Dept. of Commerce backs Willamette Valley Seed Fund.

Credit: Portland Business Journal, Malia Spencer

Work to create a new angel fund in Oregon got a boost this week after with the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network landed $300,000.

The U.S. Department of Commerce money will back administration costs of the new Willamette Valley Seed Fund, said fund manager and RAIN Executive Director Marc Manley. The pool was created this year under the temporary name W2 Fund as a companion to the Willamette Angel Conference, an event that allows investors to pool their money and then select a startup for investment.

“After the 2016 Willamette Angel Conference … a core group of investors, myself included, started meeting to explore a way for us to help close the capital gap in our region, and provide funding not just to the winner of a beauty contest but provide capital all year,” Manley said.

The group had targeted $250,000 for an initial fund. To date, it has secured $480,000. Manley expects the figure to hit or exceed $500,000.

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