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Starting Up

OPB | July 20, 2011 9:40 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 10:21 p.m.

A new funding source for Oregon startups is giving money to companies in the very early stages of deveopment. The Portland Seed Fund, made up of public and private dollars, announced Tuesday it chose to invest in eight new, local companies. Out of more than 100 that applied for funding, seven software startups made the cut, along with one apparel venture that makes breathable snowboarding gear. The companies get at least $25,000 each and will now embark on an intense 90 days of developing their ideas and business plans with the help of mentors and advisors. 

While other local investment incubators provide mentoring and other services to budding entrepreneurs, the Portland Seed Fund is the first in the state to do so using public as well as private money. The Portland Development Commission helped establish the Seed Fund with an initial $500,000 investment, along with $750,000 from the state-backed Oregon Growth Account and $250,000 from the City of Hillsboro. The idea is that handing taxpayer money to new companies will spur local job growth.

Have you started a company in Oregon? How did you get seed money when you were first starting out? What differences do you see between using public vs. private dollars to start a new venture?

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