Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network to hire candidate to work with entrepreneurs on Oregon’s mid-coast

By Sherri Buri McDonald
The Register-Guard
SEPT. 14, 2016

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Oregon RAIN, a nonprofit program to help turn homegrown innovation into companies and jobs, is hiring a candidate to work with entrepreneurs on the coast, between Florence and Lincoln City.

RAIN, which stands for Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, is a consortium of government, higher education and business communities in Lane, Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties.

The consortium recently posted an opening for a “Coastal Venture Catalyst,” which is a one-year contracted position, made possible through a $50,000 grant from the Ford Family Foundation and financial support from the city of Florence and Lincoln County.

“We started our outreach to entrepreneurs on the mid-­coast region of Oregon almost a year ago, and the response has been wonderful,” RAIN Executive Director Jim Coonan said in prepared remarks.

“We like to remind people that great ideas can come from anywhere, and we found this to be true in our initial outreach on the coast. Now that we have these funds and match dollars from our local strategic partners we can take our efforts to a more sustainable level in support of the local entrepreneurial community.”

RAIN’s goal is to help innovators form and grow companies that sell products or services that bring in money from outside the immediate area. RAIN has a business accelerator in Eugene and one in Corvallis.

“Our ability to support entrepreneurs and startups will be vastly enhanced thanks to the efforts of RAIN,” Caroline Bauman, executive director of the Economic Development Alliance of Lincoln County, said in a statement.

“We are excited for the opportunities we anticipate to come with the Coastal Venture Catalyst position,” Florence City Manager Erin Reynolds said in a statement. “As a city, we have been working on ways to get resources over the mountain and into Florence. It is our hope that this position will increase services that will continue to drive new job creation by bringing curriculum resources from the valley to the coast to support entrepreneurs here.”

In addition to the $50,000 grant from the Ford Foundation, the city of Florence has committed $30,000 for the position over two years and Lincoln County will put $17,000 toward it over two years. Toledo and Lincoln City also are offering support.

An online listing for the job includes the following duties:

Works closely with RAIN’s Executive Director Jim Coonan and Venture Catalyst Caroline Cummings.

Works with RAIN’s economic development partners on the coast, including Florence, the Economic Development Alliance of Lincoln County, Fertilab, Small Business Development Centers, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University and others.

Connect startups with resources, mentors, employees, equipment, labs office space and financing.

In partnership with Fertilab, launch a pre-accelerator program in the Florence and Newport areas.

Identify, recruit and educate regional angel investors.

The listing seeks a candidate with an entrepreneurial background. The position is to start Nov. 1 at compensation of $4,500 a month. The application deadline is September 23, 2016.

For more information, go to .