Caroline Cummings Elected To Economic Development Board

Caroline Cummings, Venture Catalyst for Oregon RAIN, was elected to the Board of Directors for the Oregon Economic Development Association (OEDA). Cummings’ seat represents Oregon’s mid-coast region. She will also serve on OEDA’s government affairs committee, which advocates for support for entrepreneurs, and sound business and economic development policy in Oregon.

“I’m honored to be elected to the OEDA Board of Directors,” said Cummings. “I have a passion for helping entrepreneurs grow and succeed. Given my extensive background as an entrepreneur, mentor, and investor, I bring a unique set of skills and experience to this position. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to advocate for our State’s entrepreneurs and innovators.”

In her role as venture catalyst for Oregon RAIN, Cummings provides outreach and support to small and rural communities within RAIN’s four-county network — which includes Lane, Linn, Lincoln and Benton counties. She coaches and mentors regional entrepreneurs, builds strategic local partnerships, and leads educational workshops.

Cummings also helps provide more early-stage seed capital for Oregon-based startups. Cummings, along with RAIN’s executive director Marc Manley, has partnered to launch a new angel investment fund called the W2 Fund, as part of the Willamette Angels. Together, they have raised close to $500K and are currently reviewing startup deals submitted from all over Oregon. Additionally, Oregon RAIN has recently secured a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Regional Innovation Strategies program to create a seed fund which will provide year-round capital to fund early-stage companies in Oregon’s south Willamette Valley and mid-coast regions.

“We’re incredibly fortunate that Caroline has accepted our invitation to join the OEDA Board of Directors,” said Jon Stark, OEDA’s board president and senior director for the Redmond Economic Development, Inc. (REDI). “Caroline has been on the frontlines of Oregon’s startup community – both as an entrepreneur and in various support roles. She will be instrumental in helping us further support this critical area of economic development for our State.”

Prior to joining Oregon RAIN, Cummings served on the executive team at Palo Alto Software. She has contributed to the founding and growth of various entrepreneurial programs, including  Smart-ups PubTalks, the Willamette Angel Conference, the Southern Willamette Angel Network, and the Southern Oregon Angel Investor Conference. Cummings also co-founded and served as the CEO of two technology startups, including mobile marketing technology company RealLead, which was acquired in 2012.

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 the Cities of Corvallis and Eugene, as well as 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. RAIN also recently partnered with the City of Florence, Lincoln City, Newport, Toledo and the Economic Development Alliance of Lincoln County to launch two pre-accelerator programs serving the mid-coast region. One is based in Florence and the other in Newport. For more information about RAIN, visit www.oregonrain.org.

About OEDA: OEDA is a statewide non-profit that champions a balanced, prosperous, and robust Oregon economy. It advocates for economic development strategies that support its members’ organizations. It is recognized as the primary champion for the creation of a balanced, prosperous, and robust Oregon economy.

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