Meet the nine startups in our next class

After a highly competitive round of applications, the RAIN Eugene Accelerator is excited to announce the nine startups forming the first class of 2015— Bloxi, Cognitopia Software, Dyscover.Me, eFormatter, Flash PV, Light Dance, NemaMetrix, Patient Advantaged Care Tech Solutions, and VoteOverIt.com.

“I am excited to see so many new founders and companies joining the startup community in Eugene,” said Joe Maruschak, Chief Startup Officer and Director of the RAIN Eugene Accelerator, “I look forward to seeing the new connections that will be made this year during the accelerator class—new connections bring new possibilities.”

A partnership between the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce and the University of Oregon, the RAIN Eugene Accelerator is the local node of the Oregon Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network (RAIN), a consortium of entrepreneurs, government, higher education, and the business community. RAIN seeks to create a collaborative environment to assist entrepreneurs in establishing viable companies that generate jobs, wealth and opportunities in Oregon’s South Willamette Valley.

The startups in the second class are involved in a diverse array of industries, reflecting the growing strength and variety within the Eugene startup community:

  • Bloxi, founded by Nate Bernstein and Tom Emmons, is a social quiz website that allows users to engage with entertaining and interesting content created by a community of individuals and brands.
  • Cognitopia, founded by Tom Keating, develops easy to use self-management applications for individuals with cognitive disabilities and those who care about
  • Dyscover.Me, founded by Galen Mittermann, provides easy applicant tracking for small to medium sized businesses.
  • eFormatter, founded by Angie Bolton-Lyons, is a customized cloud-based middleware solution.
  • Flash PV, founded by Andrew Ritenour, is developing an improved solar cell that will make solar energy cheaper and more effective.
  • Light Dance, founded by Dylan Garret, Paul Garret and Craig Goodwin, designs products that enhance the emotional experience of listening to music by adding perfectly synchronized visuals.
  • NemaMetrix, founded by Janis Weeks and Shawn Lockery and managed by CEO Matt Beaudet,
  • Patient Advantaged Care Tech Solutions (PACTS), founded by Lindy Stewart and Ron Little, offers healthcare information technology solutions and products.
  • VoteOverIt.com, founded by Tony Marostica and Martin Baker, is a micro-polling platform for the web that makes interacting online for everyday users more interesting, engaging, and productive.

Two of the startups stem from research conducted at the University of Oregon— Flash PV, founded by graduate student Andrew Ritenour with guidance from his advisor, Shannon Boettcher, and NemaMetrix, a spin-off from research by Shawn Lockery and Janis Weeks of the UO’s Institute of Neuroscience.

The University of Oregon is not the only upper education institution represented in the next class—Ron Little, faculty at Lane Community College, is the founder of PACTS.

The entrepreneurial infrastructure in Eugene has grown significantly since the launch of the first accelerator class in July 2014. A full 2/3 of the companies accepted into the RAIN Eugene Accelerator received support from Fertilab Thinkubator, a non-profit startup incubator in the Eugene/Springfield area. Cognitopia, Flash PV, Light Dance, and VoteOverIt.com all completed Fertilab’s new ID8 pre-accelerator program. The program provides important support and mentorship to concept stage companies and founders as they begin to plan their path forward.

The sixteen founders in the RAIN Eugene Accelerator will receive hands-on startup training, mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs, opportunities to meet and work with founders and industry experts, and access to a shared co-working space.

The intensity of the program reflects the harsh reality of the startup world, where companies fail on a regular basis, says Pat Jones, Associate Vice President for Research & Innovation at the University of Oregon.

“Part of the purpose of the RAIN Eugene Accelerator is to rapidly discover if an idea is ready to succeed in the market,” Jones says. “Some companies will accelerate up and out, while others will return to the incubation phase prepared to revisit their ideas.”

Ultimately, Jones says, the RAIN Eugene Accelerator will help generate stronger startups. Companies will graduate from the program knowing they have the potential for growth, hiring and long-term success.

RAIN aims to help the region transition to a knowledge-based future where creativity, innovation and technology drive the economy. By sponsoring venture accelerators in Corvallis and Eugene, the Oregon Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network aims to provide emerging companies with the resources and infrastructure they need to succeed.

Link: http://raineugene.org

Contact: Andrew Stiefel, info@raineugene.org, (541) 346-3157

About RAIN Eugene

Supporting the local innovation ecosystem in the cities of Eugene and Springfield, RAIN Eugene works to connect local and regional efforts serving the entrepreneurial community to create high-impact, innovative, traded-sector companies that can grow and thrive in the region. RAIN Eugene is managed as a virtual nonprofit by the City of Eugene, the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce and the University of Oregon.

About Oregon RAIN

The Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network (RAIN) is an Oregon consortium of government, higher education, and the business community. RAIN was founded by Governor John Kitzhaber’s Regional Solutions network and funded by the 77th Oregon State Legislative Assembly to advance the formation of high-growth innovative startup companies throughout the South Willamette Valley.

In coordination with the cities of Corvallis and Eugene, as well as communities throughout the region, RAIN is partnered with two accelerators to create a collaborative environment to assist entrepreneurs in establishing viable companies that generate jobs, wealth and opportunities for the region. RAIN Corvallis is served by the Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator. The RAIN Eugene Accelerator is a partnership between the University of Oregon and the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information about RAIN, visit www.oregonrain.org.