Business: Founded by a group of executives who have launched companies, Starve Ups is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping new entrepreneurs through a proactive sharing of resources and networks. The organization meets monthly to have panel discussions and brainstorm on problems of a specific company. The average age of a Starve Ups member is 28. Of the 21 companies that have been members of Starve Ups, only three companies went out of business.
Location: Portland, Ore.
Members in 2001: AssetExchange, BidRunners, CoolerEmail, Celilo Group, English, baby!, Flatrock, Flexiworld, GoogCompany, Fat Earth (defunct), GC Materials, Lifecom, Rumblefish, sameunderneath, viaLanguage, VisionSite, wired.MD.
Business a year ago: In 2001, the Starve Ups had 15 members. The organization hosted its own public forum in Portland. Nearly half of the Starve Ups members were in the process of closing Series A deals or raising money for a Series B round.
Status: After Fat Earth went out of business, Starve Ups brought in four more companies – Agaso, Flatrock, Keen Mobility and Pixio and decided to limit its size to 18 members. Eighty-five companies remain on the Starve Ups waiting list.
At this point, all Starve Ups companies had passed product development stages and are busy moving their products out the door. As such, the focus of their meetings has shifted to discussing sales and marketing strategy.
“A changing business climate has changed what entrepreneurs want to know. Last year there was a lot of interest in funding and infrastructure. This year, we’re finding ourselves directing people towards business models, sales and development,” says John Friess, one of the Starve Ups spiritual leaders and vice president of marketing for wired.MD.