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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Starve Ups celebrates 5 years as Oregon’s first and primary startup accelerator. At the 5 year mark Starve Ups has the following results:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
The goals for the next decade for Starve Ups were set in an all membership companies meeting and were set to focus on:
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.