3 Startup Lessons From an NFL Coach

YEC, Guest Post, Startup Tips, Startup Tips from an NFL CoachWith the 2013-14 NFL season kicking into full gear, and as I settle into my Sunday ritual, I’m reminded of why my hero, head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks, is just that — a hero.

Since he took the reins in Seattle in 2010, Pete’s taken a below-average team and turned out a Superbowl contender. His leadership style can be applied to a startup and to leading a company. There is a lot to like:

“Do it better than it has ever been done before”: Pete inspires his team and his program to “do it better” than ever before. He believes this mantra at his core. I know I can certainly do a better job of evaluating, optimizing, and maximizing every area of production in my business.

So can you. Once a year, make sure to break down every aspect of operations — from your cleaning service to board meetings. Evaluate how you can do better than anyone has before.

“Be different”: The Seahawks leadership has specifically looked for players with unique skills and traits. They then put them in a position where they can take full advantage of their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Through this process, the Seahawks have acquired a collection of players that others didn’t value as highly. These players were able to fit together to perform at a very high level.

With the market for technical talent as competitive as it is, part of the challenge for a successful startup and technology company is to think outside of the box. Who are the right types of people and what skills should you look to hire for? With a specific salary amount available, it is critical to use dollars to achieve maximum output. What are the people and skills that are undervalued but can add tremendous value when put together?

“Compete”: Competition is about setting up an environment where people are driven to perform to their maximum ability. Doing this while retaining team camaraderie and spirit is difficult. I believe Pete has done an excellent job of communicating the purpose of internal competition – to make each player better. Grading games and practice tape, comparing players, and completing detailed evaluations naturally creates a meritocracy. Pete believes that if there is an available player who will improve the team, it is his responsibility to make a change in order to make the team as competitive as possible.

The takeaway: Set up an environment that requires everyone to up their game each day. Use data and transparency to show your employees how they are performing, and be very clear that it is your responsibility to use the limited number of positions and expenses to make the best company it can be.

And with that … Go Seahawks!

Matt Ehrlichman is the CEO of Porch, where you can get inspired by the best home projects your neighbors have completed, see what any home project will cost, and find the best service professional your neighbors and friends recommend. Previous to Porch, Matt was a founder and CEO of Thriva (acquired by Active Network) and Chief Strategy Officer of Active Network (2011 IPO). Matt lives in Seattle, WA.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

YEC founder Scott Gerber keynoting at this huge startup conference for startups “everywhere else”

Portland’s Money Ball Customer Intelligence Startup Lytics, Raises $2.2M Seed Round

Lytics, Portland startup, funding, startup news

By now we all know about the movie MoneyBall that chronicled the way an economist set forth a new analytical approach to scouting vs the gut instinct of decades past. Being Memphis-based we’re seeing that all with our own Grizzlies, who’ve gone the analytical route. Although the naysayers in Memphis doubted this method last February when our star was traded to the Raptors, the team finished with the best record in franchise history. Does that method work, absolutely.

Now what if you could take that analytical approach and use it with almost any data point in customer analytics?

“We built the first cloud-based platform that collects and integrates digital and offline data to create the most comprehensive view of your customer,” James McDermott, CEO of Lytics said in a statement. “Effective marketing is built on organizations’ truly understanding their consumers – from their engagement across digital channels to previous purchases, and we deliver the most definitive and actionable customer record marketers have ever had access to.”

Using the Lytics tools, users can dive deeper into the view of their own customers, rather than taking a tiny sample of data and moving forward with a marketing campaign, direct mail, or engagement on a hunch.

Lytics collects, analyzes, and consolidates data from web, mobile, email, social, or any integrated system such as ExactTarget, SalesForce, Eloqua, SendGrid, Urban Airship, Push.io. The result is a powerful solution that enables marketers to segment data from any source, create targeted audiences and trigger highly relevant interactions with consumers in real time.

“Connecting our key platforms to derive customer insights from SalesForce, Eloqua and Netsuite is an inefficient and cumbersome process,” Jascha Kaykas Wolff, CMO of Mindjet said in a release. “With Lytics, we can finally create a customer gold record that you don’t need a PHD to understand. Lytics gives our global marketing organization meaningful intelligence about our customers and makes it even easier to orchestrate a great experience, with our current marketing tools.”

This powerful and intelligent data form was enough to garner a $2.2 million dollar seed round lead by Rembrandt Venture Partners. Voyager Capital also participated in the round.

“The shift in technology purchasing from CIOs to CMOs has created an immediate need for a new kind of digital CRM to transform customer data into a meaningful timeline that marketers can use to manage a lifecycle,” said Scott Irwin, Rembrandt Venture Partners in a statement.  “Lytics has a stellar team and their new data platform is solving a big problem.  We’re excited to invest and accelerate their innovation to build a solution that is helping brands strengthen customer relationships.”

One of the top cable providers and two major retailers are currently in a private beta with Lytics. The company plans to use the funding  to hire staff, accelerate development, support, and grow customers.

You can find out more about Lytics here at lytics.io




Portland Startup AboutUs’ Founder Finds Greener Pastures In The TLD Space

AboutUs,Portland Startup,Top Level Design,Ray King,Startup NewsRay King, a life long technology nut and a prominent Portland entrepreneur is venturing out on his latest startup.

King is the founder, and still a board member for AboutUs. When the site launched it was an editable encyclopedia of websites across the world, somewhat similar to Wikipedia.  With a great domain name and a successful entrepreneur at the helm AboutUs was able to raise $5.1 million dollars from backers including Voyager Capital.

Despite putting his best effort forth, and getting funding, King wasn’t able to find the sweet spot for a scalable AboutUs to become a sustainable business. It pivoted several times and now AboutUs is a service that helps businesses evaluate their online marketing strategies.

“We were never able to get the formula right,” King said to OregonLive.com. “I was not able to get it to break out in the way that I had hoped.” King continued, “I was gradually getting into a more conservative mindset,” and added, “and maybe not the right guy to bring it forward.”

King’s latest venture is a new company called Top Level Design. He is hoping to ultimately become a domain registrar for the new top level domains that are waiting for approval. King has applied for .blog, .gay, .photography and .wiki. Based on the success of these top level domains, we will probably see King’s company apply for even more.

“It’s going to change the complexion of the Internet,” he said, “at least the naming complexion of the Internet, quite a bit.”

Source: OregonLive

This startup will help you conquer your bucketlist


Oregon Startup To Begin Testing Potato Drones

Drones,Potato Drones, Paradigm,Oregon Startup,startup,startup newsDrones are a hot button discussion these days. Most of the talk has been about non-manned aircraft used for military and surveillance. An Oregon startup called Paradigm in conjunction with Boeing and Oregon State University are preparing to start test flights of Potato Drones.

The Federal Aviation Administration has authorized the use of two remote-controlled aircrafts which will monitor potato fields in Eastern Oregon.

Komonews reports that the drones are about the size of a suitcase and equipped with cameras that can zoom in on a single leaf plant. The drones are expected to be able to determine if the plants are getting enough water and fertilizer. If they aren’t, they will alert the farmers who can take immediate corrective action.

The use of drones is a lot quicker and the technology makes it much easier to see, verses the old fashioned way of walking through the crops to spot plants that need fixing.

The Potato Drones will fly over fields at the Hermiston Agricultural Research Extension Center and also at a private farm west of Boardman Oregon. The group picked potatoes because they are expensive and difficult to grow. Phil Hamm the director of the research extension center said that potatoes cost about $500,000 for the average crop circle.

Trial flights are expected to start Monday weather permitting.

Here are more Oregon startup stories at nibletz the voice of startups everywhere else.


Meet The 10 Startups In The Nike Techstars Accelerator

Techstars,Nike,Portland startups,accelerator,startup newsTechstars, the world renowned accelerator network has been beefing up there offerings with new locations, like Techstars Chicago and new vertical accelerators in conjunction with Microsoft and Nike.  When announced late last year, the startup space was on fire over the possibilities that would come from an accelerator driven by Nike and TechStars.

The Nike accelerator is buit around their NikeFuel digital platform and the Nike Fuel band.

“We are excited by the response to the Nike+ Accelerator and the high caliber of applicants to the program,” Stefan Olander, Nike’s vice president of digital sport, said in a news release. “We recently celebrated the first year of NikeFuel, and the Accelerator program is a natural next step to broaden and enhance the Nike+ ecosystem – allowing Nike to offer richer experiences to athletes of all levels.”

As with most TechStars branded accelerators, hundreds of teams applied. Here are the 10 that were chosen, as reported by the Portland Business Journal.


  • FitDeck (San Diego, Calif.) — Digital decks of exercise playing cards that deliver ever-changing workouts for fitness and sports. (Fitdeck.com)
  • GoRecess (New York) — Helps users find, book and review fitness activities. (Gorecess.com)
  • Chroma.io — Indie game studio that creates virtual worlds tied to real-world activity. (jumpbots.chroma.io)
  • CoachBase — Provides a digital sports coaching platform. (Coachba.se)
  • GoFitCause — Leverages fitness data as a means of raising money for charities. (Gofitcause.com)
  • HighFive — Ad network for health and fitness apps that helps people achieve goals by rewarding them along their journey. (Highfive.io)
  • Sprout At Work (Toronto) Provider of corporate wellness solutions using social and gamification tools to inspire employees and employers. (Sproutatwork.com)
  • GeoPalz (Boulder, Colo.) An interactive gaming and rewards platform for kids and families. (Geopalz.com)
  • Incomparable Things — Creates activity-driven fantasy sports leagues. (Incomparablethings.com)
  • RecBob (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) Offers a platform that makes recreational sports easy by organizing play. (Recbob.com)

Find out more about TechStars here.

Check out more accelerator stories at nibletz.com

Portland Opens Up Applications For Startup PDX: Challenge

Startup PDX Challenge, Portland startup, startup accelerator, startup incubatorPortland 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.

R360UND Is The Ultimate Go-Pro Companion Video Interview At CES 2013

R360UND, Startup interview, Oregon startup, CES 2013, Eureka ParkAdrenaline pumping, action sports videos have taken a new place in the active sportsmans life thanks to things like Go-Pro. You could spend months watching GoPro videos on YouTube. You’d see people climbing mountains, surfing big waves, ski-ing, ski jumping, sky diving and more. But even with the best technology, and all the best Go-Pro accessories, a barrel roll looks like a barrel roll on video.

What if you wanted to capture more?

What if you wanted to see how much you were actually rolling, or how high you had actually jumped?

Well back in October you may remember Kara Swisher said that sensors would be all the rage in 2013, and they most certainly are.

R360UND (Rebound) is a sensor technology that allows the use to take amazing readings while they’re participating in extreme sports. Whether it’s down hill skiing, sky diving, ski jumping, or any other fast paced adrenaline pumping activity, R360UND is the device that you need to compliment the awesome video you took with the GoPro.

The R360UND device can attach to your helmet, snowboard, skis or whatever else you want to attach it to and it captures all the motion. The device can tell how high up you are, where you are, what motions you did  and what actions your snowboard or skateboard did. You can then take that data and overlay it on your action video which helps tell a much clearer story of what you just did and it’s great for bragging too.

Check out our co-founder Nick Tippmann’s video interview with Paul from R360UND below.

Join 2000 attendees, 440 investors, and over 100 startups at the biggest startup conference in the U.S., everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference, here’s more info


How Are People, Places & Things Connected? Portland Startup Wikisway Shows You

Wikisway, Portland startup, startup interviewMost people believe that everyone is connected somehow and some way. Like six degrees of separation, when you start looking at who yo know and how you know them you typically find connections. Portland startup Wikisway believes that people are connected to more than just other people. That’s why Wikisway is the ultimate way to find out how people, places and things are connected.

Did you meet a new friend at the mall? Then the two of you are connected to the mall. Did you meet your wife at a restaurant? That’s your place now. What things are you connected to? What things are your friends connected to? All of that is intertwined in this very different spin on a social/event discovery app hybrid.

With Wikisway they hope to show you how everything is connected. You could even use Wikisway to find out what startups are connected to what investors and vice versa. Wikisway promises to be a very robust platform, specifically for showing connections.

We got a chance to talk with the Wikisway team. Check out the interview below.

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Portland Startup: Househappy, Pinterest For Real Estate?

Househappy.org, Portland Startup,Oregon startup,startup interview, Pinterest for real estateReal estate entrepreneur Kevin McCloskey thinks that shopping for houses online is still very clunky. The current online destinations for house hunters are still very agent driven and confusing for the general consumer who could find themselves on either end of the real estate transaction spectrum, the buyer or the seller.

That’s why he created his Portland Oregon based startup Househappy.org. Rather than looking at sites filled with numbers, charts and graphs, pictures, pictures and more pictures, along with social features and information presented in a much more consumer friendly way should drive people to Househappy.org.

McCloskey plans on rolling Househappy.org out to 60 major markets across the U.S. immediately after launch, with a goal in mind of making real estate on the web friendlier. His mission is “to simplify property search and make information accessible to everyone.”

“We believe Househappy represents the future of real estate search,” said Kevin McCloskey, CEO and founder. “While other real estate sites restrict the user’s experience and are loaded with charts and graphs, our design makes it easy for users to find what they’re looking for.”

While McCloskey never actually said he expects to be the Pinterest for Real Estate, it’s this kind of graphic and photo intensive site that shot Pinterest into popularity.

We got a chance to talk with McCloskey about Househappy. Check out the interview below:

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Ever Wanted Your Own Infographic? Oregon Startup Vizify Has You Covered

If you’ve ever wanted your own infographic, you can have it now thanks to recent TechStars graduate and Oregon startup Vizify. Their exciting new social media tool is more than just a dashboard it gives you a visual glance at the things you’ve got going on in your personal social graph.

Now people can use your interactive infographics from Vizify to figure out what you’re all about.

For instance Emma the chief security at the Portland company likes to talk about squirrels, went to happy-go-lucky kindergarten and tweets pictures of herself. Everything is visual in a graphically appealing UI. Vizify draws out your social web as you can see from the screen shot above and when you click on any of the webs bubbles you can dive more into the content.

Todd Silverstein, Vizify’s co-founder told Mashable that the root of Vizify stems from Zuckerberg’s law. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that online data about you doubles each year. That makes a total mess of disjointed content about one person. Vizify simplifies that data and makes it pretty, and easy to use.

Another place where Vizify comes in handy is in the job search. Now all of your content is aggregated in an easy to view and easy to navigate platform. Face it every HR person and recruiter in the world is searching for all your social data anyway, now you can just add the url for your Vizify page to your resume and in one click a recruiter can see everything about you and where it fits in to your social graph.

We got a chance to interview Silverstein ourselves, check out the interview below:

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Portland Startup Hively Teams Up With TangoCard To Reward Great Customer Service

Portland StartupsLast week when we brought you our interview with Hively co-founder Jason Lander, we knew we were going to hear an announcement regarding a partner for customer service rewards. Now we hear about rewards startups all the time and loyalty and rewards programs. Hively is a little different, they’re taking the responsibility for a great customer service interaction back into the providers hands. Quite frankly, the way it should be.

Customer service is the number one driver of loyalty. It’s what turned Sprint around when Dan Hesse took over. It’s why I stayed with T-Mobile for years (not anymore as their customer service slid), it’s why I try to stay at Drury when I can.  All of these companies have had superior customer service. In fact, several studies have shown that customers will pay a premium, or maybe a little more for a product or meal from a place where they know they are going to receive great service, than go for a deal with places that have bad customer service.

Customer service and rewards for good customer service are the foundation for Hively.

In our interview Lander told us that they were soon going to unveil a way for customer service people to redeem points from good one click reviews. Now we’ve found out what the customer service people can do with the points. They can get “stuff” from TangoCard’s network of retailers.

Three things happen in the Hively model:

A customer service agent focuses on their quality of service using the incentivized program. This way, even in non commissioned sales environments, agents and sales people can earn something “more”,and it’s not even based on a sale. With the improved customer service the sales will flow in, just ask Sptrint.

A customer service agent/sales rep will encourage customers to use the one click method of rating their service. They obviously want their points and the establishment wants the feedback.

Sales are driven by better customer service.

We love startups that turn an industry on it’s head.

“We believe that the right rewards given at the right time will drive significant and valuable results,” said David Leeds, CEO and founder of Tango Card. “We’re excited to partner with Hively to source and fulfill their program requirement for digital rewards.”

“Hively has always been about gathering and measuring customer happiness,” said Jason Lander, co-founder of Hively. “Since virtual rewards can quickly lose their appeal, our customers have asked for a way to more tangibly recognize colleagues and top performers. Our partnership with Tango Card is the perfect solution.”


Hively is here

TangoCard is Here

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Interview With Portland Oregon Startup: Hively, Easy Engagement Feedback Platform

Businesses, retail establishments and restaurants have been using the internet for surveys for the past fifteen years. Lot’s of restaurants still resort to printing a phone number to call or a website to go to to enter a code, do a survey and get some kind of discount. The problem with this method of surveying is, despite the reward, there is still extremely low engagement.

Even customer service surveys at the end of a call to a cell phone carrier or cable provider go unanswered, and that’s after you’ve said yes you’ll answer the quick two minute survey. Most travel related surveys that I get in my personal in box go straight to a spam folder and never get completed.  In fact the only time I typically fill out a survey is if the customer experience was bad, and there are a lot of people in the same boat as me.

An Oregon startup called Hively is looking to change that for business. They are hoping their platform will have a better engagement rate for two primary reasons. It takes just nanoseconds to complete and they make it happy and fun. Hively just asks one simple question, please provide feedback and with that simple question customers can quickly hit one smiley face, like the ones above, and that’s it.

On the side of the employee, employees who receive good feedback are awarded points that they can accrue for a prize.

We got the chance to interview Hively’s co-founder Jason Lander, check out the interview below:

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Eugene Oregon Startup: WallShops Offers A New Online Mall Shopping Experience

A conglomerate of online stores is nothing new to the internet, heck Amazon’s been doing it now for over a decade, however WallShops, a Eugene Oregon based startup, has reinvented the online mall. We get pitches 24 hours a day here at nibletz and every single pitch is revolutionizing, re-inventing, has the best ever, the most ever, etc etc etc, so when WallShops said they brought the shopping mall experience to the web, we brushed it off as pure startup talk. That was until we started poking around.

Wallshops has literally brought the mall experience online and it’s really about one simple function, a right left arrow at the top of the page. This feature will most likely take the form of a swipe in a tablet or smartphone implementation of the experience but it’s like you’re walking through the mall.

For instance we started with the category “Action Sports”, first I got QuickSilver then with a swipe (well actually hitting the right left arrow) I was at Vans, Element, Volcom then so on and so forth. Now really this sounds really simple, and it is, but there’s no experience like it just yet.

If you go to any of the major mall companies like Simon Malls, you go to a local mall site and then you’re looking  at a list of stores and phone numbers. Other online shopping sites with multiple branded retailers make you sift through back buttons,menus, categories and keywords. The Wallshops experience is simplistic, beautiful and makes you feel like you’re in a virtual mall.

We got a chance to talk with Patrick Millegan, one of the co-founders of Wallshops and actually the only one of the founders not in the Kersey family, the other founders are all brothers. Check out our interview below.

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Oregon Business Incubator Offers Online Startup SummerCamp


An incubator in Bacerton Oregon is offering a new online startup summer camp this summer. The incubator, called The Oregon Business’s Technology Center is offering the online program for eight weeks starting in late June and running through August.

The summercamp program is free to attend online. The sessions will take a startup from idea to pitch.

The OTBC will upload videos offering advice on constructing pitch decks, vetting ideas and preparing entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to potential investor

Every Thursday, participants are welcome to come to the Oregon Technology Business Center at 8305 S.W. Creekside Place, Suite C in Beaverton to share their experiences with other entrepreneurs participating in the online startup summer camp. The in person sessions will cost $10 to cover expenses.

At the end of the eight weeks three winning startups will be selected. The winners will get the opportunity to pitch their startup to a panel of judges and potential investors for ten minutes. After that they will have the opportunity for a ten minute question and answer session with the judges.

Steve Morris, the director of the Oregon Technology Business Center, is looking forward to entrepreneurs participating in the online startup summer camp, and he’s also looking forward to the entrepreneurs in the community who will be mentoring the participants.


For more information on the OTBC summer camp program click here

Source: Beaverton Valley Times

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