Joe Teibel is a software engineer at Hewlett-Packard. He’s also looking to start his own company.
“I’ve developed a couple of tech startup ideas that I want to explore related to 3-D printing,” said Teibel, an Albany resident halfway through his MBA program at Oregon State University.
On Wednesday morning, Teibel was among a dozen entrepreneurs who attended the Oregon Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network’s Startup Albany Meet-up, which was held at the Brick and Mortar Café downtown.
The event aimed to connect innovators with government, higher education and industry business experts who could give them advice and help them succeed.
Teibel, for example, chatted for a few minutes with John Pascone, president of the Albany-Millersburg Economic Development Corp.
He said that he thought the meeting, RAIN’s first in Albany, was phenomenal. “I had no idea there was these sorts of resources,” Teibel said.
And even though he attends OSU, he was surprised to know of the university’s Advantage Accelerator/RAIN Corvallis, which helps entrepreneurs create businesses.
RAIN is a state and regionally funded consortium in Linn, Benton, Lane and Lincoln counties, and its goal is to advance entrepreneurship, which in turn will create jobs, wealth and opportunities in the region.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our community,” said Linn County Commissioner Will Tucker, who attended the event.
Cynthia Fischer of Albany has started her third company, the Curriculum Projects, a bilingual e-learning platform, and finished the OSU Advantage Accelerator program in the fall. But she attended the RAIN event to do more networking.
“I firmly believe in just showing up. You never know what opportunities are going to present themselves,” she said.
Fischer added that with her previous businesses, she was figuring things out as she went along. The OSU Advantage Accelerator helped greatly, including with putting together her financials for the Curriculum Projects.
“This way, it’s slower before you take the leap, but it’s less of a leap, as well,” Fischer said.
Adrienne Kume, owner of Merrime Bridal, and Heidi Gornik, owner of G2 Fun Zone, talked with a representative of Linn-Benton Community College’s Small Business Development Center to see what classes it was offering.
“I don’t think RAIN is for us, but just that somebody wanted to get business owners and entrepreneurs in Albany together is exciting,” Kume said.
RAIN has two more events planned for the near future in Albany. On April 5, people can learn how to launch a new venture in Albany and how to engage the city’s startup activities during an event at Deluxe Brewing. On May 5, a startup seminar will be held as well.
For more information about Rain go to www.oregonrain.org.