OEN NewsThe Oregon Community Foundation Invests $150,000 in OEN’s Growth Catalyst Initiative

Oregon StartupsPortland, OR – March 8, 2016The William Swindells, Sr. Memorial Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) has committed $150,000 to OEN’s Growth Catalyst Initiative, a five-year effort to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurial communities across the state. This investment represents OCF’s largest economic development grant to date.

The Growth Catalyst Initiative will allow OEN and its regional partners to expand and develop multiple, coordinated, interrelated programs in a way that provides regional education, mentoring and capital to businesses in traded sectors capable of generating job growth and wealth creation.

Specifically, the initiative will:  a) accelerate formation and growth of high impact and traded-sector companies; b) build on current education, mentoring and access-to-capital activities; c) coordinate the work of economic development agencies on innovation and entrepreneurship statewide; and d) help position Oregon as a top 10 place to start and grow companies in the United States.

The OEN Growth Catalyst Initiative will employ regional Growth Catalyst Managers (GCM), who will reside in and serve the Southern Willamette Valley, Central Oregon, and Southern Oregon, in partnership with Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network  (RAIN), Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), and Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. (SOREDI).

“OEN is honored to receive such a substantial investment from OCF, which will greatly improve our capacity to provide advice, connections and capital formation across the state,” says Linda Weston, President and Executive Director of OEN. “OCF’s support of the Growth Catalyst Initiative will ensure the venture continuum.”


About OCF

The mission of The Oregon Community Foundation is to improve life for all Oregonians through the power of  philanthropy. OCF works with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds to support the community causes they care about. Through these funds OCF awards more than $80 million annually in grants and scholarships.

About OEN

OEN connects entrepreneurs to a network of peers and mentors, startup funding opportunities, and hands-on training. A nonprofit, membership-driven organization with a 24-year track record, OEN drives innovation, facilitates job creation, and puts Oregon on the map as a center for entrepreneurial excellence. For more information, visit www.oen.org.


OCF Contact: Melissa Freeman: mfreeman@oregoncf.com or 503.944.2117

OEN Contact: Kerala Taylor, Director of Marketing & Communications: keralat@oen.org or 503.222.2270


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