Community Resources

Mentoring at the University of Oregon

OVPRI Innovation Network: The OVPRI Innovation Network connects UO faculty to experienced mentors who offer guidance and support while opening doors to private industry. Our mentors bring business skills and relationships that can help faculty expand the scope of their research, broaden its impact, and shorten the amount of time needed to get innovative ideas into our community.

Women's Innovation Network: The Women's Innovation Network (WIN) is an academic year long program that helps faculty, graduate students, and entrepreneurs in our community navigate gender-based barriers to bringing their research to market or launching and sustaining their businesses. WIN offers monthly seminars open to all and targeted support for cohort members through social events, intentional networking, and targeted mentoring.

UO Innovation Initiative: The UO Innovation Initiative fosters a community of partners and serves as a hub of resources and activities. The initiative bolsters research commercialization, enhances entrepreneurship in Oregon, and propels the work of UO students, faculty, and staff into the world.

Provost's Mentoring Initiative: This initiative bundles mentoring resources for programs across campus.

Mentoring and Programming

NSF I-Corps Method: NSF I-Corps Method trains faculty, researchers and students in commercializing university research, while building the connective tissue for deeper, more impactful public-private networks. Through free online classes offered monthly, teams learn the basics of customer discovery and apply them immediately  to “get out of the building” and interview 15 potential customers. Eligible teams may then apply to the National I-Corps program that includes a $50k grant for customer discovery activities.

UO Innovation Initiative Listserv: The UO Innovation Initiative hosts a number of events across campus for faculty and entrepreneurs. Join the mailing list or attend an upcoming event

Compliance Resources

Conflict of Commitment and Interest Approvals: The UO requires faculty to manage conflicts of interest and conflicts in commitment. This document outlines considerations for navigating conflict of interest and commitment. See also Financial Conflict of Interest in Research (II.06.01) and Conflict of Commitment and Outside Activities (I.02.02). 

Business Consultants

Oregon Consulting Group: This student-run consulting agency offers research, analysis, insights, strategies, and business plans at a fraction of the cost of a traditional consultant.

Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship: LCE trains the next generation of entrepreneurs by combining a solid foundation of business theory with experiential learning. These students can work with university start-ups to provide market analysis and business strategy support.

Startup Curricula and Resources

Steve Blank Startup Tools: Renowned entrepreneur and instructor Steve Blank provides numerous startup tools, videos, and blogs with advice.

Udacity: How to Build a Startup: With Steve Blank as the instructor, this free online and self-paced course provides insight into key steps needed to build a successful startup.

UO Libraries Databases: The UO subscribes to many databases that can provide essential information for conducting business research on companies, industries, and markets.

Eugene Chamber of Commerce: The Eugene Chamber of Commerce offers economic development programs, business advocacy, and talent and leadership development. They also host events and programming designed to support local businesses.

Accelerators and Incubators

Eugene-Springfield Area

Onward Eugene ID8 and Launchpad Programs: Onward Eugene is a community organization supporting prosperity for all through their programs that advocate for and support entrepreneurship and local businesses in the Eugene community. They offer business programs, mentoring, and leadership development.

Oregon RAIN: Oregon RAIN partners with communities to catalyze ecosystems, connect entrepreneurs to resources, and contribute to the creation of prosperous economics. Oregon RAIN offers training programs and mentoring for entrepreneurs.

Oregon and Pacific Northwest Region

Creative Destruction Lab-Vancouver: CDL is an objective-based mentorship program that supports participating ventures in accelerating their trajectory as they work to scale ambitious tech-based businesses. Over a period of nine months, participating ventures attend five full-day Sessions during which CDL Mentors – a collective of leading entrepreneurs, experienced operators and subject matter experts – help to set three objectives for ventures to prioritize over the following eight weeks.

Creative Destruction Lab-Seattle: CDL-Seattle is located in Seattle at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. For more than 100 years, Foster has fueled Seattle’s renowned innovation, imagination, and ingenuity. Foster faculty and students nurture rich partnerships with Seattle’s many iconic companies, driving our pioneering community forward.

Portland Incubator Experience: Portland Incubator Experiment — known more commonly as PIE — has become an ongoing experiment designed to enable established organizations — corporations, government, and educational institutions, among others — to more effectively collaborate with startup communities in mutually beneficial ways. Throughout its history, PIE has served as a curated co-working space, a community event space, a startup accelerator, a flashpoint for corporate innovation, an accelerator for accelerators, and a home-away-from-home for startup types

Oregon Business and Industry: OBI is recognized statewide as a leader in policy development, and our entire team works tirelessly to ensure our members’ voices are heard in important policy discussions that will impact Oregon businesses.


UO Internal Programs

Professional Services for Inventors: This grant mechanism provides support to inventors for the types of professional services needed to successfully launch a new invention-based company, including grant writers for SBIR submission, web development, pitch coaching, legal counsel, accounting advice, or business intelligence research.

UO Startup Programs

Translational Research Fund: Translational research involves transforming fundamental research or early-stage innovations into more commercially viable products and services or even a new business. Traditionally, this type of research has been difficult to fund because it falls in the gap between the “basic research” mandate of federal agencies, and the more product-oriented goals of commercial entities. The VPRI-IF translational research program fills this gap.

Eugene-Springfield Community

Business Growth Loans: Business Growth Loans are accessible for new and existing businesses and nonprofits in Eugene through the federal Community Development Block Grant program. This fund was established to create jobs while stimulating private sector investment. These loans help organizations grow, evolve or stabilize by addressing credit barriers and providing flexible financing options.

Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI): ONAMI has shepherds technological breakthroughs from the lab to the marketplace. They offer numerous events and early-stage investment opportunities.


Business Oregon Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR): Business Oregon offers a support program that complements the federal program to help Oregon companies that are pursuing or have received these federal grants.

VertueLab: VertueLab is a nonprofit fighting climate change by providing funding and holistic entrepreneurial support to climate tech startups. VertueLab offers training programs and assistance in applying for federal funding.

Clean Tech Fundraising: This spreadsheet lists possible funding sources for startups focusing on clean tech. Sources include venture capital and grant opportunities. This list was compiled by Tanya Barham, CEO and founder of Community Energy Labs, and shared with VertueLab. Shared here with permission.


Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR): This federal funding program enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization.

Angel Organizations

Oregon Entrepreneurship Network: OEN helps entrepreneurs start up and scale up by connecting them to peers and mentors, startup funding opportunities, and hands-on training. 

Chemical Angels Network: The Chemical Angel Network serves the qualified angel investor by sourcing and presenting quality investment opportunities. Its mission is to provide financial capital and experienced mentorship to seed stage chemical companies.

Venture Capital

Portland Seed Fund: The Portland Seed Fund is a top-performing early-stage venture fund focused on investments in Portland the Pacific Northwest.

Rogue Venture Partners: Rogue Venture Partners provides early-stage funding for technology companies.

Cascade Investment Fund: The Cascade Investment Fund focuses on the direct equity investments in sectors with long-term growth prospects.

Elevate Capital: Elevate Capital offers seed funding for entrepreneurs.

Oregon Venture Fund: The Oregon Venture Fund connects ambitious entrepreneurs with expertise and capital. They invest as much as $4M+ or as little as $500k in four to seven companies per year.

Voyager Capital: Voyager has over $520 million under management in B2B, early-stage venture capital. They focus on software, cloud, and big data applications.

Co-Working Spaces in Eugene-Springfield

CodeChops: CodeChops provides co-working spaces in downtown Eugene.

Onward: Onward Eugene is a community organization supporting prosperity for all through their programs that advocate for and support entrepreneurship and local businesses in the Eugene community. They offer business programs, mentoring, and leadership development.

Oregon Technology Business Center: OTBC helps entrepreneurs and startups build and grow companies. They provide mentoring, trainings, and space for startups.

Technical Services

Shared Research Facilities at the UO Available to Companies

Technical Services Administration: UO Technical Services Administration designs and repairs scientific instruments.

Research Core Business Services: Research Core Business Services provides financial data and business support to research service centers.

Genomics and Cell Characterization Facility: GC3F supports scientific research at the UO by making a broad array of high-end specialized instrumentation access to UO researchers for genomics and flow cytometry applications. They offer in-house sequencing sample prep services for both internal and external users.

Tyler Invention Greenhouse: The Tyler Invention Greenhouse builds upon the UO’s strength in green chemistry, design and innovation to accelerate the infusion of greener products into society – tapping basic research discoveries to meet the compelling national need for sustainable products.

Shared Research Facilities at other Oregon Universities Available to Companies

Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Institute: ATAMI, at Oregon State University, connects industry and high-growth technology and manufacturing startups with OSU resources. They offer access to world-class faculty, facilities, and equipment.