Business accelerator mini-boom continues

| Print |  Email
Written by Linda Baker   
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
BY LINDA BAKER | OREGON BUSINESS EDITOR

01.24.13 Thumbnail MentorNew business accelerators sprout, underscoring their importance to the entrepreneurial ecosystem while raising questions about incubator success rates.
 
 

BY This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | OREGON BUSINESS EDITOR

01.24.13 Blog MentorOregon may be a startup state, a region that is churning out entrepreneurs at a lightning pace.  But increasingly, it’s also becoming the accelerator state.  Over the past few years, almost a dozen business incubators have launched, including The Portland Seed FundPortland Incubator Experiment, TiE Westside IncubatorPortland State University Business Incubator, Founder's Pad, and the Sustainable Valley Technology Group.

As of this spring, add the following four to that list:

The corporate accelerator: Starting in March, Nike will host its first Nike+ Accelerator program, which will host 10 companies for a three-month immersive, mentor-driven startup accelerator. The Nike+ Accelerator will accept applications from companies aiming to use Nike+ technology to create products and services across a broad range of activity and health goals including training, coaching, gaming, data visualization and quantified self.

The university accelerator: Oregon State University recently launched a Venture Accelerator with $380,000 from the OSU College of Business, Office for Commercialization and Corporate Development, and the University Venture Development Fund. It’s designed to identify innovation or research findings that might form the basis for profitable companies, and streamline their development with the legal, marketing, financial and mentoring needs that turn good ideas into real-world businesses.

The signature research accelerator: This spring, the Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI) plans to open and operate a 13,000 square-foot multi-tenant bioscience complex in the South Waterfront district. The OTRADI Bioscience Incubator (OBI) will house up to six companies.

The farm accelerator: As the Oregonian reported yesterday, the pending Headwaters Farm incubator is designed to help aspiring small farmers gain skills and experience. It is owned by the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, which last May paid $1.5 million for 61 acres of the Schaeffer Nursery to turn it into a farm incubator.

In just a few short years, accelerators have become a inextricable part of the entrepreneurial landscape. But if they are an important part of the mix, their growing numbers also raise questions about overkill. There are now so many business accelerators in Oregon that accelerators themselves might be considered startups. And startups, as we all know, can fail. Already, at least two Oregon incubators have changed business models in the past year.

The proliferating number of  incubators also suggests they are becoming either an adjunct or substitute for college or graduate school programs, with accelerators churning out startups much as universities churn out new graduates. Since a successful incubator should be rated according to the success of participating companies,  I queried a few managers about the impact of their organizations. I will post responses as they come in.

Portland Incubator Experiment general manager Rick Turoczy provided the following estimates:

* More than 40 startups have come through PIE
* Those startups have generated more than $100 million in valuation
* Those startups have created more than 200 jobs in an industry with one of the highest average salaries
* One company has officially shut down
* Three companies have been acquired

Incubator efficacy is an especially timely issue in light of a recent study showing that venture capital investment in Oregon plunged nearly 50 percent last year to $124 million. Today, more people are going to college and fewer are landing well-paying jobs after graduation.  Today, more aspiring business owners are eager to jump on the incubator bandwagon. Whether they will actually create jobs or land capital post incubator experience is the question.

Updated: FoundersPad program manager Molly Mount reports that two sessions of founders have gone through the 12-week accelerator program since the company was conceived late 2011,  generating 25.5 new jobs and raising $620,000 to launch eleven new businesses. 

 

Comments   

 
Guest
0 #1 Real Estate BrokerGuest 2013-01-26 00:25:11
When starting an incubator does one need to provide the ability for individuals to acquire loans or other methods of financial aid? Secondly, how can an incubator successfully aid in recruiting potential start up businesses especially local business?

Thank you
Randy L. Shaw
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Beneath the Surface

May 2015
Thursday, April 23, 2015
0515-goodhacker01 250pxwBY LINDA BAKER

On April 1 I attended a forum at the University of Portland on the sharing economy. The event featured panelists from Lyft and Airbnb, as well as Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. Asked about the impact of tech-driven sharing economy services. Hales said the new business models are reshaping the landscape. “But,” he added, “I don’t pretend to understand how a lot of this [technology] works.” 


Read more...

The ancient fish that stops bullets

The Latest
Friday, May 08, 2015
hagfishthumbBY CHRIS NOBLE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Hagfish may not have evolved much over the last 300 million years, but their protein-heavy slime promises advances in super-materials.


Read more...

6 development projects reshaping Bend

The Latest
Thursday, April 09, 2015
bendthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Bend has reclaimed its prerecession title as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.


Read more...

5 questions for Flywheel CEO Rakesh Mathur

The Latest
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
FW splashBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Portland is awash in rideshare options. We ask the head of Flywheel what sets his app apart.


Read more...

Knight Cancer Challenge No Biotech Dream

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The Knight challenge is an important instance of philanthropy. But we should not assume it will magically transform OHSU into a business- and job-spinning engine for the local economy.


Read more...

5 highlights from the Angel Oregon Showcase

The Latest
Thursday, April 23, 2015
IMG 5069BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The entrepreneurial spirit was alive and well at the Oregon Angel showcase, an annual event for angel investors and early stage entrepreneurs.


Read more...

Picture This

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

As a general rule, the more people with autism can be provided with visual cues, the better they will be able to understand and manage their environment. It’s a lesson Tom Keating learned well. The 61-year-old Eugene grant writer spent 31 years taking care of his autistic brother James, and in the late 1980s developed a spreadsheet that created a series of nonsense characters that grew or shrank depending on how much money James had in his account. 


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS