Eight Rural Linn-Benton Cities Receive Funds for Entrepreneurial Development Model

Oregon RAIN seeks applicants for Venture Catalyst to support Linn-Benton entrepreneurs

Monroe, Ore. — In a unique and inspiring demonstration of intergovernmental collaboration, eight rural cities from Linn and Benton counties (with a total population of 38,690) applied for and received funding from Business Oregon’s Rural Opportunities Initiative (ROI) to build capacity for entrepreneurship-based economic development. The Eight Cities, led by the Cities of Monroe and Lebanon, will contract with Oregon RAIN to implement their Venture Catalyst model. Oregon RAIN is actively hiring for a Venture Catalyst to lead the initiative.

The Eight Cities were among 11 communities (out of 41 applicants) to receive ROI funding from Business Oregon. In addition to Monroe and Lebanon, the Eight Cities include Adair Village, Brownsville, Halsey, Harrisburg, Philomath, and Sweet Home.

“On behalf of the Eight Cities, I want to express my gratitude to Business Oregon and the Rural Opportunities Initiative selection committee for choosing Linn-Benton as one of the funding recipients. We invested a lot of time and spirit in the application process, and it was very rewarding to find out that they agreed with and want to support our vision of a regional entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Rick Hohnbaum, City Administrator for the City of Monroe.

Oregon RAIN, the Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network, is 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is run by experienced entrepreneurs and serves entrepreneurs in Lane, Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties. The organization builds entrepreneurial ecosystems in partnership with governments, foundations, and private funders. RAIN has previously launched its Venture Catalyst model in Oregon’s midcoast (Florence up through Lincoln City), and East Lane County (Lowell and Oakridge areas).

RAIN is now seeking applicants for the Linn-Benton Venture Catalyst role. The Venture Catalyst will connect regional entrepreneurs with strategic resources for launching and scaling business ventures, including mentor connections, educational and training programs, and access to capital. The Venture Catalyst will also promote broad community participation and support for the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. The full position description can be found on Indeed at: https://goo.gl/Gv1GQz. Applications are due by May 25.

“RAIN is thrilled to partner with this amazing group of cities. Their respective representatives have been eager and willing participants throughout the entire ROI process. We couldn’t be more excited to help Linn-Benton entrepreneurs achieve their dreams by building a regional network of resources and support —  starting with hiring a Venture Catalyst dedicated to this region,” said RAIN’s Interim Executive Director Caroline Cummings.