Portland Business Journal: Uber Portland launches partnerships with WeWork, PSU
Author: Malia Spencer, Portland Business Journal
Posted: June 20, 2016

Read the original story in the Portland Business Journal. (subscription required) 

San Francisco-based Uber is launching a program in Portland designed to connect drivers interested in starting small businesses with resources in town to help.

Called UberEntrepreneurs, the program partners with the co-working space WeWork and the Business Outreach Program at Portland State University. Drivers can apply for the program online.

The program offers access to the WeWork community plus discounts for WeWork co-working space. The PSU Business Outreach program is offering workshops and advising services.

“A growing number of current and aspiring small business owners are choosing to drive with Uber to earn extra income while they build their business,” said Jon Isaacs, Uber’s Oregon public affairs manager.

The company will hold an August business plan competition in which Uber driver-partners can win funding for their businesses.

Early program members include Samuel Brackeen, founder of social networking fitness site WorkOut Bunnies, along with Jessica Chan of the specialty fountain pen startup Wink Pens and Tristan Estridge, founder of North Fresh Coffee Roasters.

Uber in San Diego has a network of business owners who are also drivers. Isaacs, though, said Portland's the first city to offer business advice directly to drivers.

"We asked some of our driver-partners what we could do to help, and they said they access to tools like the training and resources. So we reached out to WeWork and PSU and asked if they would team up with us to meet these needs, and they were excited to get involved," Isaacs said.