Portland Business Incubators and Accelerators, Part 2 of 5: General Business
By Jacen Greene, Ames Fellow for Social Entrepreneurship at Portland State University
In part two of our week-long series on Portland-area business incubators and accelerators, we cover programs that cater to all kinds of businesses, rather than focusing on any one sector or type of entrepreneur. To see a complete list of our posts and the programs covered in each, please read the first post in the series.
Mercy Corps NW: “We support small businesses and entrepreneurs through microloans, matched business grants, and small business classes taught by business professionals. Our programs include one-on-one business counseling in the areas of legal, record keeping and business plan advising, as well as mentoring small business owners. Mercy Corps Northwest is also the only SBA Women’s Business Center in Oregon, providing funding, matched savings, and other resources to help female entrepreneurs become self-sufficient.” — Randhi Wilson, Training Manager / Women’s Business Center Manager
Portland Ten (P10): ”We’re engaged in creating ten $1MM companies in Portland, OR. Our Sprint and Marathon programs focus on improving every aspect of running a high-growth business, including team development, operations, market development, sales, finance, fundraising, project management, and personal development. Both programs culminate with a challenge to exceed revenue milestones: $100K (Sprint) or $1MM (Marathon) within 18 months.”
“What makes P10 unique is our focus on the well-being of our entrepreneurs (we think rested, stable entrepreneurs are much more effective and productive!), and increasing their ability to build internal capacity. We’ve worked with companies from a diverse range of sectors. Our primary interest is that the founders who join the Sprint and Marathon programs are committed to the process of learning, have the willingness to trade ineffective entrepreneurial habits for improved skills, and are willing to tackle business challenges head on—and to support their peer founders in both failure and success along the way.” — Carolynn Duncan, Founder.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDC): “partnerships between the government and state and community colleges througout Oregon. They are administered by the Small Business Administration and aim to provide educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. SBDC services include financial, marketing, production, organization, international trade and feasibility studies. We can help you develop a business plan, assess a new market, create cash flow projections, control costs, or break into the global marketplace. We also work to strengthen the management side of your business. SBDC services are free to Oregon businesses and entrepreneurs. We do charge a nominal fee for some of our workshops, workbooks, and other materials.” — From the website.
Starve Ups: “Starve Ups is unique as a group for several reasons:
- Exclusivity: Starve Ups membership is exclusive to founders of start-up companies (no service providers, consultants, or investors).
- Pure Peer Mentoring: Starve Ups’ model is 100% peer mentoring—sharing experiences, insights, resources and networks between members. Because of the exclusivity mentioned above, all information shared is kept at the highest level of confidentiality and all advice given is from hard-earned experience.
- No fees: membership in Starve Ups, and attendance at all our events, is at no cost to the (often cash-strapped) founders who participate.
- Proven success rate: The U.S. national success rate of start up companies is 14-16% still operational after 7 years. Starve Ups members’ success rate is the inverse—85% of its past & present 59 member companies are still in business. In addition, 53% have reached profitability, six have been acquired, three have become Inc. 500 companies, and one has reached IPO.”
— Beth Lutz, Executive Director.
The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Westside Incubator: “a program designed to accelerate the successful development of the companies of TiE members. An array of support services, developed by TiE Oregon, is offered to entrepreneurs renting space in the incubator both on site and through our network of contacts. We also have pitch sessions where members can pitch their ideas to angel investors. In addition to the space, each person joining the incubator will be assigned an individual Charter Member to work as a contact person and mentor for their startup.” — From the website.
This post was edited to include an introduction after it was published.