News Column

Startups Recruiting in San Francisco

August 16, 2013

Mike Rogoway

hispanic computer
Startups from Portland, Ore., will be looking for tech talent in San Francisco (file photo)

California tech companies have long drawn businesses and employees from Oregon. Now, Portland hopes to turn the tide.

The Technology Association of Oregon plans a recruiting event in San Francisco next week to coincide with the annual developer conference hosted by Portland startup Puppet Labs.

The goal is to pull skilled workers north to meet the demands of Oregon's growing tech ecosystem.

Oregon tech employment hit a seven-year peak last month, topping 60,000 for the first time since 2006. Oregon software jobs are growing at a double-digit percentage rate, even as statewide job growth remains sluggish.

It's been years since competition for talented tech employees has been this fierce in Oregon, driven in part by California companies such as New Relic and Salesforce.com opening large outposts in the Portland area.

Small Oregon tech companies, in particular, are struggling to fill open positions.

Nine Portland tech employers -- Acquia, Cloudability, CorSource, Janrain, Jive Software, New Relic, Puppet, Smarsh and Thetus -- will attend the evening event Aug. 23 at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel.

Though Oregon is home to Intel's largest site and several promising startups, entrepreneurship here remains tiny relative its neighbors.

In the first half of the year, California startups raised nearly 30 times more investment capital than Oregon entrepreneurs did. Washington startups' haul was more than triple Oregon's.

But because Oregon is so much smaller, even a modest infusion of skilled workers could make a big difference.

This is the latest in a series of efforts to draw attention to tech opportunities in the Rose City. In May, economic development agencies and Oregon tech businesses spent $53,000 on a glossy video showcasing several young companies and the appeal of working in a hip Portland office.

-- Mike Rogoway; twitter: @rogoway; phone: 503-294-7699

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(c)2013 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)

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Source: Copyright Oregonian (Portland, OR) 2013