MANVIL recognizes that, and any successful capitalist would recognize it similarly. They’d also realize how tough it is to get off said ground.
In Portland alone there are thousands of bright minds who can build some pretty amazing start-ups. Simply peek at Start-up Weekend PDX and you’ll recognize that the brilliance of Portland’s tech community is well represented. Often-times, over the span of a weekend, a completely marketable start-up can rise from fertile minds to fill an otherwise unknown niche, app or product-line.
The beauty of start-up weekend also lies in the communications had by like-minded folks whose Start-up team may have gone by the wayside, but whose newly kindled friendships have not. Take a peek at Dongle Kong if you’re not satisfied. Those kits are a simple, and direct solution to a problem every speaker on the road has. Their creation was a direct result of the lessons learned at Start-up Weekend. MANVIL’s relationship to DongleKong’s creator was born of Start-up Weekend.
But what happens when your startup is a product a lot harder to distribute than apps, programs, or other items that can be delivered via ‘the cloud’.
For one thing, the ROI may take longer to see, and for a lot of folks, that’s a deal breaker. Tactile objects, especially tactile objects designed to be put in the ground and perhaps never be moved again, are a hard sell for ROI-centric investors.
The flashy smile of a skinny kid whose app keeps your baby amused is far more marketable in a press release than the furry faced welder whose product keeps your house from sliding into the street. Techies simply look better on paper.
Similarly, the cost of a shop of skilled welders, 400 hand tools, years of trial and error, CAD/CAM work, routers of many kinds and enough test-metal to build a railcar makes for tough competition when pitted against 1-10 techsters, a room full of laptops and many hours of coding. The money on tech is an easier investment.
We at MANVIL think that new industrial investment in Portland is worth it, especially due to the versatility of the LinkWall product and Portland’s history of industrial competence. Companies like Leatherman, Gunderson, Vigor Industrial, United Streetcar, Warn, and Schnitzer Steel represent the kinds of companies that provide long term growth for Portland and Portlanders.
When Portland and her companies grow, a little of that trickles down to MANVIL. So we’re standing behind our client. We’re happy to be able to help LinkWall/MG Design & Fab in their quest for capital. Hopefully the good folks at The Portland Incubator Experiment, or Portland Seed Fund, will be able to see the value of the product. We think it’s pretty genius.
LinkWall, and its partner company MG Design & Fab flyer.