PSU Business Accelerator celebrates 10 years
Author: Joe Smith, KGW
Posted: March 11, 2014

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PORTLAND -- Portland has a reputation for helping people who have great ideas to make them better.

Portland State University Business Accelerator was started just for that purpose.

It's the oldest program of its kind in the city and one of the most successful, thanks in part because all of the university's resources can be part of a start-up's business plan.

The program was started in 2004 to give those with an idea a place to flesh out and further develop their idea and turn it into a profitable business.

Businesses pay rent for office space and the expertise of the school's faculty and staff.

Many companies that started here were able to move to the marketplace quicker because of what they learned here. And this accelerator is the only one in Portland with what's called a 'wet lab,' critical for those working in bio-tech or clean tech industries.

"There are 124 companies that have graduated from the accelerator and 63 percent of those are still in business," said Xan Pedisich, operations manager of the accelerator. 

"And the incredible thing about that is that 9 out of 10 fail, so if you look at how we've reversed that trend it means successful businesses, employment, high wage jobs for our state," she added.

Companies compete to be at the accelerator. PSU looks for start-ups under five years old that have a technology product.

On Monday, PSU announced two new partnerships.

RelianceCM, a contract manufacturing lab, is starting a new hardware cluster. Also, Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton is developing a new program to work with start-ups interested in UAVs, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.