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To promote a thriving, sustainable future for Oregon, the OCF board of directors has expanded the Foundation’s priorities to include a statewide focus on jobs and the economy.
OCF's strategic focus on jobs and the economy complements our longstanding commitment to education and the needs of children and families.
The Foundation is currently focusing on the following areas:
Developing a skilled workforce
Investing in quality job creation
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OCF invested an additional $20,000 in the Southern Oregon Angel Investment Network's annual prize fund. In April 2013, the $220,000 investment award went to JettStream, a Bend firm that has created an innovative medication dispenser for children with asthma.
The board also approved a $20,000 investment in the 2013 Willamette Angel Conference, which was held on May 9, 2013, at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center on OSU's Corvallis campus.
OCF has invited organizations that connect youth with hands-on workplace experience to apply to our Community Grant Program. Funding decisions will be announced in May 2013.
To drive quality job growth in Oregon, the Foundation allocates a small portion of its $1.2 billion endowment to venture capital investments. Here is a timeline of OCF's investment in job creation:
OCF awarded a $75,000 grant to the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network to develop "boot camp" programs for entrepreneurs in Bend, Medford and Hood River. These programs offer mentorship, coaching, education and benchmark metrics to help regional entrepreneurs structure, develop and launch new businesses.
The first OEN boot camp was held in Central Oregon through the Bend-based accelerator FoundersPad (formerly known as VentureBox). This boot camp helped 11 companies to grow, which in turn created 25 jobs and raised more than $625,000 in funding.
The JeffersonU boot camp, which took place in May 2012 at Medford's Higher Education Center, supported the growth and development of five regional startups. JeffersonU is a collaboration between Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, Sustainable Valley Technology Group, The Jefferson Grapevine and Southern Oregon University Small Business Development Center.
Gorge OEN’s Accelerator Boot Camp was launched to aid growth-oriented entrepreneurs in communities along the Columbia Gorge. This eight-week program was held at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles, and supported an additional five startups.
In total, 21 companies graduated from OEN boot camps. In addition, the camps recruited and trained 101 volunteer mentors, coaches and content experts. The estimated value of in-kind volunteer contributions is $218,200. In light of these successes, OCF approved an additional grant of $50,000 in February 2013 to fund a second series of OEN boot camps.
OCF announced a $1 million investment in Oregon Angel Fund 2012, LLC.
OCF contributed $20,000 to the prize fund for the Southern Oregon Angel Investment Network's annual investment competition. On April 11, the $160,000 prize was awarded to Montrue Technologies, an Ashland tech firm that has developed an iPad-based information management system for hospital emergency departments. A concept grant comprising $7,500 in cash and prizes went to Rogue Valley Innovations of Grants Pass for its invention of Ladder-Tite, a safety device for extension ladders. This grant included tuition for two to JeffersonU, one year of office space and mentorship from Sustainable Valley Business Accelerator, and $2,500 in cash from CFO Solutions-NW.
OCF announced a $25,000 matching investment in the Bend Venture Conference 2012, LLC. This investment will help to fund the Launch Stage winner, and was contingent on the BVC raising more than $100,000 from individual investors. “For entrepreneurs, BVC provides invaluable education, exposure and networking opportunities,” said Jim Coonan, Venture Catalyst Manager at Economic Development for Central Oregon and lead organizer of the conference. “We’re gratified that The Oregon Community Foundation sees value in funding grassroots efforts for entrepreneurs.”
OCF announced an additional three-year annual grant of $750,000 to OAF, contingent on annual board approval. OAF has a strong track record over five years of investing and is managed by an experienced team that includes Eric Rosenfeld, Lynn Fletcher and Scott Sandler.
OCF also invested $250,000 in Voyager Capital's Fund IV, which supports early-stage tech firms in Oregon.
OCF invested an additional $20,000 in the Southern Oregon Angel Investment Network's annual prize fund. The board also approved a $20,000 investment in the 2013 Willamette Angel Conference, which will be held on May 9, 2013, at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center on OSU's Corvallis campus.
In Spring 2012, the OCF board approved a $50,000 matching grant to Albina Opportunities Corporation, a nonprofit business development organization that provides loans to women-, immigrant-, minority- and disabled-owned small businesses. The board was particularly impressed with AOC's Business Advisors program, which matches borrowers with qualified mentors. In February 2013, the board approved an additional $100,000 grant to capitalize AOC and position it to leverage loan funds from other organizations.
The Foundation partnered with Meyer Memorial Trust, the Oregon State Treasury, Business Oregon and CTC Consulting to conduct the Oregon Capital Scan, which incorporates quantitative data on the current status of Oregon's capital ecosystem as well as interviews with nearly 100 participants. On June 7, 2012, The Oregon Community Foundation and the Oregon State Treasury hosted a conversation on the results of the Oregon Capital Scan, with a focus on sharing ideas and strategies for addressing statewide capital gaps.
On December 5, 2012, OCF convened a group of advised-fund donors and guests to participate in a fast-pitch session focused on current opportunities for impact investing. Representatives from DePaul Industries, Farmers Conservation Alliance, MercyCorps Northwest, and Albina Opportunities Corporation each presented brief pitches to attendees to increase awareness of the various ways in which philanthropy can improve Oregon's economy.