FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Douglas County Is Building an Infrastructure for Entrepreneurship
Angel Investment Is the Next Piece of the Puzzle Being Put into Place
Private Investors Join the Effort to Transform a Rural Economy
Roseburg, Oregon July 10, 2013
Roseburg may have a sleepy reputation, but local entrepreneurs are building dynamic companies. Companies that were recently established in Roseburg or moved to the area and are growing include: Invictus < http://www.invictusus.com >, Willowood USA < http://www.willowoodusa.com/ > , and Pure Bulk < http://purebulk.com/ >. They join more well-established companies, such as TMS Call Centers <http://www.tmscallcenters.com/ >, First Call Resolution < http://www.1callres.com/ >, and North River Boats < http://www.northriverboats.com/ >, all of which have expanded significantly within the last year. As of one year ago, there were no locally-owned brewers operating in central Douglas County; there are now three (Draper, http://www.draperbrewing.com/; Too Shy, http://www.twoshybrewing.com/; Old 99, http://old99brewing.com/), with two more preparing to come “on-line” (Dog Barrel, https://www.facebook.com/Dogbarrel ; Backside Brewing).
A new effort is being put together to build on this momentum—and support the next round of private sector economic development.
RAIN (Roseburg area Angel Investment Network) is an effort to foster a better environment for entrepreneurship in Douglas County. The primary vehicle is a private company (an LLC), through which local investors are coming together to invest in one early stage company. (The conference model for angel investment has been tested and used repeatedly by regional angel investment groups in Oregon. See: http://www.uedpartnership.org//rain/resources/ .)
“Often Angel Investors are friends or mentors who see potential in an idea and decide to fund it. In our case, we can come together as a group of committed community members and provide investor capital and resources to help a great idea get off the ground and hopefully help drive a new economic engine and jobs for our community.”
-Toby Luther, President/CEO, Lone Rock Resources
“I believe a local Angel’s network offering a source of counsel and capital to emerging new businesses can be an essential and exciting element of developing a diverse and sustainable economy in our community.”
The larger effort, being organized by The Partnership for Economic Development in Douglas County and the Umpqua Business Center, includes a business plan competition, a series of training events, and a conference in November (November 13 at the Danny Lang Center at Umpqua Community College).
The primary goals are:
- Increase seed capital availability for regional early stage companies.
- Build awareness and knowledge of local entrepreneurs and investors about direct equity investment.
RAIN is a community effort of investors and local resources. Entrepreneurs will receive hands-on experience in developing a business plan, pitching an equity investor, and understanding deal structure. Our local investor community will be trained on how to evaluate potential direct equity investments and how to structure such investments.
LAUNCH & CONCEPT COMPETITIONS
Launch Investment—a private equity investment
RAIN is calling for the best and brightest early stage companies to compete for an estimated $125,000 seed capital investment.
The RAIN LLC invites applications from the following types of businesses:
- Companies with a potential for growth/scalability.
- Companies with some evidence of a market in terms of revenues are preferred, but exceptional pre-revenue companies with a high degree of advancement in the development of products and intellectual property are also welcome to apply.
- At a minimum, companies should have proof of concept or prototypes.
- Successful applicants are likely seeking a round of funding from $150,000 to half a million dollars.
- Oregon businesses only
Investors have a strong preference for local or regional companies. Firms must be willing to give up a portion of their equity in return for this investment.
Application instructions will be available through www.rainangel.org .The deadline for submission will be September 9, 2013.
“As an entrepreneur, I know that finding capital to bring that fledgling idea into the market can be a big challenge. If you’ve got a great idea and a burning desire to share it with the world, RAIN is here to help you make it happen.”
-Trevor Mauch, onCarrott
Concept Stage Business Plan Competition
For those companies that are not yet ready for a “Launch Stage” investment, a “Concept Stage” grant is available. The prize will include a package worth $5,000, including a cash grant of at least $2,000, 6 months of tenancy at the Umpqua Business Center, and discounted professional services.
The application process is very similar to the ”Launch Stage” application, but the winner will be selected by a popular vote of attendees at the RAIN Conference.
Finalists for both the Launch Stage and Concept Stage awards will be invited to make a public pitch at the November 13 conference and the winners will be announced at the conference.
Palo Alto Software and Dotty Stapleton of TMS Call Centers are sponsoring the cash award.
RESOURCES TO SUPPORT ENTREPRENEURS IN DOUGLAS COUNTY
A specialized training program is being offered to assist local residents as they prepare to compete for funding.
1. Biz Plan Training: Caroline Cummings of Palo Alto Software (which is a sponsor the Concept Stage competition) will provide a training on business planning with an eye towards securing investor support. August 7, 2013, 5 p.m., at The Loft in Downtown Roseburg (950 SE Oak Street). (See: http://www.paloalto.com/about-us/leadership/caroline_cummings )
Palo Alto Software will be providing access to their business planning software at no cost to RAIN applicants.
2. Sources of Funding: Scott Sandler (Fund Manager, Oregon Angel Fund) will provide a training on the varieties of equity capital available for early stage companies. August 28, 2013 at the Umpqua Business Center. (See: http://www.oregonangelfund.com/team )
3. Pitch Training: Speakers TBA. September.
The RAIN effort is supplementing – and building upon – a variety of other resources available in the area that are also working to support small business growth. These resources include:
The Umpqua Business Center (UBC): a business incubator located in downtown Roseburg.
Umpqua Community College’s Small Business Development Center, housed at UBC.
NeighborWorks Umpqua: a regional community development corporation supporting micro-enterprise development through several programs.
Young Entrepreneur Society of Umpqua: individuals meeting and networking to support the climate of entrepreneurship.
These groups, with support from corporate and governmental sponsors, recently presented a StartUp Weekend at UBC and the second annual Douglas County Entrepreneur Fair.
ORGANIZING THE RAIN EFFORT
Greg Byrne is the Managing Member of the RAIN LLC. Greg Byrne is the Chief Financial Officer for Lone Rock Resources, an owner and manager of timberlands and commercial real estate headquartered in Roseburg, Oregon. Prior to joining Lone Rock Resources, Mr. Byrne was a principal of a consultancy providing companies with advisory services related to business mergers & acquisitions, strategic analysis, and financial analysis. Mr. Byrne has served as the Chief Financial Officer for several other public and private companies, and began his career with Coopers Lybrand, now PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Toby Luther, Paul Utz and Lew Marks are leading our investor recruitment.
Toby Luther is the Chief Executive Officer for Lone Rock Resources, a 60-year old diversified real estate and resource company based in Roseburg, Oregon. Lone Rock’s ownership includes 125,000 acres of timberland in Southern Oregon and commercial real estate direct and partnership holdings throughout the United States. In addition, Mr. Luther serves on the Advisory Board to Rosemont Realty and the Board of Managers for Rosemont Real Estate. Mr. Luther has also served as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for Lone Rock. Prior to joining Lone Rock in 2001, Mr. Luther served as the Corporate Controller for a publicly traded timber company and was a licensed Certified Public Accountant having worked at Coopers & Lybrand and PricewaterhouseCoopers LP. Toby serves on the boards of the Ford Family Foundation, Wildlife Safari, Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Umpqua Valley Cal Ripken and Umpqua Training & Employment.
Paul Utz retired after 35 year career as a technologist and small business owner/CEO specializing in emerging technologies in the field of lasers and electro-optics. He is a University of Michigan engineering graduate. Paul has lived in Roseburg, with his wife Lory for 14 years, with an enduring interest and commitment to community and economic development. Past member of the USFS Rogue/Umpqua and BLM Roseburg District Resource Advisory Committees. Past member of the Jefferson Public Radio Foundation Board. Member of the Linus Oakes Retirement Center Board. Sponsor of the Marion J. Utz Memorial Nursing and Engineering Scholarship Programs at UCC. Member of the UCC Engineering Advisory Committee.
Trevor Mauch is leading our company recruitment. Trevor is a serial entrepreneur. He lives in Oregon where he golfs, mountain bikes, and experiments on the internet. He loves marketing and entrepreneurship and founded or co-founded The Loft Entrepreneur Co-Workspace, Automize, Mach One Media, and the Young Entrepreneur Society of Umpqua. His current business development venture is onCarrot <http://oncarrot.com >.
Steve Vincent of Avista Utilities and the Oregon Entrepreneur Network (OEN) are providing advice and technical assistance.
Lorie Harris Hancock is providing legal advice to the LLC.
Chuck Chappell of Wicks Emmett has agreed to provide accounting services.
The Partnership for Economic Development in DouglasCounty is providing administrative support for the effort.
The Partnership for Economic Development in Douglas County, formerly known as the Umpqua Economic Development Partnership, was established in 2001 to be the lead collaborative economic development organization in the region. The Founding Partners were: the City of Roseburg, Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Douglas County Industrial Development Board, and CCD Business Development Corporation. www.uedpartnership.org
The Umpqua Business Center (UBC) is an integral part of a comprehensive economic development plan for Douglas County, accelerating the development of start-up businesses in a business incubation setting. Developing local, homegrown businesses complements regional efforts to encourage expansion, retention and attraction of companies. The long-range goal is to create new, stable and successful businesses that contribute to the general economic health of the area, increase employment opportunities and add to the variety of products and services available to its citizens.
Business incubators often work with angel investors. According to surveys of the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA), about 61 percent link clients to angel or venture capital investors. It’s no surprise that angel investors tend to hover over business incubators as businesses that have been accepted into an incubator offer due diligence value to potential investors. In a way, they have already passed an important litmus test by simply being there.
Additionally, incubators attract sources of capital because of the simple economics of convenience. Rather than searching for potential deals, investors can easily find a multitude of investment opportunities under one roof. Finally, incubators make invested dollars go much further with economical rents, shared services, access to professional training all at low and sometimes no cost. Investors gain a real sense of comfort that their investment will last longer and take the business farther than might be true within a conventional business environment. umpquabusiness.com
For additional information:
The Partnership for Economic Development in Douglas County
(541) 492-2820; (541) 974-8066 (cell)
Lone Rock Resources