RAIN Eugene introduces new Mentor-in-Residence, Micah Elconin

Accelerator announces next cohort

RAIN Eugene announces the hiring of Mentor-in-Residence (MIR) Micah Elconin, MBA. In this part-time role, funded through the Regional Entrepreneurial Training Fund, Elconin will provide strategic outreach to rural communities in Lane County, including Cottage Grove, McKenzie River, Veneta, and others. He will establish new entrepreneurial resources locally, support those already in place and direct viable candidates to the RAIN Eugene Accelerator.

The RAIN Eugene Accelerator recently finalized its fifth company cohort. The startups include:

Collobos Software makes Presto, a software to manage printing in large, campus and corporate environments. It eliminates the proprietary aspects of print hardware and mobile technology giving administrators end to end control.

Local Traffic is a SaaS platform that provides content and services to physical guest at large venues.  Their Concierge 365 product provides an electronic concierge for guest that connect to hotel’s wi-fi hotspot.

Veraison Solutions connects people with wineries and their wines based upon their own unique preferences and wine palate. Their solution makes exploring the world of wine memorable and fun.

Rhithwir creates interfaces that allow Virtual Reality users to engage their bodies and minds completely in the VR experience.

Bliss Northwest Bridal is a new way to experience bridal. This is bridal for millennials, by millennials.

Aulaine Enterprises is a skin care company focused on protecting your skin and personal tattoo investment. Aulaine products use exotic ingredients, essential oils, and formulas backed by science to preserve your artwork.

Light Shield, provides the eSports community with active gaming hardware.

Real Live Food eases the challenge of making healthy food choices by producing grab-and-go foods that are accessible, affordable and delicious. Their products are 100% organic, gluten-free, GMO-free & sourced with the utmost integrity.

“Over the past few years, RAIN Eugene has achieved success as the nexus for entrepreneurial development in Lane County. Now that we’ve reached a point where we know the Eugene entrepreneurial community, and they know us, we want to find out how we can assist entrepreneurs in neighboring areas,” said Elconin, who was hired as the MIR in March, and previously served as a volunteer mentor for RAIN Eugene.

So far, Elconin has established regular “office hours” in Cottage Grove on the third Wednesday of each month, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Healing Matrix (632 East Main St.). He’s building a partnership with the entrepreneurship and marketing class at McKenzie High School to provide mentorship and curriculum support. Elconin is also providing support services at the newly launched Veneta Small Business Development Center.

These efforts have already bolstered the pipeline of viable companies to RAIN Eugene. Elconin recruited Real Live Foods from Cottage Grove to join the next Accelerator cohort.

Elconin’s position is supported by the Regional Entrepreneurial Training Fund — a $193,360 grant was awarded to RAIN Eugene by Lane County Economic Development, Lane Workforce Partnership, and the Cities of Eugene and Springfield. The program was established to enhance training availability for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs; help them develop innovation skills needed to critically evaluate ideas and build essential skills to act upon innovative ideas.

“The investment in entrepreneurial training through RAIN Eugene will help to increase the viability and economic stability of early start-ups,” said Joe Maruschak, Chief Startup Officer for RAIN Eugene. “Micah will provide invaluable mentorship and direction to entrepreneurs in our community, especially those pursuing the food and beverage or consumer products industries — where Micah is so experienced.”

Elconin began his entrepreneurial career by founding a personal chef business in Santa Barbara. He first moved to Eugene in 2010 to pursue an MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the University of Oregon. After completing that program, he was hired by NEDCO to launch Sprout!, the regional food hub in Springfield. In 2014, Elconin returned to his Southern California roots to lead sales and marketing for Harvest Santa Barbara. Two years later, he returned to Eugene and found the entrepreneurial scene vastly improved.

“It’s part of RAIN’s philosophy that stronger startups make better communities. I get immense satisfaction from being an advocate for entrepreneurs and pushing them toward their goals. It’s a testament to the Eugene startup community, that I could drop back into town and see so many new opportunities to get involved,” said Elconin.

Entrepreneurs in Lane County who would like to work with Elconin may contact him at educatedvegetable@gmail.com. He also offers many open hours; for times and locations, join the Eugene-Springfield Startups Meetup group: www.meetup.com/Eugene-Startups.

About RAIN Eugene

RAIN Eugene connects the local innovation ecosystem around the University of Oregon and the cities of Eugene and Springfield with the entrepreneurial community to create high impact, innovative, traded-sector companies that can grow and thrive in our community. RAIN Eugene is managed as a virtual nonprofit by the University of Oregon, the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Eugene.

RAIN Eugene includes the RAIN Eugene Accelerator, a twice-yearly 16-week program offering intense training and mentoring to early growth-stage companies in and around Eugene, Oregon and the RAIN Eugene Innovation Network, a growing coalition of partners and affiliates willing to realize the vision of innovation-based economic growth through the application of real action and resources to support entrepreneurs in the region.

The Eugene Accelerator is located at 942 Olive St, in Eugene, OR and run under the direction of its Chief Start-up Officer, Joe Maruschak.  Information and applications can be found at http://raineugene.org/accelerator.

The RAIN Eugene Innovation Network is organized by working groups formed by the Local Board partners, RAIN affiliates and those in the community willing to devote time, energy and resources to the topic.