Updates provided by Andrew Nelson, Assistant Professor of Management at University of Oregon


It’s been a busy spring for RAIN @UO. Here are some of their highlights:

  • Nearly two dozen student startups applied for $500 “Spark Grants,” designed to facilitate the rapid testing of a business concept. The winning ventures included undergraduates and graduates from a wide range of disciplines across campus.
  • We hosted the New Venture Championship April 6-8. From a wide pool of applicants, 16 finalist teams from around the world traveled to Portland to compete in the three-day competition. The University of Oregon’s TougHer, which makes women’s workwear, took 2nd place in the competition.
  • We were honored to join with the Technology Association of Oregon and other community partners for a Technology and the Arts Downtown event on April 19.
  • On April 30, seven UO startups participated in Fertilab’s PitchStream, an annual community-based early-stage business competition.
  • On May 6, we joined with Oregon State University for the annual Civil War Shark Tank, in which promising students startups from each university pitch a panel of expert judges.
  • On May 10, we joined with the Eugene-Springfield community and leaders across the state to celebrate opening of 942 Olive St., a UO building in downtown Eugene that houses the RAIN Eugene accelerator, the Tyler Invention Greenhouse, and UO product design, and that encourages interactions and collaborations among these groups.
  • Three UO ventures are part of Fertilab’s current ID8 program (BluPrint, Wildwood Towers, Property Rental Automation).
  • We awarded five $5,000 RAINmaker grants to student startups, pursuing ideas ranging from female hygiene to farming equipment. The grants are made possible by the generosity of Paul Anthony Troiano, a UO alum and founder of Rumblefish.

We have three companies in the new RAIN Eugene cohort (Animosa, Trail Supply Co., and BluPrint).