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UO Alumni Creates RAINMaker Fund For Student Entrepreneurs

University of Oregon

A University of Oregon alumnus has created a 300,000 dollar endowment to help student entrepreneurs at the University pursue their business startups.

Paul Anthony Troiano is a music entrepreneur, artist and producer. He started his first successful business called "Rumblefish" while studying at the U of O thanks to a backer who invested in his company. Now Troiano wants to "pay it forward" with the RAINMaker fund, designed to help students to grow their small businesses.

Troiano: "Some students I could see using it to basically not take a job for a number of months. Some students could use it for getting a prototype put together. It's not up to us to tell the student what to do with it. That's part of the journey. You need to be able to make a lot out of very little resources."

Troiano hopes students will also use resources from the Eugene branch of the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, known as RAIN Eugene. The company will help students find a workplace and teach them how to effectively manage a business.  

There will be five, 5,000 dollar funds given each year to students who have already established small businesses. Students in their junior year and above are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to music and dance students.

Application information will be posted later this month at http://research.uoregon.edu.

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