RAIN Program to Help Startups

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EUGENE, Ore. — Governor Kitzhaber will be in Eugene¬†Wednesday to sign a Declaration of Cooperation in support of a program that will help entrepreneurs get companies off the ground.

It’s called the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, also known as RAIN. The City of Eugene will launch it Wednesday at the Eugene Chamber of Commerce.

The program has already been implemented in Corvallis and with Eugene joining in, both cities will share resources to help grow new companies. For example, Eugene has a growing gaming and food industry. Corvallis’ strengths are engineering and innovative research.

The program will connect startups with the right resources in either city, whether it’s lab space at the universities, equipment or people of certain expertise. The goal is economic development.

“It’s really about job creation. If we help create wealth for our startups, that creates jobs and that creates wealth for the community,” says Mark Lieberman with RAIN Corvallis.

Corvallis has already helped 16 startups, created 16 new jobs and 12 paid internships since July of last year. It’s all possible because the Oregon legislature allocated $3.75 million to help get the project off the ground.

Other partners include universities, community colleges, research centers, business organizations and local business people.


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