Guest Post by Sheri Dover, Portland Startup Weekend Organizer for November 2013. This is Sheri’s third year as an organizer for Portland Startup Weekend.
What do you like best about organizing PDXSW?
The thing I like best about volunteering as an organizer for PDXSW is that Startup Weekend is enormously effective at teaching people how the startup process works, showing them that they absolutely can do it , and introducing them to people and resources in the community that can help them be successful entrepreneurs. Because Startup Weekend is so effective, every bit of effort I put into organizing is maximized. That’s hugely fulfilling.
Why do you volunteer to organize PDXSW?
I volunteer for PDXSW because I’m an entrepreneur myself, and I know how powerful the ability to start businesses has been in my own life. It’s given me freedom to maximize my lifestyle on my own terms, and has made me more resilient in challenging times. I’ve been able to create income to pay my way through college, work the hours I wanted while raising young children, and make a living when the breadwinner in my family suddenly was unable to. I want to empower others with this ability.
What do you hope to see happen from your efforts?
I have been involved in the tech startup scene in Oregon for several years now, and have seen it grow from a questionable ecosystem to a valid and thriving one. Several companies founded at Portland Startup Weekend have gone forward in Portland as the ecosystem has matured. I would like to see that trend grow and continue.
What do you do when you’re not organizing PDXSW?
Currently I am co-founding and working as a director of PDX Code Guild, a code school featuring individualized instruction, community, and a realistic work environment. My interest in founding a code school is a result of my passion for the Portland Startup scene. I’ve watched it grow, and I feel the remaining challenges include access to tech talent and also a need for non-tech founders to have access to some tech training for themselves.