The state, universities and local governments have invested in startup companies through the Oregon RAIN program. A cohort of five new businesses in Corvallis has just graduated.
The OSU Advantage Accelerator has been around since the summer of 2013. Mark Lieberman is co-director. He says over time, they’ve made the program more formal and rigorous:
Lieberman: “Entrepreneurship is generally a marathon and not a sprint, but the acceleration program is to get them to the starting line and that is truly a sprint.”
The latest companies out of the Corvallis accelerator include Baker Seed Technology, which enriches grass seed, and Bosky Optics, a designer of unique eyeglasses. Lieberman says several past graduates are already helping the Oregon economy, including a chemical manufacturer and a developer of natural gas compression for car fuel. He says recent launches are also finding success:
Lieberman: “These are companies that started less than a year ago, we have one that’s in revenue and two about to get funded by a local angel group.”
Lieberman says state funding is up for renewal in this legislative session, and he hopes they can commit to sustain the program.