It has been a busy and exciting spring for all things entrepreneurial and tech in Eugene. In May, start-ups from Eugene swept the awards at the Willamette Angel Conference (WAC). The WAC brings together investors and entrepreneurs seeking funding for their startup companies. Locally owned Moonshadow Mobile, Red Duck Foods, and Cricket Flours all received investment awards at the conference.
Shortly thereafter, Alaska Airlines announced it will be offering non-stop flights between Eugene and San Jose, California – establishing an important link between the Silicon Valley and what has become known as the Silicon Shire, Eugene’s own quickly growing tech sector.
At the same time, RAIN Eugene, our Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network, graduated its second class of startup companies which included biotech, business services and marketing firms. In addition, the University of Oregon began planning its renovation of 942 Olive which was provided by the City to create an entrepreneurial hub in the heart of downtown and house the RAIN Eugene accelerator.
Last week, high speed fiber internet service went “live” in two downtown buildings – offering exponentially faster internet connections to local businesses. The City of Eugene, Lane Council of Governments (LCOG) and the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) partnered the pilot project that supports internet speeds reaching up to 1 GB per second, with the hope of expanding to more of downtown in the future.
While exciting in its own right, this flurry of spring activity also underscores the impact of the City’s strategic investments and partnerships that have helped promote downtown revitalization, support targeted business sectors, and create the conditions for economic prosperity to flourish.