Portland’s Business Incubators and Accelerators
In the latest Federal rankings, Oregon is fourth among US states in job growth, and Portland is eighth among all US cities. 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 35 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 your 2016 directory for local incubators helping small businesses thrive. Let us know in the comments if we missed anyone!
Impact Entrepreneurs: Embedded in PSU’s School of Business Administration, Impact Entrepreneurs provides an online Certificate in Social Innovation for students and community members, the Social Innovation Incubator for more established ventures, and leadership trainings for the staff of large organizations.
HATCH: A set of linked offerings for social entrepreneurs and community businesses, Hatch offers co-working and office space, member workshops and public events, and a platform for equity crowdfunding in Oregon.
II. General Business Incubators, Accelerators, and Co-working Spaces
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.
CENTRL Office: A collaborative workspace in Portland’s Pearl District providing flexible full-service workspace for leading entrepreneurs, free agents, start ups, and work groups in the historic GE Supply Co. building.
Entrepreneurs’ Organization Portland Accelerator: Provides educational small-group meetings for entrepreneurs and ties to EO’s global network of successful business owners.
Forge Portland: Forge is a shared workspace where members have access to free accounting templates, legal referral, business
development, mentorship and intern placement.
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.
Mercy Corps NW: Mercy Corps NW supports small businesses and entrepreneurs through microloans, matched business grants, and small business classes taught by business professionals.
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.
Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN): OEN is the parent organization for Angel Oregon and the Young Entrepreneurs Society of Portland, and hosts a number of events and workshops designed for businesses at every stage of launch and growth.
The Professional Collective: A co-working space in Hillsboro with networking and educational events for entrepreneurs.
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.
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.
Startup PDX Challenge: Hosted by the Portland Development Commission, this annual competition connects startups to Portland’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem and provides funding and workspace.
TenX: An open source, business frameworks education company, TenX provides content, events, conferences & learning programs to generate growth & acceleration for high potential organizations & individuals.
WeWork Custom House: The Portland branch of the well-known global co-working/event space and entrepreneurial community.
III. Tech Incubators and Accelerators
e1ectr0n: A hardware incubator, powered by Axiom Electronics, that provides manufacturing and engineering capability to startups.
Jaguar Land Rover Innovation Incubator: Focused on supporting technology startups developing new in-car entertainment, communications, and interaction technology.
Oregon BEST: The Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center provides funding, grant connections, links to investors, and research and commercialization support for cleantech entrepreneurs.
Oregon Technology Business Center (OTBC): OTBC helps entrepreneurs identify and attain their goals at every stage by providing entrepreneurs with office space, access to coaching, workshops and seminars.
The OTRADI Bioscience Incubator (OBI): A bioscience-specific accelerator that provides scientists and young companies with the resources and expertise needed to take their research from the lab to the market.
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): Recognized by the NBIA as the top tech incubator in the US, and by UBI as one of the top 25 in the world, the PSBA offers office and lab space, networking events, and educational workshops for tech and bioscience startups.
IV. Creative, Craft, Culinary and Design Incubators and Accelerators
ADX: ADX is a 12,000-square foot facility that combines membership, fabrication services, classes and co-working to make ADX a hub for design and innovation in Portland.
KitchenCru: A shared-use community kitchen and culinary incubator that supports culinary entrepreneurs in developing, operating, and growing a successful business.
Oregon State University Food Innovation Center: The Food Innovation Center partners with the Department of Food Science and Technology to provide educational programs and with the SBDC to provide support to local food startups.
Oregon Story Board Accelerator: Through mentorship, co-working space, collaboration and networking, the Oregon Storyboard Accelerator is helping a budding industry of digitally-enabled storytellers thrive in Oregon.
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.
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.
Women’s Plaza: opening in 2016, Women’s Plaza will offer co-w0rking space, childcare, catered meals, wellness advisors, and networking opportunities.
Note: we periodically update this post to ensure that it remains timely. Last update: April 18, 2016. Header photo by Cacophony, used through CC Attribution-Share Alike license.