launch their dream.

This is the stage where Starve Ups helps founders select their corporate structure, build prototypes and MVPs, recruit advisory boards, initially raise funds and/or run crowd funding campaigns, garner early stage vendors, make initial hires, build go to market strategies, etc.

STRIVE

STRIVE into greater sustainability, profitability and expansion, when interest, investment and support tend to slow down and the models take hold. This stage of the startup lifecycle is generally in years 3 through 7, where the majority of founders raise significant rounds & build suitor relationships.

This is the stage where Starve Ups helps founders build upon their marketing strategies, sales processes and sales cycle management, VAR and partnership development, team building efforts, ongoing fundraising rounds, suitor relationship building efforts, advanced strategic development, etc.

THRIVE

THRIVE for their positive exit, IPO or existence strategy, and when our members turn into active investors, seasoned mentors, and close the startup circle. This is the stage of the startup lifecycle generally in years 7 through 12, and is where startups become brands & acquisition candidates.

This is the stage where Starve Ups helps membership companies build their overall exit strategy options, identify buyers, build investment banker relationships, build their value prop for being acquired/merged, and complete their transactions. Then, they work to become angel investors and support the next generation.

Leadership

Starve Ups by the Numbers

As of 2018 Starve Ups, Oregon’s Startup Scalerator, and its membership companies have hit the following milestones and results as a collective:


169 MEMBERSHIP COMPANIES

Accelerated and scalerated over a total of 19 classes from 2000 to 2018.

18 YEARS OF THE SCALERATOR

Oregon’s 1st accelerator and its only scalerator (end-to-end) is on its way to 20.

1350+ FOUNDERS MENTORED TO DATE

Via membership companies and public facing events including Launch Pad.

5 OF 7 FOUNDING COMPANIES EXITED

5 of 7 original founding companies positively exited; 2 profitably remain.

21x NATIONAL AVERAGE FOR ACCELERATION

Companies participate 21 times the number of weeks accelerating in scalerator.

81% OF COMPANIES IN BUSINESS

After 18 years equaling any accelerator in the world and outpacing nearly all.

6x NATIONAL AVERAGE FOR IN BUSINESS

On average 83-86% of startups fail by year 8 bringing no return to shareholders.

20 DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES

Represented amongst the Starve Ups membership companies to date.

29% SOFTWARE, 15% CONSUMER, 12% FOOD, 7% CLOTHING

Industry breakdown to date with the trend moving more to consumer and food.

4% HEALTHCARE, 4% BIOPHARMA, 4% HARDWARE

With 20 different industries represented amongst the 169 companies to date.

1972 CURRENT EMPLOYEES

At this time amongst membership companies, more than double to date.

505+ TOTAL EVENTS FOR FOUNDERS

Between the Starve Ups Chapters in Oregon and public facing events.

44% FEMALE & MINORITY OWNED

Co-founded from day one by a diverse set of founders that continues today.

33% SURVIVE, 33% STRIVE, 34% THRIVE

Three stages of membership companies in the startup lifecycle of the scalerator.

$546M IN CAPITAL RAISED

From seed, angels and VCs by the collective membership companies to date.

4x NATIONAL AVERAGE FOR RAISING CAPITAL

From angels, angel funds, and VCs by the collective membership.

6 EXITS IN THE PAST YEAR

A total of 6 exits since this update one year ago, matching last year.

26 EXIT EVENTS TO DATE

The most startup exits of any accelerator in Oregon history.

7.2 YEARS TO EXITS

Cutting exactly one year off of the national average time to an exit.

$1.02B IN VALUE AT EXITS

Total dollar value for founders and shareholders at the time of the exit events.

4x NATIONAL AVERAGE FOR EXITS

For exit events by startup membership companies to date, which is 26 exits.

100% OF EXITS HAD FOUNDERS LEADING

26 of 26 exits all had one, if not all, of the original founders leading.

77% OF EXITS WERE FUNDED

A total of 20 of 26 the exits / liquidity events were angel and/or VC funded.

58% OF EXITS HAD SOLE FOUNDERS

A total of 15 of 26 exits had sole founders vs. multiple founders.

5 INC. 500 & INC. 5000 COMPANIES

To date amongst the fastest growing membership companies.

1.6 FOUNDERS PER COMPANY

A total of 267 founders launching the 169 membership companies.

2 FUNDING SOURCES TO DATE

Exclusive strategic partners and membership companies paying it forward.

1 STATE AS THE FOCUS

96% Oregon, 3% SW Washington, 1% California membership companies to date.

3 CHAPTERS COVERING OREGON

Initially the Portland Chapter, then Eugene, and now Bend.

0 EQUITY & 0 FEES

The model is end-to-end and is 100% covered for membership companies.

Starve Ups Timeline

October 2000

Starve Ups is Founded

Starve Ups is founded by 13 co-founders of 7 Oregon startup companies as Oregon’s first startup accelerator. The founding Starve Ups Class of 7 companies included what became the startups known as Asset Exchange, CoolerEmail, eROI, Rumblefish, Versation, VIA and wired.MD.

Based on national averages all but one of the Starve Ups founding startups should have gone out of business and not even one should have garnered a positive exit.

However, of the 7 founding companies all are still in business, all reached profitability, 6 of the 7 became seven, or eight-figure annual revenue generating companies, and 5 of the 7 have been positively acquired for the founders and their shareholders.

The 2 founding companies that have not yet been acquired are highly profitable, collectively generate nearly $20M a year in top line, and provide dividends to shareholders.

July 2001

Starve Ups Square I Event

Starve Ups Square event is run in the historic Pioneer Square in downtown Portland, Oregon. Founders and entrepreneurs were able to attend the event for free and could visit 20 tables, which were managed by founders and business principals.

Each of the tables founders shared resources, advise, support and networking to visitors with a specific focus on the key elements of running a startup including business plan writing, financial pro-forma development, etc.

The purpose of the event was to start the process of Starve Ups peer founders supporting the grander eco system of startups out in Oregon. Due to the accelerator having membership and due to Starve Ups founders having a perpetual pay it forward approach it was key to set the model to support as many founders as possible.

July 2002

Starve Ups Square II Event

Starve Ups Square II event run again in Pioneer Square with the same format and approach as the inaugural event. Over 500 founders, business owners, mentors and startup ecosystem participants attended.

The event further set the focus of Starve Ups founders to support their peer mentors within the accelerator, but also as many other founders and business owners they could with proven peer mentoring.

October 2003

Starve Ups Company Pixio Acquired

Starve Ups has its first acquisition with membership company Pixio being acquired by Planar Systems Inc. This would be an instrumental moment for Starve Ups companies as it showed that an exit for founders and shareholders could be in the future/should be in the future for our startups.

May 2004

Starve Ups Hired To Design & Launch Portland State Business Accelerator

Portland State University contracts and hires Starve Ups to design, garner anchor tenants and launch the Portland State Business Accelerator. 

Starve Ups was approached by the university to be the lead entity to convert a 40,000 square foot university owned building into a physical accelerator for Oregon startups to have a place to move their startups and to be surrounded by their peer founders, to have grander access to the university’s resources, to support technology transfer and to bolster the startup ecosystem at large.

Starve Ups was contracted specifically to create the brand identity, all necessary marketing materials, the accelerator’s website, assist in selecting the onsite manager, to garner startup tenants and to run all entrepreneurial events in the space for 1 year term.

Starve Ups, via a 5 person internal team of founders, provided all of these services to the university and brought in 11 of the 14 anchor tenants into the building, launching the largest physical accelerator in Oregon’s history. The Portland State Business Accelerator is still going strong today.

October 2005

Starve Ups 5 Year Anniversary

Starve Ups celebrates 5 years as Oregon’s first and primary startup accelerator. At the 5 year mark Starve Ups has the following results:

  • all 7 founding startup companies still in business
  • a total of 32 membership companies via 6 annual classes
  • has assisted in raising financing rounds for most companies
  • has been contracted to launch the PSBA accelerator
  • has membership companies from cities around Oregon
  • has run 2 Starve Ups Square events for startup ecosystem
  • has 1 exit for the accelerator/scalerator to date

The goals set fo the second half of the decade for Starve Ups are to focus on getting more membership companies to their exits and to further form into the countries only scalerator, known as an end-to-end full startup lifecycle accelerator.

March 2006

Build A Business In A Day

Four teams of founders from Starve Ups, along with a series of founders and entrepreneurs in the ecosystem, competed to build a and sell the most product they could based on bayou beads.

The event provides founders with a chance to apply their startup building skills into a single day event where they select a team, create a product, draft messaging, sell their wares, meet goals and timelines.

Teams had the exact same levels of resources at the beginning of the day and competed for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place based on total sales.

In the end, thousands were raised to support those hit by Katrina and it further built upon the skills and collaboration levels of Starve Ups founders.

November 2007

Starve Ups Company AssetExchange Acquired

Starve Ups has its second acquisition of a membership company, which is the first of the original founding companies, be acquired. Asset Exchange is acquired by the public traded company Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE: FIS).

The exit was nearly exactly 7 years from the founding of Starve Ups and provides greater resources to the accelerator as now two membership companies and their founders have gone from inception to acquisition and begin sharing best practices around positively exiting their startups.

October 2008

Starve Ups Companies Wired.MD & Elsapel Acquired

Two additional Starve Ups membership companies are acquired in 2008. The first being wired.MD, one of the original founding companies of the accelerator, by MediMedia, Inc.

Later in the year Elsapel is acquired by Ellington, Inc. This ends up being the first Starve Ups company acquired by another Oregon corporation.

For both wired.MD and Elsapel their company headquarters remain in Oregon further bolstering the positive economic and job creation impact on the state.

May 2009

Inaugural Launch Pad I Event

Starve Ups runs the 1st ever Launch Pad event with the goal of creating the preeminent event for idea stage companies to go through the crash course of launching, building and scaling a startup in Oregon and beyond.

The event brought founders from 14 diverse early stage startup companies from Oregon and Washington to a two-day highly intensive startup event.

The event consisted of 5 expert panels that covered the key areas of startup focus in the first 1-18 months of the corporate entity including team building, fundraising, incorporation and structure, brand building, sales strategies, and more.

The panels were followed by an interactive team event where participants applied the knowledge just from the panels. A total of five interactive team exercises were complete and then in the end the panelists ranked the teams and the winning team garnered nearly $3000 in product prizes from Starve Ups companies.

October 2010

Starve Ups 10 Year Anniversary

Starve Ups celebrates 10 years as Oregon’s first and longest running startup accelerator, and has evolved into the nation’s first startup scalerator (end-to-end startup accelerator). At the 10 year mark Starve Ups has:

  • all 7 founding companies still in business
  • all 7 founding companies having reached profitability
  • has 2 positive exits for 2 of the 7 founding companies
  • has a total of 58 membership companies in the scalerator
  • has membership companies from cities throughout Oregon
  • has run 100s of membership and community events
  • has 4 positive exits for the accelerator/scalerator to date

The goals for the next decade for Starve Ups were set in an all membership companies meeting and were set to focus on:

  1. getting to the highest exit percentage of any accelerator in the country.
  2. writing a book that directs other to mimic/launch the Starve Ups scalerator in their states.
  3. launching an investment from for Starve Ups membership companies to further the support to them.

November 2011

Starve Ups Company Second Porch Acquired & Jive Goes Public

The momentum around exits and exit events for Starve Ups really starts to gain serious momentum as another membership company, Second Porch is positively acquired by the industry leading HomeAway, Inc.

Then Jive, which was a part of the 2005 Class of Starve Ups ends up filing an S-1 to go public and becomes the first technology IPO in Oregon in years. Officially the company had recently moved their HQ to Northern California, so even though the company was built here in Oregon it was considered to be an out-of-state IPO.

Regardless, these two liquidity events for the Starve Ups founders, for their shareholders and teams were major signs of a shift towards more exits, quicker exits and the possibility of event Initial Public Offerings by membership companies.

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