Florence2018-11-04T20:13:07+00:00

Why RAIN was invited to the Florence community

In August 2015 Erin Reynolds contacted Oregon RAIN asking to learn more about RAIN’s venture catalyst program that helps communities support their local entrepreneurs and innovators. Shortly after, RAIN’s first Venture Catalyst, Caroline Cummings, visited Erin and a group of stakeholders in Florence who all shared one thing in common – a desire to build a culture of entrepreneurship in Florence.

Over the next year, Cummings rolled out RAIN’s Rural Entrepreneurial Development Model. This included hosting several different events where the goal is to learn what kinds of entrepreneurs and innovators existed in the community. In October, 2016 RAIN secured funding from The Ford Family Foundation, Lane County and the USDA to hire a dedicated Coastal Venture Catalyst to help take their entrepreneurial efforts to the next level. In the Spring of 2017, RAIN launched the mid-coast’s first-ever Pre-Accelerator (Pre-X) for high growth startups, culminating in October with a Demo Day showcasing the first cohort of startups. Over 100 people from around the state attended to show their support.

A Case Study was developed highlighting the successes of RAIN’s outreach and impact in Florence and the mid-coast area.

In July 2018, RAIN hosted the coast’s first-ever Techstars Startup Weekend where close to 50 entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and supporters showed up to create various startup companies in less than 30 hours.

Featured Entrepreneurs

Meant Manufacturing

Manufacturers one-of-a-kind, handcrafted bags, and accessories from locally sourced materials, such as Pendleton® Wool.

Outcomes since engaging with RAIN (March 2017):

  • Increased inventory and decreased production time.
  • Turned hobby into a full-time business
  • Hired first employees
  • Had more sales in the final quarter of 2017 than in all of 2016
  • As of July 2018, beat sales goal for the year (which already doubled last year’s sales)
  • Gained 7 new wholesale accounts
  • Retail accounts are ordering faster than before

The Coastal Pre-Accelerator was awesome! Since working with RAIN I consistently double my sales goals, and I have the confidence to close bigger accounts.” – Lindsey Phillips

Lindsey Phillips, founder of Florence-based Meant Manufacturing, has hit more milestones since completing the 2017 Oregon RAIN Coastal Pre-Accelerator, and is interviewed by the USDA.

NatureSavvy

Manufacturer of organic, self-care products for amputees.

Outcomes since engaging with RAIN (March 2017):

Since going through the RAIN Pre-Accelerator I’ve become much more interested in the business side of what we do. RAIN helped us build a better roadmap for how to be entrepreneurial. RAIN has changed my life! Because of RAIN, we have the contacts to expand nationally, and potentially internationally. We’ve made our first national sales and have received amazing testimonials. We now have a plan for growth!

– Patricia Immel, CEO/Co-Founder

“The RAIN Venture Catalyst model has helped our small coastal community to recognize that we have entrepreneurs and innovators here building companies with high growth aspirations and creating jobs. Knowing we can get connected to other resources around the state and compare best practices as a result of growing the venture catalyst model is incredible.

Erin Reynolds, Florence City Manager

Community Partners

Funders

Why RAIN was invited to the Florence community

In August 2015 Erin Reynolds contacted Oregon RAIN asking to learn more about RAIN’s venture catalyst program that helps communities support their local entrepreneurs and innovators. Shortly after, RAIN’s first Venture Catalyst, Caroline Cummings, visited Erin and a group of stakeholders in Florence who all shared one thing in common – a desire to build a culture of entrepreneurship in Florence.

Over the next year, Cummings rolled out RAIN’s Rural Entrepreneurial Development Model. This included hosting several different events where the goal is to learn what kinds of entrepreneurs and innovators existed in the community. In October, 2016 RAIN secured funding from The Ford Family Foundation, Lane County and the USDA to hire a dedicated Coastal Venture Catalyst to help take their entrepreneurial efforts to the next level. In the Spring of 2017, RAIN launched the mid-coast’s first-ever Pre-Accelerator (Pre-X) for high growth startups, culminating in October with a Demo Day showcasing the first cohort of startups. Over 100 people from around the state attended to show their support.

A Case Study was developed highlighting the successes of RAIN’s outreach and impact in Florence and the mid-coast area.

In July 2018, RAIN hosted the coast’s first-ever Techstars Startup Weekend where close to 50 entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and supporters showed up to create various startup companies in less than 30 hours.

“The RAIN Venture Catalyst model has helped our small coastal community to recognize that we have entrepreneurs and innovators here building companies with high growth aspirations and creating jobs. Knowing we can get connected to other resources around the state and compare best practices as a result of growing the venture catalyst model is incredible.

Erin Reynolds, Florence City Manager

Community Partners

Funders

Featured Entrepreneurs

Meant Manufacturing

Manufacturers one-of-a-kind, handcrafted bags, and accessories from locally sourced materials, such as Pendleton® Wool.

Outcomes since engaging with RAIN (March 2017):

  • Increased inventory and decreased production time.
  • Turned hobby into a full-time business
  • Hired first employees
  • Had more sales in the final quarter of 2017 than in all of 2016
  • As of July 2018, beat sales goal for the year (which already doubled last year’s sales)
  • Gained 7 new wholesale accounts
  • Retail accounts are ordering faster than before

The Coastal Pre-Accelerator was awesome! Since working with RAIN I consistently double my sales goals, and I have the confidence to close bigger accounts.” – Lindsey Phillips

Lindsey Phillips, founder of Florence-based Meant Manufacturing, has hit more milestones since completing the 2017 Oregon RAIN Coastal Pre-Accelerator, and is interviewed by the USDA.

NatureSavvy

Manufacturer of organic, self-care products for amputees.

Outcomes since engaging with RAIN (March 2017):

Since going through the RAIN Pre-Accelerator I’ve become much more interested in the business side of what we do. RAIN helped us build a better roadmap for how to be entrepreneurial. RAIN has changed my life! Because of RAIN, we have the contacts to expand nationally, and potentially internationally. We’ve made our first national sales and have received amazing testimonials. We now have a plan for growth!

– Patricia Immel, CEO/Co-Founder

What’s Happening in Florence