Startup Champions Network Summits

Twice annually, Startup Champion Network members meet in-person to connect, share knowledge/experiences and take a deep, behind-the-scenes dive into the local host ecosystem.  This personal interaction is a critical part of the member value-proposition as well as an important commitment all members make -- to celebrate each other.

These 2.5 day intimate gatherings bring together the nation's top ecosystem builders and national ecosystem support organizations to convene conversations, gain insight from real world case studies, and explore and experience new communities, against the backdrops of some of the nation's top emerging ecosystems.

We're looking forward to spending time again with our growing network of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building professionals this Spring in Portland, Oregon. Sign up for our summit here.

The Portland SCN Summit has 3 fundamental goals:

  • Help Ecosystem Builders connect with key peers and resources

  • Improve Ecosystem Builders' knowledge and best practices

  • Help Ecosystem Builders develop mission-critical skills

Additional summit content includes relevant topics to members including:

  • Inclusive Entrepreneurship

  • Changing a community's culture to believe in possibility

  • Fostering collaboration

  • Engaging and empowering under-represented populations

  • Leading coalition support for entrepreneurship and innovation

  • Funding your ecosystem building efforts

  • Forging stronger startup teams

  • Creating mentor-driven networks

  • Unlocking local/regional capital and attracting outside capital

  • Supporting and connecting with corporate innovators

  • And more topics/best-practices from Members


Portland, Oregon
March 19-21, 2019

We're headed to Portland, Oregon!

The 2019 Spring Summit in Portland, Oregon will be a 2.5 day gathering bringing together some of the world's top startup ecosystem builders and national ecosystem support organizations! Join SCN for a few days focused on developing our skills and strengths as ecosystem builders in one of the US' top startup hubs. Spend time with peers digging deep into shared issues through curated conversations, improve your work by learning how to implement successful models in application-focused workshops, own the afternoons through attendee generated un-conference time, and deepen relationships with old and new friends while you explore all Portland has to offer.


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Affectionately nicknamed the “Silicon Forest”, Portland has a vibrant, growing ecosystem for both startups and small businesses. The city has been named a Top 10 Place to Start a Business in America, a growing magnet for tech talent, and the 9th fastest growing city in the country.

All of this growth doesn’t mean Portland is booming with Fortune 500 businesses and corporations; the Portland economy is made up of small businesses. In fact, 83% of Portland businesses have fewer than 10 employees and 90% of new jobs come from companies less than 5 years old.

Beyond the collaborative and growing tech and startup scene, Portland also has an active art scene, and is surrounded by outdoor activities. In Portland, you can stroll down the river walk, hang out at the beach, go for a hike, explore the waterfalls, or head out into wine country.




do less better ● be audience-centered ● transfer best practices, tools, and skills ● capture and curate content


  • 1:00 PM Pre-summit professional development - “Ecosystem Development” Workshop (SCN new members) Facilitated by David Hirsch + Rebekah Marr of CO.STARTERS

  • 4:00 PM Welcome and Check-in

  • 5:00 PM Pitch a “Declare Your Own Meetup” topic for Thursday morning session followed by voting

  • 5:45 PM Master topic #1 - Leadership: Learning the Chalk Walk

  • 6:30 PM Affinity After Dinner Setup

  • 7:00 PM Dinner with Locals

  • 8:30 PM Affinity After Dinner: connect with your tribe


  • 8:00 AM Morning Stretch and City Walk

  • 9:00 AM Breakfast

  • 9:30 AM: Day Kickoff

  • 9:45 AM: Master Topic #2 - The Economic Imperative of Diverse and Inclusive Startup Ecosystems

  • 11:00 AM: Moderated Startup Ecosystem Builder functional breakout discussions focused on people, places, policy & programs 

  • 12:00 PM Lunch and Partner Meetup

  • 1:30 PM Session 2, Special topic breakouts

    • Succession: Identifying, Recruiting, and Empowering the Next Generation of Ecosystem Builder

    • Beginning to End: Programs to help startups from ideation to their first 100 customers

    • Connecting Talent with Startups (developers, designers, sales/marketing, management, etc...)

    • Strategic Partnerships: Who and how to connect your startups to the larger business ecosystem

  • 2:30 PM Break

  • 3:00 PM Portland Ecosystem Panel

  • 4:00 PM Community Activities

    • Ecosystem tour

    • Startup tour

  • 6:00 PM Sponsored Dinner Reception with Stoel - tourism board, tech council, statewide ecosystem focus

  • 8:30 PM Whisky and S’mores Stories

THURsday, MARCH 21

  • 8:00 AM Morning Stretch and City Walk

  • 9:00 AM Breakfast

  • 9:30 AM: Master Topic #3: Tech and Beyond Panel

  • 11:00 AM: Declare Your Own Meetup breakouts (top 6 topics from the Tuesday voting)

  • 12:00 PM: Lunch

  • 1:30 PM: Committee Meetings

  • 3:30 PM: Community Activities

  • 6:00 PM: Dinner and closing keynote - WeWork Strategy: Fireside Chat w/ a Lead for Labs of WeWork - Stephen Green


The SCN Summit is an invitation only event. If you would like to attend, go here for information on joining the SCN network or send us a note here.


Your registration fee covers all daytime events, including several meals. Champions will be responsible for their own travel, lodging, snacks, and drinks each night.

Bringing Guests and/or Sending Someone in Your Place

All meeting attendees must be fully registered members of the Startup Champions Network or have received an official invitation to attend.  If there is someone you would like to invite/send who is not a member, please reach out to us here. We are aiming to keep this event small to maximize relationship building and maintain budget sustainability.


Getting to Portland - and around while you're here - is pretty easy. For a look at all the transportation options, click here.


Travelers named Portland International Airport (PDX) the best airport in the United States in Travel + Leisure survey every year from 2013–2018. Downtown Portland is 9 miles from the airport and is easy to get to via the MAX Light Rail Train.



Want to help coordinate your lodging and travel with others? Check the newsletters, our private Facebook group or email an organizer for the link to our travel form.  

Past Summits:

Denver, Colorado (Fall 2018)

Chattanooga, Tennessee (Spring 2018)
hosted by Co.Lab / Edney Innovation Center

Fargo, North Dakota (Fall 2017)
hosted by Emerging Prairie

Tampa, Florida (Winter 2017)
hosted by Tampa Bay WaVE

Baltimore, Maryland (Fall 2016)
hosted by Startup Maryland

Santa Barbara, California (Winter 2016)
hosted by StartupSB

Portland, Maine (Summer 2015)
hosted by Maine Accelerates Growth

Little Rock, Arkansas (Spring 2015)
hosted by The Venture Center

Nashville, Tennessee (Summer 2014)
hosted by the Nashville Entrepreneurial Center

Apply to Host a Future Startup Champions Network Summit