Press Contact:
 Caroline Cummings, Oregon RAIN Executive Director,, 541-968-2982

For Immediate Release
November 26, 2018

Oregon Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network (RAIN) today announced 44North Ventures LLC has been selected to develop and launch a regional seed fund. 44North Ventures, fund manager for Cascade Angels Fund, is based in Bend, Oregon and was chosen as part of a competitive selection process to receive the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) Seed Fund Support Grant.

“On behalf of the seed fund selection committee, I want to thank all the funds that participated in this process. We received a number of compelling proposals, which made for a very challenging decision. However, we recognized an ideal partner in 44North Ventures because of their approach to developing, growing, and managing seed funds, community partnerships, and portfolio companies,” said Sabrina Parsons, Chair of the Oregon RAIN Board of Directors and CEO of Palo Alto Software.

44North Ventures partners Julie Harrelson and Robert Pease are experienced entrepreneurs and investors who currently manage the Cascade Angels Funds. With the first investment in 2014, Cascade Angels Funds have made 23 investments totaling almost $4 million in companies that employ over 200 people and generate over $50 million in revenue.

When launched, the regional seed fund will focus on Oregon and Pacific Northwest seed stage investments where companies have some early traction, but need additional capital to accelerate. Specific emphasis will be placed on companies from the University of Oregon and Oregon State University entrepreneurial communities, as well as overlooked entrepreneurs, including market disrupters, social minorities, and those located outside major metropolitan areas.

Oregon RAIN will administer the capacity-building Seed Fund Support Grant and provide statewide economic development expertise and educational services to entrepreneurs and investors.

“Oregon RAIN’s founding region—Lane, Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties—is developing into a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, ripe with innovative and investment-ready companies. Recently, our board of directors voted unanimously to expand Oregon RAIN’s service area to statewide. I believe this EDA seed fund initiative will help close the gap for one of the most significant obstacles for overlooked start-ups in small and rural communities throughout the state: access to capital,” said Caroline Cummings, Executive Director at Oregon RAIN.

About 44North Ventures LLC:
44North is focused on fund management and venture development for early-stage companies. Julie Harrelson and Robert Pease are 44North’s current Principals. Both possess experience as founders of early-stage, growth-oriented, privately held companies and are experienced entrepreneurs. To learn more, visit

About Oregon RAIN:
The Oregon Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network (Oregon RAIN) is 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was founded to advance the formation of high-growth innovative startup companies that generate jobs, wealth, and opportunities for the state. Oregon RAIN, which is run by experienced entrepreneurs and angel investors, connects entrepreneurs with strategic resources for launching and scaling business ventures, including mentor connections, educational and training programs, and access to capital. Oregon RAIN also builds entrepreneurial ecosystems in partnership with cities, counties, the State, foundations, and private funders. Visit to learn more.