Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Corvallis, OR

Corvallis, OR

Despite its small size, Corvallis has a history of entrepreneurial success: the city appeared on Livability and Entrepreneur magazine’s rankings of the best cities for entrepreneurs in both 2016 and 2017.

Corvallis, OR, is located on the West side of the state in Benton County. With an estimated population of just over 55,000, Corvallis is Oregon’s 10th-most populous city. Despite its size, however, Corvallis has a history of entrepreneurial success: the city appeared on Livability and Entrepreneur magazine’s rankings of the best cities for entrepreneurs in both 2016 and 2017.

More recently, Corvallis was also featured in a pair of 2019 rankings done by Verizon. First, it finished second on the company’s list of the most innovative metropolitan areas in the United States; in addition, it was 10th overall on the list of the best small cities to start a small business. Finally, Corvallis also appeared on WalletHub’s 2019 rankings of the best small cities to start a business: 474th overall, with a ranking of 80th in the “Access to Resources” category.

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that make up Corvallis’ entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

Not exclusively intended for entrepreneurs, Corvallis Game Developers provides support to anyone working in game development.

As the name suggests, Marketing Your Small Business Online is a group that helps area small business owners promote themselves and their startups.

By hosting regular meetings and events since its inception in 205, Startup Corvallis helps the area’s entrepreneurship scene grow and develop.

Located just minutes from Corvallis in Albany, Startup Linn-Benton is an organization supporting startups and entrepreneurship in general in Linn and Benton counties.

 

Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

Corvallis’ Business Enterprise Center hosts regular events with the goal of supporting entrepreneurs and business in the Corvallis area.

The Corvallis Chamber of Commerce hosts an array of events for business owners and entrepreneurs, including networking opportunities, workshops and more.

The Willamette Innovators Network, which supports entrepreneurship throughout the region, hosts a variety of regular events, including monthly “Pub Talks.”

 

Startup Competitions:

Students at Oregon State University can compete in the multi-round Next Great Startup competition, where over $20,000 in cash and in-kind prizes are up for grabs.

PitchfestNW is an annual competition held at the TechfestNW conference that pits the Northwest’s best startups against one another.

Entrepreneurs from around the Willamette Valley region are invited to participate in Willamette Innovators Network’s Shark Tank startup competition.

 

Co-working Spaces:

Corvallis Foundry offers co-working memberships, private office space and conference rooms for rent and hosts regular events for its members.

 

Makerspaces:

Students at Oregon State University have access to the school’s DAMlab makerspace and its variety of tools, equipment, computers and more.

Makers of all ages are welcome at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library’s Makers Club, a group that meets regularly during the school year to encourage innovation and creation.

 

Incubators:

The Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Institute (ATAMI) is a program of Oregon State University that works to develop technology-based startups.

The Business Enterprise Center in Corvallis offers networking opportunities, business advising services and a collection of other small business resources in the area.

The Corvallis Benton County Economic Development Office organizes resources that help small business owners and entrepreneurs in the Mid-Willamette Valley region find success.

In addition to providing commercial kitchen space, Pitchfork Incubator Kitchen offers a 12-week incubator program for promising food-based startups.

Just down the road in Albany, Linn-Benton Community College is home to the region’s Small Business Development Center, which offers a number of resources to help businesses grow.

 

Accelerators:

The traditional accelerator program offered by Oregon State University’s Advantage Accelerator is a 10-week program that runs three times per year.

Oregon State University’s Advantage Accelerator also offers the Iterate program, a four-workshop program that helps create successful new entrepreneurs.

The final of three programs offered by OSU’s Advantage Accelerator, Launch lasts five months and is intended to help startup companies take the final step.

The Oregon Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network is a program that brings incubators, accelerators and other business resources to communities around the state, including Corvallis.

 

Colleges/Universities:

In addition to a Small Business Development Center, Linn-Benton Community College offers a certificate program in Entrepreneurship and Small Business.

InnovationX is Oregon State University’s Center for Excellence for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and home to their wide variety of resources inside and out of the classroom.

Western Oregon University’s School of Business and Economics offers its students the chance to earn a minor in entrepreneurship.

 

Angel Groups/VCs:

Oregon Entrepreneurs Network’s Angel Oregon group typically invests between $200,000 and $300,000 in companies throughout the state.

Headquartered in Portland, the Oregon Venture Fund invests in companies, regardless of stage, throughout the state and southwest Washington.

Oregon State University runs a venture capital fund that invests in companies with ties to the university.

Based just down the road in Albany, Willamette Valley Capital invests in promising early-stage startups throughout the state.

 

Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

The Corvallis Gazette-Times, which covers the city’s business news, offers subscribers the ability to receive an e-edition of the paper in their emails.

Those interested in business news from around the state can subscribe to Oregon Business Daily, a daily email newsletter.

The Oregon Business Report sends weekly email updates on the state’s business news to its subscribers.

 

Are you familiar with entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Corvallis not included in the article above?  If so, let us know via a comment below, and we will add it to the article. 

Interested in Ecosystem Spotlights of other cities in the USA?

Sacramento, CA, San Jose, CA, Seattle, WA


Quinn Pilkey

Quinn is a journalism major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also serves as a freelance author for Hashtag Basketball where he writes about the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and at Funding$age where he researches and writes about entrepreneurial ecosystems.