Introducing the Innovation Lab at Puppet

At Puppet, we are deeply passionate about building and developing more entrepreneurship in Portland, Oregon, especially as it relates to entrepreneurs who are from underrepresented populations. We recognize that the only way to build a better, stronger, and more innovative world is having a more inclusive and diverse workplace with leaders of different backgrounds. As part of this mission, we have partnered with PIE (Portland Incubator Experiment) to help empower entrepreneurs and foster community within Portland’s startup community.

Today, we are excited to announce the next phase of this partnership as we launch the Innovation Lab at Puppet, along with the first group of startups chosen to join the program. The Innovation Lab at Puppet provides a co-working space at no charge for entrepreneurs at Puppet’s headquarters. In launching the program, we prioritized companies founded by people from systemically underrepresented populations in entrepreneurship, including women and members of the LGBTQ+, black and Latinx communities. Based on data from RateMyInvestor and DiversityVC, only one percent of venture-backed founders in the past five years were black, less than two percent were Latinx and just nine percent were women.

With the help of PIE, 25 startups will be provided workspace and other valuable services, including access to networking and industry events. Puppet will provide mentorship opportunities to these founders across all aspects of their business, which may include HR or legal help to product development strategies. After the five-month PIE program is completed, startups will have the opportunity to continue to work in the Innovation Lab at Puppet and be mentored by Puppet’s employees.

Meet the startups joining the Innovation Lab at Puppet:

  • A Better Jones: Demand generation marketing agency for early-stage B2B startups.
  • Aumhum: A platform to meditation and yoga schools to engage users over their meditation life-cycle.
  • Caravel: A customer service automation platform that uses AI automated tasks and conversations for B2C sales and support.
  • Cosmic Life: A dating and connections app that matches people based on astrological synergies found in their natal charts.
  • Culturize: A self-monitoring service for Black creatives to protect and monitor their Intellectual Property.
  • Dreamaker.io: A cutting edge, hands-on video and audio study and performance review platform.
  • Eber Health: Provides individualized preventive health check-ups from the comfort of your home.
  • Edify: A frictionless way to onboard new engineers.
  • FLi Social: A social media platform used to connect small businesses with social media managers who create personalized content through videography and photography.
  • Glory: With the use of technology and medical experts, Glory provides personalized skincare regimens and facial treatments for women of color.
  • Goalden Hour: An all-in-one life management tool helping people, especially students, make more time and space for their goals & good habits in the midst of their busy lives.
  • HovrTek: A drone company that specializes in capturing cost-effective images, video, and data with sUAS (Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems) for analysis, surveying, mapping, and more.
  • Industria: A tool for Environmental Professionals to perform risk assessments efficiently, make connections meaningfully, and protect the environment diligently.
  • Jacob's Collective: A social enterprise committed to creating opportunities for businesses owned by Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) to thrive together through business development, access to resources, and real-time operations through Jacob’s Gathering Space.
  • Little Sous: Helping children become culinary adventurers who discover their natural talents and become intuitive cooks as they explore the world’s cultures through food through our website, unique classes, and at-home education module.
  • Mandala Mission: A mobile app designed for women to change the stigma around mental health and help set goals towards education and positive habits.
  • Mi Medico: Bringing immediate, on-demand access to a licensed doctor through a mobile app, via chat, video, and face-to-face.
  • Orpheus: Connects any mobile devices (phones, tablets, or vehicle dashboard computers) as kiosks for ordering and paying for meals in drive-through lanes.
  • PocketMentor: A web platform where companies can source underrepresented talent endorsed by trusted professionals and groups.
  • Project Venn: Intelligently matching clients with therapists by utilizing relevant empirical data proven to correlate with improved therapeutic success and reduced attrition.
  • SaF: A mobile app that provides on-demand line concierge service. Users can hire someone to wait on their behalf for places that have long waits, allowing them to maximize their time where it matters most.
  • Symptrak: A reporting SaaS that helps clinical mental health therapists monitor their client’s symptom management, treatment compliance, and overall treatment plan effectiveness.
  • ZibaHub: Centralizing the fragmented beauty and wellness marketplace, by connecting industry professionals with opportunities for work, education, and service trades.

Since Puppet moved to Portland in 2009, we’ve always prided ourselves on being a space for communities to meet up, network and learn. From time to time, we’ve also hosted companies here. We are excited to officially build a space like the Innovation Lab at Puppet that provides a safe environment to nurture and develop creativity, entrepreneurship, networking, business growth, and share in the awesome resources that Puppet offers to benefit and serve the common goals of the PIE network.

We are thrilled to welcome these diverse and dynamic founders to the program and, in partnership with PIE, are looking forward to helping propel forward the next generation of innovators in the greater Portland community.

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