The Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network encourages innovation-based companies and research-inspired startups to take root in the South Willamette Valley
(Eugene, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber today signed a Declaration of Cooperation with members of a regional partnership focused on innovation, entrepreneurism, and economic development in the South Willamette Valley.
The Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network (RAIN) is the product of the Governor’s South Valley Regional Solutions Advisory Team effort to support Oregon’s innovation economy. Project partners include the University of Oregon and Oregon State University; the cities of Eugene, Corvallis, Springfield, and Albany; and regional businesses and agencies. The goal behind the regional collaboration is to promote innovation-based startups and help commercialize university-based research.
At the signing ceremony, Governor Kitzhaber applauded the spirit of cooperation behind the initiative. "Today we are sowing the seeds of innovation in the Willamette Valley so that forward-looking industries and economic prosperity can grow," the Governor said. "RAIN brings together critical players in this regional economy to not only help scale up new companies, but also to signal to the world that Oregon is creating jobs for the future."
The first phase of RAIN will establish venture accelerators in conjunction with the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. Advantage Accelerator
at Oregon State University in Corvallis is up and running, with 15 startup companies participating. RAIN Eugene
Accelerator is now accepting applications for its first cohort. Both will assist early-stage technology-based efforts by offering mentoring and other resources to help them grow and spin off private initiatives that create jobs for Oregonians.
Last year, the Oregon Legislature approved funding for RAIN in the 2013-15 biennium, with $3.75 million allocated for capital and operating funds. RAIN is overseen by a board of directors made up of business leaders and university researchers.