The Missing Middle Housing Fund has been in growth mode this year. We led two workforce housing solutions summits across the State with over 150 business and community leaders in attendance, brought $3M under management in a revolving loan fund, and expanded our community of creative problem solvers, innovators, and doers to well over 400 people.
This type of growth doesn’t just happen in a vacuum, however. We are fortunate to have key supporters with us on our journey. Today, we’d like to give a special acknowledgement to the team at PIE and Autodesk, who have provided office space for us to collaborate, coffee and snacks to keep us nourished, meeting rooms to host our community members, and perhaps most importantly, camaraderie, friendship, and support.
For 15 years, PIE, which stands for the Portland Incubator Experiment, has fueled innovation by providing mentorship, resources, and tools to help promising new business ideas grow and succeed. Focused first on software companies, PIE eventually expanded their programming to include hardware companies and consumer good companies, and in 2022, companies focused on housing. That was the year the MMHF went through the PIE accelerator, and since then has served as a mentor to other companies in the program.
For many years, PIE’s home has been at Autodesk in SE Portland, a building that is a joy to work in every day. Not only does the space inspire creative thinking with its hip industrial design aesthetic and nooks and crannies to collaborate, it also features an amazing rooftop patio that offers some of the best river and city views of Portland. Autodesk staff prioritize fostering community through programmed events and shared meals, and even volunteered as facilitators for a MMHF workforce housing summit. It has indeed served as the MMHF’s home away from home.
However, the most inspiring part of being at PIE has been getting to know the team that makes it all possible. Rick Turoczy, the Co-Founder and General Manager of PIE, has been an invaluable advisor and friend of the MMHF. Additionally, Miguel Higgins Moy, who is the Community Coordinator for Autodesk, previously Program Manager for PIE, helps everything to run efficiently and smoothly. Miguel is our “go to” for any question, whether it be about connecting to the WiFi, indulging our curiosity about the onsite 3D printing lab with a guided tour, or procuring PIE “merch” to keep us warm when the room gets a little chilly.
Because PIE is in the Autodesk office, we are also fortunate to be able to tap into the background and expertise of Denise McCarty, Autodesk’s Senior Strategic Relations Manager. Her background in non-profit leadership and community engagement, and her kindness and willingness to share it with us, have provided a treasure trove of insights, great ideas, and connections.
As the MMHF continues to think about what’s next for our rapidly growing organization, we want to thank PIE and Autodesk for giving us space and mentorship to grow. Building community is part of our housing-focused mission - thanks to our partners for providing us a home.