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#PDXTech2020: Making Portland an International Tech Center

Posted by Kerry McClenahan Filed Under Insights, Events, Video

A conversation with Joaquin Lippincott

What will it take for Portland to become an international tech hub by 2020? Joaquin Lippincott, founder and president of Metal Toad, and I explored this topic during an interactive discussion at the McBru offices on Nov. 19, in front of an audience of tech industry experts, public sector policy advisors, and interested individuals. (The entire conversation was recorded via Periscope, and is available here.)

Joaquin has been active recently in promoting Portland as the next major tech and software hub, a subject he has spoken and written about extensively (see his blog on Why Portland will be the Next Tech Hub). It’s a topic that I’m also passionately involved with, having worked on former Mayor Sam Adam’s Software Industry Summit in 2010, and served on the board of the Technology Association of Oregon.

Joaquin and I had a very lively conversation -- with lots of engagement and comment from the audience -- about what Portland will need to do to get from where it is now to a position of international prominence in the next few years. Here are a few of the topics and issues we discussed that seemed to resonate strongly with our audience:

  • How does Portland avoid the IPO-driven tech juggernaut that drives San Francisco-area startups, with insane work schedules and high living expenses?
  • What does Portland need to do to improve STEM education and increase the diversity of its tech workforce?
  • How do we get beyond the “brogrammer” archetype in the tech workplace?
  • How do we preserve Portland’s livability while growing its profile as a technology center of excellence?
  • How do Portland’s tech companies, city and local governments, and community groups work together to build Portland’s future as a tech hub?

We didn’t arrive at answers to all of these questions, but we had thought-provoking discussions on these topics (see the #PDXTech2020 Twitter thread), and more. Please watch the video and then let us know what you think it will it take for Portland to become an international tech hub by the year 2020.

The #PDXTech2020 discussion is the first of a series of conversations and events that McBru plans to host to provide a forum for discussion of pertinent topics and issues in the local tech industry. Follow @McBru for more details.

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