RAIN Expands Venture Catalyst Program for Assisting Rural Entrepreneurs
RAIN, the Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network, has expanded its venture catalyst program for assisting entrepreneurs in rural Lane, Linn, Lincoln, and Benton counties. Corey Wright was hired as the dedicated venture catalyst for eight rural cities in Linn and Benton counties. Brad Attig will provide alternative financing guidance to early-stage companies in the same region on a part-time basis.
RAIN venture catalysts connect regional entrepreneurs with strategic resources for launching and scaling business ventures, including mentor connections, educational and training programs, and access to capital. Venture catalysts also promote broad community participation and support for the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“This is an exciting announcement for RAIN and the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. In recent years we have had great success introducing the venture catalyst model in rural communities throughout the RAIN region. We’ve developed a Rural Entrepreneurial Development Model that allows us to simultaneously build a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation while serving the region’s entrepreneurs working on building high growth startups. Thanks to this new funding and partnership with the eight cities, we’re thrilled to expand our support of entrepreneurs based in rural Linn and Benton counties,” said RAIN Executive Director Caroline Cummings.
Wright and Attig were hired with funds from Business Oregon’s Rural Opportunities Initiative (ROI). They will provide entrepreneurship- and ecosystem-based economic development to eight rural cities from Linn and Benton counties that co-applied for the grant, including Adair Village, Brownsville, Halsey, Harrisburg, Lebanon, Monroe, Philomath, and Sweet Home.
“RAIN has demonstrated their expertise in helping small and rural communities build entrepreneurial ecosystems. Hiring Corey and Brad to help us identify and support scalable startups is a key step in advancing our region’s culture of innovation. We are thrilled to partner with RAIN on the service delivery of the ROI grant,” said Gary Marks, City Manager for the City of Lebanon.
Wright is an inventor and entrepreneur with strong local roots. He is a graduate of Oregon State University in Corvallis, and he locally founded and operates Massif Games, a game publishing startup making innovative 3D products and accessories for customers around the globe. Wright successfully raised money for Massif Games through multiple crowdfunding campaigns and is currently known as having the most successful Kickstarter funded in the Corvallis area ($145,148 / 1,686 backers).
Attig, a long-time resident of Albany, is experienced in developing creative business strategy and digital marketing ideas for small and mid-sized businesses. He has mentored startup founders and teams from throughout the RAIN region and he sits on the board of the Foundry Collective, an entrepreneurial community and co-working space in Corvallis. Attig has coached several entrepreneurs on how to raise capital. In his new role, Attig will provide guidance to early-stage startup companies on alternative financing strategies, such as crowdfunding and non-traditional loans.
To follow entrepreneurial activities for this region visit RAIN’s “Startup Linn Benton” Meetup page: https://www.meetup.com/Startup-Linn-Benton/