RAIN Starts Accelerator Network

The Oregon Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN) is now accepting applications for its first coastal pre-accelerator program. The pre-accelerator, which will be offered in Florence and Lincoln County, is a 12-week, bootcamp style program for the best and brightest startup companies on the Central Oregon Coast.

Applications are available through February 27 at bit.ly/FloCoPreaccelerator for Florence and bit.ly/lincopreaccelerator for Newport. Applicant companies must be based in coastal Lane or Lincoln county, plan to sell nationally, and create jobs. Four to six companies will be selected for each pre-accelerator, which begin in mid-March. The cost is $99 per company, and the fee includes a one-year subscription to the online business plan software LivePlan.

“Over the past year and a half, RAIN has hosted many educational and networking events on the Central Oregon Coast, but this is the first multi-week program designed to help take an early stage startup from concept stage to launch stage, or from selling product to scaling the company” said David Youngentob, Oregon RAIN’s Coastal Venture Catalyst.

The Florence pre-accelerator begins on March 15 and concludes on June 14 with an open-to-the-public Demo Day exhibition and graduation for the cohort. The Newport pre-accelerator, which will cover the same material, begins on March 22 and concludes with its Demo Day on June 21.

“Rural communities want and need programs that help advance innovation. It would be difficult for the City of Florence to support such a program by itself, but we found a sustainable way to do so by leveraging local dollars with funds from the County and State. Our entrepreneurial community has grown by leaps and bounds since we partnered with RAIN in the fall of 2015, and we believe that the pre-accelerator will help our innovators reach even greater heights,” said Erin Reynolds, City Manager for the City of Florence.

Over the course of 12 weeks, the company cohorts will cover a range of topics including marketing and sales, financials and business modeling, and pitching and fundraising. They will  address these topics through seminars and workshops, group and 1-on-1 mentoring, one-page business plans, and more. Time commitments include two weekly sessions of 3 hours each, with an additional 10+ hours per week of homework.

“Innovation is very important to Lincoln County as our population is well-educated and self-motivated. We can leverage our strength in marine industry and ocean sciences. The pre-accelerator will provide the structure and guidance to help our entrepreneurs turn an idea into a thriving business,” said Caroline Bauman, Executive Director of the Economic Development Alliance of Lincoln County.

The RAIN coastal pre-accelerator is supported by the cities of Florence, Newport, Toledo and Lincoln City, Lane and Lincoln counties, and the Ford Family Foundation.

About Oregon RAIN

The Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network (RAIN) is an Oregon consortium of government, higher education, and the business community. RAIN was founded by the State of Oregon’s Regional Solutions network and funded by the 77th Oregon State Legislative Assembly to advance the formation of high-growth innovative startup companies located in Lane, Linn, Benton, and Lincoln Counties.

In coordination with many cities and communities throughout the region, RAIN is partnered with two accelerators to create a collaborative environment to assist entrepreneurs in establishing viable companies that generate jobs, wealth and opportunities for the region. RAIN Corvallis is served by the Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator. The RAIN Eugene Accelerator is a partnership between the University of Oregon and the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information about RAIN, visit www.oregonrain.org.