Oregon Entrepreneurs Network Receives a $75,000 Grant to Launch Accelerator Boot Camps

10/14/2011 Press Release

September 14, 2011

Portland, OR – The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) announces today they will award the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) a $75,000 grant for the creation of a series of Accelerator Boot Camps.

Entrepreneurs throughout Oregon have great ideas, but they often lack the business experience needed to launch a successful company. That is where OEN comes in.  Volunteers and staff at the OEN have the expertise and passion needed to provide mentoring. However, it’s always been offered in an informal way until now.  

OCF understands the important role entrepreneurs play in Oregon’s economy. The Foundation learned about OEN's important services as part of its ongoing effort to improve the economy and increase job creation in Oregon.  

For the first time, the OEN will have the capital it needs to train key volunteers in the best practices models. It will bring that knowledge to Central, Southern and Eastern Oregon over the next two years.  

”Helping entrepreneurs get access to mentorship, education and investment capital is a critical priority for Oregon Entrepreneurs Network,” said OEN President and Executive Director Linda Weston. “We are delighted to get this opportunity to be able to support rural Oregon entrepreneurs in this way.”

The first Boot Camp will be offered through a curriculum being implemented by VentureBox, the Bend-based accelerator launched at the Bend Venture Conference on October 14. Once established in Central Oregon, the concept will be rolled out in Southern and Eastern Oregon.

VentureBox is a model derived from best practices used by the leading startup accelerators to aid early-stage enterprises in connecting to the resources they need to grow and add jobs. Volunteer mentors and project coordinators will lead a program to deliver a structured process for entrepreneurs around the state. Participants will develop their business skills and improve their efforts to attract investors and secure capital.  

OCF is providing the initial grant to launch the program. OEN will seek additional funding to support it.

Speakers are available to talk to organizations about the work OCF is doing to improve jobs and the economy.  For more information, please contact Melissa Durham at 503.227.6846 or mdurham@oregoncf.org.