On February 27, 2019, we were lucky to participate in the Greater Portland Tech Challenge (GPTC). Hosted by Greater Portland Inc and the Technology Association of Oregon, the GPTC was designed to connect tech firms with local governments, NGOs and other organizations for specific demonstration projects.
This was the GPTC's second year - there were 11 technology firms competing for projects with 10 local organizations. The event was structured in three parts: first, each organization looking for a tech firm gave a 5 minute presentation on their need and project. Next, each tech firm gave a 5 minute overview of their expertise and capabilities. Finally, the organizations selected three tech firms they wanted to follow up with, and the teams paired off to discuss each project in detail.
Teams included Verizon, Daimler, Portland General Electric, NWNatural, Mt Hood Community College, City of Portland, METRO, and many others.
You can see our Capabilities presentation here.
At the end of the day, each organization selected a tech firm to award the 'golden lightbulb', indicating they wanted to work with that firm.
We had a great time at the event. In previous years, the focus of the GPTC has been on transportation, and this year continued the strong transportation focus (the event was hosted at Daimler's new HQ building after all). However, there were a number of different technology services firms, including Seabourne.
In the end, we were selected for the 'golden lightbulb' by both NWNatural and Portland General Electric. We've continued meeting with them to flesh out potential projects - more soon!
Overall, these kinds of events are great, and speak to the unique value GPI and TAO can bring to the community. The hardest thing we face in our business is finding potential clients with interesting problems; events like the GPTC make it easy to connect up with organizations who are otherwise hard to find.