RAIN Program Underway

Class has officially begun for 11 Central Oregon Coast startups. The Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN), a state and regionally funded entrepreneurial support organization, selected six companies from Florence and five from Lincoln County to participate in two coastal pre-accelerator programs — the first of their kind in the region.

Beginning in October 2015, RAIN has hosted many educational and networking events along the Central Oregon Coast, but this is its first multi-week, in-person program designed to help take an early stage startup from concept stage to launch stage, or from selling product to scaling the company. No other organization has ever offered such a program

“It’s an exciting time for entrepreneurship on the Central Oregon Coast. Nobody’s ever offered an in-person pre-accelerator in Florence or Lincoln County, so in some ways we’re in unchartered waters. But we’ve had a lot of success implementing these programs in other communities, and we’ve built a strong rapport with the entrepreneurs here; we knew they were up for the challenge,” said David Youngentob, RAIN’s Coastal Venture Catalyst.

The pre-accelerators, which began last week, were offered as 12-week, bootcamp style programs for the best and brightest startup companies on the Central Oregon Coast. 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. Both programs conclude in mid-June with open-to-the-public Demo Day exhibitions and graduations. To register, visit bit.ly/FloCoDemoDay for Florence, and bit.ly/LinCoDemoDay for Lincoln County.

“Innovation is critical for economic development because we know that startups account for most of the net job growth in this country (See: Kauffman Foundation’s “The Importance of Young Firms for Economic Growth” ). We have this saying, “It takes a village to raise an entrepreneur,” and I want to applaud the communities of Florence and Lincoln County for investing in their entrepreneurial ecosystems — they’re already starting to see they payoff,” said Caroline Cummings, RAIN’s Venture Catalyst.

The Florence pre-accelerator cohort includes:
Dragon Art: A publishing company that produces lesson plans for teaching arts, crafts and illustration. kassykeppol.com

Jayne Smoley Design: A kiln-formed glass studio that both functional and sculptural glass art. jaynesmoleydesign.com

LoFoodal: A farm to table app that allows customers to purchase fruits, veggies and eggs directly from local farmers. LoFoodal.com

Meant Manufacturing: Designers and creators of one-of-a-kind handbags and accessories, handcrafted in the Pacific Northwest using authentic materials, including Pendleton® Wool. www.meantmfg.com

Rose & Crown Apothecary: The medicinal formulary for AmpuCare products organically solving the unique skincare needs of amputees. roseandcrownapothecary.com

Stoney River Sinkers: Makers of lead-free and non-toxic fishing sinkers. Stoneyriversinkers.com

The Lincoln County cohort includes:

Go I.O.: An online tool that allows people to create and deploy mobile apps for data collection. goio.webflow.io

Nelscott Reef Big Wave Challenge: A live webcast of this local surf competition that has featured world champions and some of the world’s biggest waves.

o.o. Truffles: Procure and distribute truffles.

Oregon Truffle Tryst Farm: Produces aquaponics root pods made from sustainable and compostable design composed of organic and natural materials.

Riley Invents: Makers of the Trezur Bag, a clip-on micro bag for truffle hunters, foragers, no-trace hikers, and agate hunters to stash their discoveries.

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.

Information provided by Mathew Hollander with RAIN