Device Lab

Update on Device Lab

Photo of devices in the device lab A quick update on the Mobile Portland device lab.

For those of you who were at the last Mobile Portland meeting or have been following along on the Mobile Portland Google Group, the key new developments are:

For those of you who weren’t at last month’s meeting, a lot has been going on in the last couple of months. I’ll hit the highlights below.

Device lab update: Creating a non-profit, setting up the board, and moving forward

When we set out to create a device testing lab, I thought it would go faster than it has. The biggest challenge thus far has been creating a non-profit organization.

While I’ve started one company and been involved in others in the past, I have no experience with creating non-profits. Over the last few months, I’ve gotten a lot of conflicting direction on what to do, whether or not Mobile Portland will qualify as a tax exempt, and how to proceed.

These conflicting directions caused delays. My company, Cloud Four, is still a small business. We couldn’t afford to sit down with lawyers and have them take us from zero knowledge to non-profit incorporation. In order to make minimize costs to both Cloud Four and the future non-profit, I needed to learn a lot more about what it means to run a non-profit.

Thankfully, I got some great guidance from Audrey Eschright who has been involved in a few non-profit organizations. That guidance helped me get to the place where I understood the differences between things like 501(c)3, 501(c)6, organizations with members and those without.

You can look at it two ways. I finally had enough information to communicate efficiently with a lawyer. Or I had enough information to be dangerous.

The Initial Board of Directors

The other thing that I learned on my journey was that my vision for the board of the non-profit wasn’t optimal. I had originally thought of pulling from the group people who had been involved in helping meetings and just making a board. The composition was an afterthought.

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