UO backed startups fuel Oregon economy

University of Oregon-affiliated business startups have brought nearly $40 million in revenue and more than 270 jobs to the state since last summer and that trend is geared to continue.

In just one year, revenue from these companies grew 11.1 percent, while the number of jobs they provided increased by 8.3 percent. During the past year, the UO's "return on innovation" also rose to 8.9 percent.

An average of two UO-backed startups are launched each year. Such growth is likely to remain or even increase if the Oregon State Legislature approves recently proposed plans for the Willamette Valley's Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN), which will create two business accelerator facilities, one in Eugene and another in Corvallis, to house Willamette Valley startup ventures. Each site will include a combination of laboratories, offices, and shared spaces, such as conference and training rooms.

The Lundquist College of Business has strong connections with companies such as Cascade Prodrug, QE Chemicals, Perpetua Power Source Technologies, and Floragenex. The Lundquist College’s Business Innovation Institute will provide an ideal springboard for many more collaborations.

UO Vice President of Research and Innovation Kimberly Andrews Espy noted in a recent article in Open for Business, the magazine of the Eugene Chamber of Commerce, that “Small, innovative technology companies hold great promise for Oregon." She added, "They tend to grow quickly and create stable, high-wage jobs that attract and keep talent in the state, and on a broader scale, create the products that are changing our world."

- from the Lundquist College of Business