Eugene nonprofit and startup incubator Fertilab Thinkubator is ready to expand in 2016.
The group is set to move into a new 5,500-square-foot office, or twice the size of its current space. The new facility will reature classrooms, event space and more lab space.
One thing is for certain, while Eugene typically flies under the radar as an emerging tech hub, awareness and perceptions are starting to change.
Similar to the Portland area, the tech community in Eugene is remarkably collaborative, with the vast majority of companies serving markets outside of Oregon. While companies compete for talent locally, they are not as likely to compete for customers, which makes it easier for these companies to collaborate around product and business innovation.
Johnson of FertiLab Thinkubator says that more than 1,000 people came through the doors of FertiLab in Eugene last year, all brimming with ideas they wanted to hash out and discuss. That’s why FertiLab opened a new location in Springfield last month — to continue helping as many people as possible to grow their ideas.
The Fertilab Thinkubator in Eugene, Oregon, a biotech heavy incubator, is modeling a new type of startup support with their pre-accelerator program. This organization aims to grow and fertilize entrepreneurs in a business-to-business (B2B) manner and prepares startups for the next phase in their journey, the aggressive accelerator process.
A new hub for entrepreneurs opened its doors to the Springfield community Friday evening. Fertilab Thinkubator focuses on tech and biotech companies and has existed in Eugene for two years. It has helped grow 20 companies by providing resources and space to early stage entrepreneurs. After a grand opening party, Fertilab Thinkubator looks forward to bringing new businesses to Springfield.
The first session of entrepreneurs and small business classes will take place at FertiLab, helping those who’ve envisioned starting their own business, become a reality.
The City of Eugene partnered with NEDCO—a community development corporation and FertiLab—a non-profit—to help aspiring small business owners get the skills they need to succeed through micro-enterprise classes.
Eugene and Springfield have long been losing skilled technical workers to bigger West Coast cities. Now, several start-ups are finding ways to retain the brains.
One of the groups behind the shift hopes entrepreneurship will be seen as key to job creation and a strong local economy.