Technology Association of Oregon’s Member Spotlight on ProtoShare

ProtoShare has been featured in Technology Association of Oregon’s Member Spotlight.

Bob Wiggins is the Chairman and CEO of Portland software company Site9 , as well as Managing Partner of Mt Hood Equity Partners. Bob has served on more board committees than one can shake a stick at including Routeware, Cerus Industrial, Oregon Entrepreneurs Forum, and more. He and TAO Community Manager, Beth Burgee, recently sat down to discuss Site9’s current product ProtoShare, their new product Two Minute Mobile, pivots and Portland.

Early Origins
Site9 had an interesting start and has seen its share of pivots throughout the years. Originally started as an interactive agency in Chicago, Site9 relocated to Portland, OR in 2005. Their first product was called LAUNCH, a sophisticated platform for large e-commerce sites. While LAUNCH didn’t achieve wide-spread market adoption, one piece of LAUNCH did exceptionally well, which became ProtoShare, which was introduced in 2008.

One of the early pioneers in this market, ProtoShare allows companies to create interactive mockups, wireframes and prototypes for websites, mobile and applications. ProtoShare helps break down communication issues from concept to development. Within the platform, you can quickly develop a model of what you need your developers to build – or you can even test your concept before it goes into the development phase. On top of ProtoShare is a collaboration tool to assist with team communication around a given project. User interface is a primary goal of ProtoShare; anyone should be able to create something useful within 30 minutes of starting in ProtoShare. ProtoShare decided early on to keep their product in the cloud and they have recently completed integrations with JIRA, Google Drive and Confluence.

Two Minute Mobile
Just this week, Site9 released a new product called Two Minute Mobile. Two Minute Mobile quickly and easily optimizes an existing website for viewing on a mobile phone.  You can preview what your mobile-optimized site will look like on and, for just $99, purchase a snippet of code that is added to your site.  On a desktop, your site is unchanged, but on a mobile phone, viewers will see click-to-call, directions, easy mobile navigation, all with the colors and look of your existing site.  There are millions of websites that have not yet been optimized for viewing on a mobile phone, so Site9 is very excited about this opportunity.

Settled in Portland
So what drew them out of the mecca of Chicago? Bob says that the issue for company founder (and life-long Midwesterner) Andrew Mottaz was that the quality of life in Portland was ideal for raising a family and it was an easy decision. Having been in Portland over the years, Bob has been able to see a rise and fall of VC funding in Oregon. The ‘80s and ‘90s were hot.  Then things got pretty quiet.  But today, having some well-funded companies in the area has done a lot to increase startup and VC attention from elsewhere.

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