Portland Oregon’s Portland Development Commission has kicked off a new initiative to lure startups to the Central Eastside part of town. The new program called the Startup PDX Challenge is a non-equity based grant program that will give up to six startups $10,000 grants and free office space for a year in what once served as Mayor Charlie Hale’s campaign office.
The office space is located in what most people in Portland know as “Produce Row”. It’s for the most part, an industrial area that the city is trying to revitalize with new types of restaurants, businesses and now technology startups.
There are several equity based tech incubators in the Portland area. This program is the first of it’s kind where the money comes with no strings attached (other than working in the office space). The PDC has a budget of $150,000 for the project which includes the grant money as well as money to make improvements to the building where the startups will be housed. In consideration for the improvements the landlord is not charging the tenant startups rent this year.
In addition to the cash and office space, startups selected for the program will also have access to services donated by Portland area law firms, accountants and human resources services according to Oregon Live.
The Startup PDX challenge has already lined up several sponsors including; Perkins Coie; Davis Wright Tremaine LLP; Perkins & Co; Trupp HR; Xenium; Lewis & Clark Bank; Business Accelerator at Portland State University; Pie; Portland Seed Fund; Technology Association of Oregon; Portland Development Commission; Oregon Entrepreneur Network and Transfer Online.
Applications are due April 4th and can be filled out here.