Portland Startup Weekend was briefly interrupted on Sunday as six police officers and three cars kept watch over the Portland State Business Accelerator building. More than 150 participants at the event remained on lockdown as police investigated a bomb threat made over Twitter that targeted the event. The threat was traced back to a man that was ejected from the building in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Local publication OregonLive reported that the threats were made by Michael David Crawford, who first appeared on Friday evening during the 60-second team pitches, which traditionally set the tone for the weekend. He reportedly disrupted the pitches by giving a rambling diatribe denouncing the entrepreneurs, stating, “Think about what you’re leaving behind for your grandchildren. How many of these products you’re making will be here in a hundred years? I want you to think about that.” He then refused to leave after being asked to go since he was not taking part in the weekend’s events.
Later in the day, Crawford began to tweet references to explosions and tagged the Portland Startup Weekend’s twitter account in his threats.
Crawford, a software consultant, has a history of making subversive statements in public and has written extensively about his mental illness on his blog. He has also appeared on CNN to discuss tax issues in the software industry. Crawford was not cited for his behavior according to OregonLive.
According to Matt Korfhage of the Willamette Week, the threat did not stop the 19 teams from plugging along on their new startup ideas. Korfhage, who was at the scene over the weekend, noted that the event organizers offered full refunds to anyone who felt unsafe and wanted to leave the event. The organizers also ensured that extra security measures were put into place.
Despite the drama surrounding the bomb threat, everyone chose to stay and participate. Portland Startup Weekend continued as planned with the final demos taking place on Sunday evening. The final teams included:
– ShopMyPins – Helps users find a webstore to buy products found on Pinterest.
– InMovingColor – Tablet moveable coloring books for kids.
– Chatura – Ambient location mobile app.
– HabitCoach – Mobile app that helps you change your life, one habit at a time.
– Beer Hunter Labs – Mobile social sharing, for beer.
– PollKarma – Give your opinion about a brand’s products, and they’ll donate a dollar to your charity of choice.
– Game It Up!– Video game programming training for 6-12 year olds
– PhotoLab – Fast, quality photo edits to enhance your image.
– uEdit.com – One-click solution to error-free content.
– Startup Pitch Deck – Mobile app that helps entrepreneurs create fast, effective pitch decks.
– 12carrots – Get rewarded for working out.
– HashTraffic – Utilize the power of the hashtag to bring visibility to your website.
– Matchable – A simple, intuitive way to make new friends and meet new people.
– CodeChops – Video game (to be determined).
– PropertyPartner – Finance tools for shared real estate investments.
– Kid Bins – Inventory management web application that allows you to track your children’s clothing.
– Pink Grenade – iPhone app that helos you notify police when you are in danger.