CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Advantage Accelerator/ RAIN Corvallis team at Oregon State University has hired two “entrepreneurs in residence” to expand current programing, support program graduates, and help identify and assist new, high-growth potential ventures.
The two executives will provide guidance to companies during the critical early-startup growth stage, help develop ideas and guide companies toward making these ideas a reality, officials say.
"EIRs have been hired to do three specific tasks for the OSU Advantage Accelerator program,” said Karl Mundorff, co-director of the program. “We want them to help determine the viability of research projects, act as mentors to our mentors, and provide mentoring to our rapidly growing range of client companies.”
It’s also possible, Mundorff said, that the executives could take a “deep dive” into a promising, high-growth venture and act in an interim, senior executive role as the company works through a particular market challenge, or just needs some additional talent at a critical time. EIRs can bring significant value to early stage ventures and help bridge the gap between initial company viability and quality market traction, he said.
The new “entrepreneurs in residence are:
- Erick Petersen, an entrepreneur in Portland and Bend for more than 15 years, part of the founding team behind the Bend Venture Conference and an active angel investor. Petersen, an OSU alumnus, spent 10 years as an executive at Planar Systems, and most recently was an executive at a successful Bend company in the solar power industry.
- Mike Magee, a serial entrepreneur for more than 30 years in the Corvallis area and a champion of entrepreneurship, launched the first “Startup Weekend” and mentored a wide array of founders and their firms. His own successful technology ventures have ranged from hardware, software and services, to synthetic fuels and Belle Vallee Cellars, a successful local winery.
The OSU Advantage Accelerator is one component of the Oregon Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, or Oregon RAIN. With support from the Oregon legislature, collaborators on the initiative include OSU; the University of Oregon; the cities of Eugene, Springfield, Corvallis and Albany; and other economic development organizations.
All the participants are focused on creating new businesses, spinning out technology from OSU, expanding existing local business, creating jobs and helping to build the Oregon and national economy.