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Entrepreneurs Looking Forward and Resources to Inform and Educate

Mar 26, 2020

The situation with COVID-19 is evolving rapidly. As we are navigating this ever-changing scenario, we are doing our best to make sure that we are keeping you informed about updates and economic resources available for businesses.  We also want to keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive, so we will be continuing to share content here and on social media that encourage and support entrepreneurial efforts.  

Oregon Manufacturing Partnership has a list of local production opportunities for medical supplies like masks, medical gowns, plastic bottles, etc. If you are a local manufacturer able/ wanting to make these items and can meet the production standards, please send your company contact information and relevant details to and they will pass it along to the appropriate contact.

Applications for the Mid-Valley Angel Fund have been extended! If you are a startup looking for seed funding to get your business to the next level, apply by May 8th. More details about the application process can be found here. Application questions should be directed to Launch Mid-Valley Venture Catalyst Mike White. 

Launch Mid-Valley is also organizing a series of workshops and meetings over Zoom for entrepreneurs. Topics range from Scaling your startup through software, to Social Media Strategies.  Information on the scheduled meetings and various topics can be found here. For details of how to join the meetings contact Mike White.

RAIN Oregon is also offering a series of Zoom workshops for entrepreneurs every Monday, and an Entrepreneur Support Group on Fridays. 


On February 28th, LAUNCH Mid-Valley in Collaboration with McMinnville Economic Development Partnership, hosted a Startup Bootcamp workshop intended to help new businesses and entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground.


The idea behind the bootcamp was to help encourage and inspire new entrepreneurial efforts in the tri-county area. The weekend included four key-note speakers, with topics ranging from “How to Launch a Startup” to “Access to Early Stage Capital”. Attendees were encouraged to pitch their business ideas at the start of the weekend activities, from there ten different entrepreneurial teams were formed. The business ideas presented covered a wide range from Craft Non-alcoholic beer, to Adaptable eco-conscious housing, to convergent interactive media technology. In addition to the keynotes, there were nine business mentors available throughout the weekend to help attendees clarify and perfect their business pitches and get some one-on-one consulting and coaching as they were working on their presentations. 

Mike White, Launch Mid Valley Venture Catalyst reflected: “When initially putting together this event, the goal was to catalyze at least one Startup and help get them off the ground or coach them through their next obstacle. The entrepreneurs that attended, came to work, not play.  Champions were born! I'm confident that out of the ten teams that got through the weekend, three of them will create new revenues in the next three to five months with high potential to create new jobs in the Mid-Valley in the next eighteen months. Another two of the teams that still are building their business case are strong candidates for angel investment and venture capital funding in the high growth tech startup space. Many teams pivoted and walked away understanding the value of team development, lean startup strategies, access to capital resources and pitching their business idea.”


The three-day intensive served as a platform for new businesses to share their ideas, get helpful feedback, and ultimately to be able to pitch their ideas to get further funding and support to help grow and develop their business plans. 

The Launch Mid-Valley Startup Bootcamp weekend was an amazing way for us to engage with up-and-coming entrepreneurs in our area and help connect them with mentors, offer them a venue to share their ideas, and offer them exposure to resources that will help them get their ideas off the ground,” said Scott Cooper, the Executive Director of the McMinnville Economic Development Partnership (MEDP).  “One of our Strategic Goals for 2020 is Innovation Development, and it was a great weekend, being able to interact with the attendees and see their ideas develop over the course of the event.” 


 Mike White from Launch Mid-Valley prepares the judging panel for Pitch Fest

The event concluded with the teams pitching their start-up ideas to a panel of judges. First place was awarded to Hellocare, a company that brings experienced caregivers into the homes of independent-minded seniors.  With one-to-one care, daily activities are customized to individual abilities and preferences. This provides a high level of customization not possible in facilities. 

The prize packages were valued at over $12,000 which included legal consulting, a free month of co-working space, business consulting, CPA services, cash prizes, and a software buildout.  Helen Anderson from Hellocare had this to say about the Bootcamp Weekend “The coaches were so kind, helpful and genuinely seemed to care about the success of the participants. They were a very special group of men and women.”  In reference to winning First Place during the PitchFest, “it was just icing on an already amazing cake.

The team from Sustainable Rituals works on their Business Model Canvas

Second place was awarded to Sustainable Rituals, a company offering a convenient and enjoyable way to foster eco-friendly purchasing habits, one refillable container at a time. Their vision is to open a bulk refilling shop for household essentials and personal care products.  Third place was awarded to Jamii Coffee, empowering rural Kenyan communities through sustainable trade of coffee to the US.

It was amazing to see how excited the surrounding community was to get involved in this event and help make it such a success. We had a stellar line up of Coaches and Mentors, Community Supporters Speakers and Sponsors.

Event Sponsors:

Bad Dog Bakery

Betty Lou’s

Biscuit & Pickles Catering

Brennan Martin Pugh & Associates



Evasion Brewing

Flag & Wire Coffee

Great Harvest Bread Co

Harvest Fresh 


J Wrigley Wines

Johnson Glaze PC, CPA

Launch Mid-Valley

McMinnville Economic Development Partnership

McMinnville Water & Light

Odd Moes Pizza

Tonkon Torp


Coaches, Speakers, Pitch Fest Judges & Contributors

Michael Blanchard, Johnson Glaze PC, CPAs

Heather Hadley Blank: MEDP

David Boeckel, William Henry

Tayler Brisbin: MEDP

Scott Cooper: MEDP

Dean Craig: Willamette Workforce Partnership

Tyler Harkness: Attorney at Tonkon Torp

Hannah Kathryn Kullberg: Wholistic Business Advisor & Connector

Hari Mahesh: Predicta

Malee Ojua: Sacred Fire Creative

Miles Oliveira: Buildable

Deven Paolo: Solid Form

Himalya Rao: Venture Capital Consultant at Portland Seed Fund 

Brian Romaine: Brennan Martin Pugh & Associates

Kate Schwarzler: Indy Commons

Kristen Stoller: Chehalem Valley Dance Academy

Jeff Vanden Hoek: Intentionality

Mike White: Launch Mid-Valley

Stephan Wurzburg: Co.W

During this challenging time, we hope you stay healthy and stay inspired. We hope you will reach out to us with questions and let us know how we can best be of service. We encourage you to use the resources available for businesses and entrepreneurs during this time and continue to share your ideas. As entrepreneurs, we know some of the biggest successes are born out of setbacks and challenges, and we are looking forward to seeing the ingenuity that is a direct result of this trying world-wide event.  We are unsure of when our next event will take place, but in the meantime, we encourage you to support local businesses, stay positive (stay home if you are able) and wash your hands.  


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MEDP's monthly newsletter, The MEDP Spark, received a Silver Award from the International Economic Development Council in 2017.

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