How ironic that Attensa came up in a conversation I had today and then saw that it was named a connected innovator at this week’s SuperNova conference. Congrats Attensa! As you can see from the Web 2.0 Innovation Map, there hasn’t been a lot of action in the Portland area, yet one of the three (and yes, I know how far behind I am on the map) got this nice accolade. I consider Attensa web 2.0 for a few reasons: they’ve been on TechCrunch, they deal in RSS and aggregration and are working on solving the information overload problem. I think that’s enough to qualify them as Web 2.0, despite Craig’s seeming resistance that label (Craig, you gotta edit those posts though, it’s “flickr” not “flicker” and “The Reserve” not “The Preserve”).
Some other good news too. One of the other three Portland Web 2.0 companies on the map, Platial looks like they had a good week at Where 2.0 last week and have been getting some GREAT press. Cuppin’ did aweome in the RailsDay competition and I’ll have to add it the map. I’m continuing to push Fourio / NetworthIQ as well, though there is much to be done there, and was even sourced in a recent analyst report on Family 2.0 sites. Pretty cool, but I’m not going to spend $700 just to see my name ;-).
So how is the Portland scene these days? I found it interesting that Paul Graham mentioned Portland as a possible next Silicon Valley, yet Idaho is beating us, there are only three flags on the Web2.0 map, and the Silicon Forest is struggling. Obviously there is a lot of work to do to meet that standard. Open Source is big here with the OSDL and Linus in town. But, where are the Internet startups? Is it the supposed anti-business environment in the city and state? Is it the struggles of the state education system? Is it the fact that the biggest city in the state does not have the premier university? Is it the local angel and VC market? All issues I’ve heard mentioned by local entreprenuers, journalists and investors. Is this something a half billion dollars in faculty hirings going to solve (refer to Graham’s essay)? Well, I don’t see that happening. But, if we can get a good cycle of successful entrepreneurs investing in other entrepreneurs like you see in Seattle and SV and continue to push the education angle, then I think you can start something. It’s a chicken and the egg dilemma, isn’t it.