OEN NewsOregon Entrepreneurs Network and The Oregon Community Foundation Launch Third Round of Statewide Entrepreneur Boot Camps

OEN Gorge Bootcamp Grads
Graduates of the 2013 Hood River Boot Camp Program present at the annual Gorge Angel Conference.

The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) is excited to announce its third round of Boot Camps across the state, made possible by a grant from The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF).

The OEN Boot Camps Project allows eligible companies to receive mentorship, training, and education to help them prepare their company for funding and growth, connect to capital and expertise, and add jobs to the economy.

In 2011, OCF awarded OEN a grant to develop the inaugural round of Boot Camp Programs in Bend, Medford and Hood River. OCF renewed its support in 2013, enabling a second round of Boot Camps. To date, 40 companies have graduated; 146 volunteer mentors, coaches and subject matter experts have been recruited and trained; and eight of the graduating companies have connected to over $765,000 in investment.

“Across the state, OEN and its partners continue to see a surge of new entrepreneurs, but only a tiny fraction of these companies will prove to be successful without more support,” says Linda Weston, Executive Director of OEN. “The Oregon Community Foundation’s grant is vital to creating a pipeline of ‘fundable’ companies in the Oregon start up community—particularly in non-metropolitan areas, which have less support infrastructure when it comes to capital and people resources.”

The Boot Camps consist of an eight-to- 12-week program providing a series of sessions on key elements of business plan development including: product, market, organizational development, financials, and legal.  Entrepreneurs are matched with local mentors who help to guide them through the process.  The curriculum is provided through LUXr Boxes, the Oregon Technology Business Center and Avista Utilities.

At the end of each Boot Camp, graduating companies get a chance to pitch their business products and services for exposure to investment, other funding opportunities, expertise, and in some cases to a group of investors.

About Oregon Entrepreneurs Network
Founded in 1991, the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to providing opportunities for Oregon entrepreneurs and improving the business climate for emerging, growth-oriented companies statewide. The organization has members throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. Learn more at www.oen.org.

About The Oregon Community Foundation
The mission of The Oregon Community Foundation is to improve life in Oregon and promote effective philanthropy. OCF works with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds to support community causes. Through these funds, OCF awarded more than $70 million in grants and scholarships in 2013. OCF is a statewide organization with six regional offices. Learn more at www.oregoncf.org.

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