UO opens downtown building to support green start-ups

The University of Oregon’s addition to downtown Eugene opens today.

In February, the university purchased 942 Olive St. from the city for $1. As part of the agreement, “The University agreed to renovate and convert the underutilized structure in a space that would support RAIN, the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network,” according to a press release.

RAIN is a collaborative effort between government, higher education and business communities that helps start-ups develop successful business plans. With programs in Eugene and Corvallis, RAIN emphasizes building networks, connecting resources and stimulating economic development in Oregon.

This building will serve as a central meeting place for collaboration and education for start-ups associated with RAIN and connect them with LCC’s Small Business Development Center.

“It was a good partnership,” Laura Hammond, communication and policy analyst, said over the phone. “Part of it is including their product design program and Tyler Innovation Greenhouse.”

The Tyler Innovation Greenhouse is a program that focuses university efforts on green chemistry, nanoscience and encourages green product ideas.

Keeping in line with the research goals of UO President Michael Schill, this building provides a step-off point for green companies. The service benefits start-ups such as Bike Friday — a business that makes custom, folding bikes, providing renewable, portable transportation.

“To date, 62 companies have graduated from the RAIN accelerators in Eugene and Corvallis, creating over 100 new jobs, and generating almost $2 million in revenues,” according to the press release.

The ribbon cutting ceremony takes place at 3:00 p.m. today.

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Max Thornberry

Max Thornberry

Senior News Editor. Baseball Fan. Martial Artist. Lover of books and words. Follow him on Twitter @Max_Thornberry

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