Research, Innovation and Graduate Education at UO will serve as a platinum title sponsor for this year’s Startup Weekend Eugene, a three-day event that provides an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas and gain feedback from coaches with experience developing new technology companies.
“Startup Weekend Eugene offers a great networking opportunity for anyone interested in supporting the innovation ecosystem,” said Chuck Williams, assistant vice president for innovation, “The event will draw entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and an array of others looking to help grow our regional economy by supporting homegrown startups.”
Innovation Partnership Services, a division of the office for Research, Innovation and Graduate Education at the UO, will be highlighting the Oregon Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN). The state-funded RAIN program supports new business ventures by providing mentorship, funding, and access to research and laboratory spaces at the UO and Oregon State University. RAIN’s goal is to advance the formation, growth, and retention of tech-based startups in the South Willamette Valley. Partners include the state of Oregon, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce and the South Valley Regional Solutions Center, as well as the cities of Eugene, Springfield, Corvallis and Albany.
The Lundquist College of Business is also participating in this year’s Startup Weekend as a gold level sponsor. Nathan Lillegard, director of the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship at the UO, will be one of the coaches at the event. Lillegard co- founded Floragenex, a University of Oregon technology based startup in Eugene with professor Eric Johnson, after graduating in 2006 with his MBA from the University of Oregon. Professor Johnson recently founded a new UO tech based startup called SNPSaurus, and is currently leasing space at UO as his new company gets off the ground.
The first Eugene Startup Weekend took place last year and drew over 30 participants. The 2012 program generated six successful business plans, including two new local companies, CheckMeOnce and IndieGoHalfsies.
Participants can register through Oct. 11 by visiting the event’s website at http://eugene.startupweekend.com. This year’s Startup Weekend will begin on Friday, Oct. 11 at 6:00 p.m. at the Fertilab Thinkubator in downtown Eugene and will conclude on Sunday, Oct. 13 at 9:00 p.m.