2019 Greater Portland Tech Challenge

The 2019 Greater Portland Tech Challenge presented by Portland General Electric

Tech firms and challenge hosts are now working on demonstration and pilot projects. Join us at the Global Teams Tech Jam to find out how public and private sector problem solvers tackled some of the region’s most interesting challenges.

We are ready for a new round of challenges and problem solving. We’re looking for challenges and solutions that are equitable, inclusive and connected. Apply here and we’ll follow up with you.

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The Greater Portland Tech Challenge brings smart cities problem solving to the smartest region in the country.
— Skip Newberry, CEO Technology Association of Oregon

Greater Portland Inc and the Technology Association of Oregon, with support from PGE, are pleased to once again invite public and private partners to collaborate at the Greater Portland Tech ChallengeThe tech challenge pairs governments and nonprofit challenge hosts with industry experts to explore technology solutions to regional and local challenges. 

Join us as we explore the intersection of equity and smart cities problem-solving. We're looking for challenges in disciplines like resiliency, energy, security, data, IoT, and mobility.

Tech firms - test drive new solutions, find a local agency to copilot a demo that solves a problem and build relationships with future clients. Bring your best problem-solving team to the challenge. Apply here.

Agencies explore challenges like last mile connections, the digital divide, data collection, visualization and coordination, energy management, and public infrastructure. Bring your most confounding problem to the tech challenge. Apply here.

Bring your community's problem to the tech challenge where public and private sector problem solvers converge.

Bring your community's problem to the tech challenge where public and private sector problem solvers converge.

The Greater Portland Tech Challenge is an opportunity for problem solvers from the private and public sector to explore interesting, confounding and challenging problems that need different perspectives. A morning of challenge pitches from agencies leads to capacity counter pitches from tech firms. An afternoon of one-on-one consults between agencies and tech firms leads to demo/pilot project partnerships.

The Greater Portland Tech Challenge brings together public and private sector problem solvers to work on the most intractable problems.
— Lloyd Purdy, VP of Regional Competitiveness GPI

Rules of the road


The Pitch

Each agency/city/organization presents at least one challenge to an audience of problem solving technology firms. Each tech firm pitches their problem solving capacity back to the audience of agencies. Then, teams casts votes to indicate who they would like to follow up with in the afternoon breakout session of one-on-one consults. 

The Problem

In the afternoon, it’s not a hack-a-thon. It’s a hack-the-challenge statement. Based upon paired voting from the morning pitch sessions, we’ll pair each agency with a limited number of tech firms for an afternoon of in-depth problem solving through one-on-one consults.  


The Match

The day culminates with an opportunity for agencies and established firms to pick a tech firm (or firms) for a demo/pilot project. They will restate their challenge (because maybe their understanding of their problem evolved) and pick their team. Then teams spend 3-4 months working together on a demo or pilot project.



Viable collaborations will be invited to present at the next national Global City Teams Challenge Tech Jam in September.

Greater Portland TEch Challenge FAQ

Who can pitch a Challenge?

Any city, agency, firm, community group or entity or company that wants to work with a technology firm from the Greater Portland region. Any tech firm that wants to solve a  problem and develop a relationship with decision makers. Participating agencies and challenge summaries will be posted online in advance of Challenge Day. 


What is the timeline for the NEXT Greater Portland TEch Challenge?

May 15, 2019 - Pre-registration open for Challenge Hosts. Agency registration fee will increase after August. 1, 2019.

January 1, 2020 - End of early registration deadline for Tech Firms to Apply to the Tech Challenge.

February 18, 2020 - Slide decks due to GPI.

February 27, 2020 - Challenge Day! (pitch, counter pitch & team consults)

March – August 2020 - Work with your team on a demo or pilot project.

August 15, 2020 - Review of projects and selection of finalists.

September 2020 - Presentations of viable collaborations at national Global City Teams Challenge.


What Happens ON "Challenge DAy" - FEbruary 2020? 

The Pitch

8:30 a.m. Check in

9 to 10 a.m. Challenge pitches by agencies.

10:15 to 10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tech firm capacity pitches.

Noon a.m. Break for lunch on site.


The Problem (a.k.a. hack the challenge statement)

Based upon paired voting from the morning session, each organization may have up to three separate one-on-one consults to further explore their challenge and solution.

1 p.m. One-on-one Agency and Firm Consult #1

1:45 p.m. One-on-one Agency and Firm Consult #2 

2:15 p.m. One-on-one Agency and Firm Consult #3


The Match

3 to 3:30 p.m. Organization deliberation and decision making.

3:30 p.m. Organizations announce which firms they’d like to continue working with and networking.