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[photo credit: Register Guard]

This story, by Sherri Buri McDonald, appeared in The Register Guard, on June 15, 2016.

The Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network business accelerator in Eugene has welcomed its fourth class of entrepreneurs.

The latest group, which entered the accelerator on Monday, is an eclectic mix of entrepreneurs developing innovations in technology, health care improvements and consumer products.

The nine startups will be the first to experience the accelerator in RAIN’s new home near the Eugene Public Library in downtown.

RAIN had operated temporarily out of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce building for the past two years.

The network is a collaborative program of government, businesses and universities that help create companies and jobs in the southern Willamette Valley.

The RAIN accelerator in Eugene is an intensive 16-week education and mentoring program for early-stage companies with potential to grow in Oregon and generate revenue outside the state.

Early last month, the University of Oregon opened a remodeled 12,800-square-foot building at 942 Olive St., which houses the Eugene RAIN accelerator and two university programs. The university programs are product design and the Tyler Invention Greenhouse, which focuses on advances in chemistry to develop products that are better for the environment and human health.

Here are brief descriptions of the latest participants in the Eugene RAIN accelerator:

Analytic Spot: An ed-tech data and analytics company that provides a glimpse into what a child is learning and recommends ways to personalize teaching for that child.

Animosa: A new brand of gear for active, adventurous women, starting with the Go With Your Flow pack, a product for handling menstrual hygiene in the outdoors or on the go without a waste receptacle.

Ascend: A data hub and visualization tool for business managers to easily start projects, connect to their apps and make critical business decisions.

Asterism: A consumer health care company that formulates, produces and markets medical grade “nutricosmetics” for women. Nutricosmetics use nutrition or nutritional supplements for skin health and beauty.

Katie Brown Los Angeles: A designer of comfortable, classic made-in-America clothing.

Light Lock (Portlandia Innovations): An aesthetically pleasing protection product for bicycle commuters’ lights, lock and bicycle.

Trail Supply Co.: A resupply service for long distance hikers that handles purchasing, assembly, storage and shipping of resupply boxes to a hiker’s specifications. Hikers can edit their resupply orders from the trail using a smart phone.

Young Mountain Tea: Produces Indian teas and introduces them into the rapidly growing American tea market.

The number and quality of applicants to the accelerator has increased since it launched two years ago, said Joe Maruschak, chief startup officer and director of the RAIN accelerator in Eugene.


“We are seeing better applicants, and they are farther along, this mostly due to the availability of early stage education programs like ‘the clinic’ and ‘ID8’ programs being offered by FertiLab,” he said.

Fertilab Thinkubator is the nonprofit business incubator in Eugene and Springfield. Startup Clinic is a program for entrepreneurs without a business background who are trying out a business idea. ID8 is an 8-week business pre- accelerator.

Responding to suggestions from participants who asked for more time in the accelerator, the program was extended from 12 weeks to 16.

“They needed more time in the middle,” after they’ve been inundated with new ideas and information and are trying to apply them to their businesses, Maruschak said. So “we inserted four weeks in the middle.”


This story, by Sherri Buri McDonald, appeared in The Register Guard, on June 15, 2016.