VR demo at TechFestNW 2016

TechfestNW (TFNW) is an annual technology conference in Portland, Oregon that brings together innovators, startups, entrepreneurs, tech companies and investors from around the globe. The event features main stage speakers, workshops, a startup pitch competition, exhibitor booths, networking opportunities and parties.[1] In 2012, Fortune magazine called it the next South by Southwest (SXSW).[2]

TechfestNW 2018: April 5-6

In 2018, TechfestNW moved venues to Portland State University's Viking Pavilion, which enabled the increase in size and scope of the conference. The themes, which drive speaker and workshop content, were Smart Cities/Smart Transit, Food Tech, Health Tech, and Inclusivity in Tech Culture.[3]

Speakers included Rose Marcario, Senator Ron Wyden, Kara Swisher, Star Jones, Nellie Bowles, David Bragdon, David Lee, Nat Parker, Gregory Gourdet, Keba Konte, Amanda Oborne, David Block-Schacter, Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Meghann Dryer, Melissa Gregg, Michael Roberts, Lisa Fetterman, and Nicole Rennalls.[4]

Seventy-five companies from all over the world participated in PitchfestNW, the startup competition within TechfestNW. The top 5 finalists presented on the main stage to a special panel of judges, before the winner, Goodnuss, was ultimately chosen.[5] International startups are judged separately and the 2018 winner was Moduu from Bavaria, Germany.[6]

Previous Speakers

Previous TFNW speakers have included Genevieve Bell, Alan Webber, Joe Stump, David Plouffe, Kara Swisher, Tad McGeer, Andrew McLaughlin, Mike Dubin, Ward Cunningham, Dave Allen, Evan Doll, Ron Wyden, John Markoff, Chip Conley, Lucas Foster, Zoë Quinn, Jesse Schell, Anthony Batt.[7]


Poda Foods win the first inaugural PitchfestNW

TechfestNW was founded by Mark Zusman in 2012 and has been held in several different venues, including the Portland Art Museum, OMSI, the Armory, and Left Bank Annex. TFNW is the sister festival to MusicfestNW.

In 2016, TFNW also introduced PitchfestNW, a competition where startups apply to pitch to a panel of investor judges.[4] The 2016 winner was Poda Foods out of 50 startups, and Madorra won in 2017 out of 70.[8]


  1. ^ "TechfestNW | A Global Tech Conference on the Upper Left Coast | TechfestNW". TechfestNW. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  2. ^ "Tech may have found its next SXSW". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  3. ^ "TechFestNW Gets a New Home at PSU's Viking Pavilion". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  4. ^ "2018 Speakers | TechfestNW". TechfestNW. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  5. ^ Diehl, Caleb. "Oregon Business - Vegan nut milk startup wins Pitch Fest NW". Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  6. ^ "Portland Entrepreneur Wins PitchfestNW by Making a Reusable Bag to Press Fresh Nut Milk". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  7. ^ "PAST SPEAKERS | TechfestNW". TechfestNW. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  8. ^ "PitchfestNW | TechfestNW". TechfestNW. Retrieved 2018-04-23.

External links

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