Building a successful startup relies on both having fresh innovative ideas and being able to build the connections by which those ideas can grow. Speaking at PSFK CONFERENCE SAN FRANCISCO, Nick Barham of Wieden + Kennedy gave an update on the progress of PIE, or the Portland Incubator Experiment. Initially started as a casual space for small startups who needed a transitional workspace, it has evolved into an organized collaboration of startups organized as ‘classes.’ The hope is that by bringing together several small startups that are around the same size, they will be able to help each other grow.
From the most recent 2012 ‘class’, Wieden + Kennedy has furthered this collaboration by taking an active role in helping these companies grow by providing resources and consultation. These resources included strategists and graphic designers who were able to work with the companies pre-market in order to help shape their brand identity. In some cases, this collaboration has extended beyond PIE into a client relationship.
Taking what they have learned from PIE, Wieden + Kennedy have begun to take on more clients who are in the pre-market stage. Beginning as a simple experiment, PIE has grown in to an entity of its own, accelerating growth and creativity for small startups while also furthers business for Wieden + Kennedy. As Barham says, this is all part of the philosophy of ‘fail harder-er’, a reminder to always experiment with new things and not to fear failure.
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