A note from Jackie: I was delighted to have Cindy Cooper of Portland State University’s Impact Entrepreneur program on one of my recent BSR Broadcasts. She and her team at Impact Entrepreneurs will be providing a series of guest posts over the coming weeks, and I am so grateful to be able to feature some of the wisdom from this incredible program here on the BSR blog! This post was originally found here in April 2014 (note that some information may have changed since then) and is jam-packed with resources that everyone in the Portland BSR tribe should know about.
In the latest federal ranking, Oregon is sixth among US states in job growth. How does a small city like Portland create a large footprint in the startup world, while stimulating employment and economic development? We think it’s partly thanks to a great and growing base of programs offering assistance to small businesses. After several years of rapid growth, there are now nearly 30 business incubators, accelerators and support programs in the Portland area.
Beyond working space and crucial programs like mentoring, skills-building, and networking, you may be surprised what resources you can find in this ecosystem of supporting organizations. Need a commercial kitchen? A pop-up shop downtown? A 3-D printer? Alongside the Portland Business Journal’s recent Portland Incubator Roundup, we hope this post serves as a 2014 directory for local incubators helping small businesses thrive. Let us know in the comments if we missed anyone!
PSU’s Social Innovation Incubator and Business of Social Innovation Online Program: Embedded in PSU’s School of Business Administration, Impact Entrepreneurs delivers a curriculum integrating social, environmental and ethical issues through its Social Innovation Incubator and online program in social innovation, assisting early-stage social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs in launching market-based innovations that generate systemic social and environmental benefits.
Springboard Innovation: Springboard Innovation helps fill the gap of learning and support for those who wish to make a difference in a new way through workshops and memberships at Hatch, social entrepreneurship meetup groups, investment guidance, mentorship matches, pitch events, and more.
Forge Portland: Just on the horizon, with a planned opening in May 14, Forge will be a shared workspace that offers a suite of free business and organizational tools designed to support nonprofit and social enterprise members.
II. Small Business Incubators and Accelerators
Mercy Corps NW: Mercy Corps NW supports small businesses and entrepreneurs through microloans, matched business grants, and small business classes taught by business professionals.
TenX: An open source, business frameworks education company, TenX provides content, events, conferences & learning programs to generate growth & acceleration for high potential organizations & individuals.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDC): FREE to Oregon businesses and entrepreneurs, SBDC services include financial, marketing, production, organization, and international trade and feasibility studies.
Starve Ups: A virtual incubator and accelerator with peer mentoring as its cornerstone, Starve Ups is an end-to-end educational approach helping companies to survive, strive and thrive.
The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE): Designed to accelerate the successful development of member companies, TiE provides support services including rental space, an incubator program, pitch sessions, and mentors.
Best HQ: A business incubator, best HQ provides the support and resources for entrepreneurs to establish and grow their companies, in addition to providing workspace and management and leadership training.
SCORE: Score is a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses with free personal counseling, ongoing mentoring, and 100+ high quality, modestly-priced workshops each year.
NedSpace: This co-working resource has 14,000 square feet of great office space in the heart of downtown Portland for co-working, startups, entrepreneurs and remote workers.
III. Tech Incubators and Accelerators
Oregon Technology Business Center (OTBC): OTBC helps entrepreneurs identify and attain their goals at whatever stage they are at by providing entrepreneurs with office space, access to OTBC’s coaching staff, and access to OTBC workshops and seminars.
Portland Incubator Experiment: PIE enables creative business-building by helping startups learn, grow, and quickly conquer obstacles, pairing them with the mentors they need, when they need them, to solve their unique business challenges.
Portland Seed Fund: The Portland Seed Fund is a privately managed fund and non-resident accelerator focused on providing emerging companies the capital, mentoring and connections to propel them to the next level.
Portland Startup Weekend: A 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation, Startup Weekend brings together developers, designers and business people to build applications and develop a commercial case.
Portland State Business Accelerator (PSBA): The PSBA provides office and lab space for science and technology startups, as well as a menu of services including turn-key affordable work space; conference room access; monthly CEO meetings and topic-related brown bags, plus ready information on business basics, raising funds and managing people.
The OTRADI Bioscience Incubator (OBI): Oregon’s first and only bioscience-specific accelerator, the OBI provides scientists and young companies with the resources and expertise needed to take their research from the lab to the market.
Micro-Enterprise Inventor’s Program of Oregon (MIPO): MIPO is a non-profit organization that provides resources, training, and advising on inventing, designing, and marketing unique products and services globally.
IV. Craft, Culinary and Design Incubators and Accelerators
ADX: ADX is a 12,000-square foot facility that combines membership, fabrication services, classes and coworking — to make ADX a hub for design and innovation in Portland.
The COG Space: The Cog Space co-workspace/ office and accelerator for small bike businesses in Portland brings together Portland-based industry talent in order to share common resources and services.
PCC Getting Your Recipe to Market : In an intensive 14 weeks, this program will help you make your culinary idea commercial ready, with food industry experts that will take you step by step to produce, promote, and sell your product.
KitchenCru: A shared-use community kitchen and culinary incubator that supports culinary entrepreneurs in developing, operating, and growing a successful business.
PNCA Bridge Lab: Provides entrepreneurship development and resources for artists by helping artist-entrepreneurs focus your vision, connect you with business resources, and assist you in building your own personal network in the Portland creative community.
V. Incubators and Accelerators for Women and Minority-Owned Businesses
Portland State University Business Outreach Program (BOP): Helps local small businesses, including emerging minority and women-owned businesses, achieve their potential by providing technical assistance and business consulting services.
Hacienda CDC Community Economic Development: Serving low income microentrepreneurs at any stage of business development, the organization offers a culturally-specific Microenterprise Program that incubates businesses by providing training, access to capital and selling opportunities, affordable commercial kitchen rental and, in the future, retail space at the Portland Mercado.
Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO): MESO improves the economic opportunities of underserved individuals through empowerment, education, and entrepreneurship for the benefit of families in the greater
Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs: Participants in the Association can access the Incubator With Walls or the Incubator Without Walls. Both offer market rates, individual technical assistance, counseling with OAME’s staff or volunteers, cooperative marketing and business growth, and development support.
Women Of Mindful Business (WOMB): WOMB helps women create a natural framework for business and marketing efforts, and is a platform for collaboration with a small group of heart-centered entrepreneurs and opportunity to learn to weave the feminine into your business.