Eastern Oregon Business Innovation Network and Accelerated Learning Channel Closer to Launch

The Eastern Oregon Business Innovation Network (EOBIN) and it’s Accelerated Learning Channel (ALC) moved closer to launch with two key benchmarks recently cleared by its start-up team.
The first was delivery of architectural renderings of the EOBIN facility planned for Milton-Freewater to Mike Watkins, Economic Development Director for the City of Milton-Freewater.
Designed as a business incubation center for the wine, beverage and food products industry, the facility will serve as home to both start-up and mature companies entering or expanding in the industry. “This project couldn’t be better timed to serve the growing number of entrepreneurs and business owners in our region, especially aspiring winemakers focused on the new “Rocks” AVA” said Watkins as he reviewed the plans. “We simply have not
had anything like this where companies at different stages of growth can come, share resources, and have access to the support they need.”
Next steps include introducing the facility plan to winemakers and other industry leaders to be sure it offers the right combination of space, equipment and support. So far, feedback has been positive. One experienced winemaker with multiple labels in her portfolio commented “If you had this available now, I’d be producing my two new labels right there.”
“Not bad for our first test of market need” commented Watkins with a smile.
“We wouldn’t mind at all if Milton-Freewater opened the first EOBIN facility to help our businesses be successful. Bottom line, that’s what this is all about.”
The second benchmark toward EOBIN launch was the return of two signed Letters of Intent by company owners who want to be among the first members of the Eastern Oregon Business Innovation Network.
EOBIN start-up team member Art Hill celebrated the milestone explaining that not all companies who become members will need physical space for their operations. “Actually, many companies will benefit from the training
and networking available through EOBIN even though they plan to locate in some other facility. The first two Letters of Intent are good examples” explained Hill. “They’re not winemakers but they want access to training, networking with investors, market research and even some EOBIN resources like web conferencing and shared meeting rooms. As Virtual Members, they’ll have all of that and more, but they’ll have their own production facilities.”
Asked about next steps toward launching EOBIN, Hill paused and smiled.
“Facilities take a long time to acquire and equip, but we’re working to have our Accelerated Learning Channel programs up on the Web by September. And honestly, we’re already working with our member companies to introduce them to capital and markets. So if you’re tracking dates, you could say we’ve already launched.”
Information on membership, facilities and programming of the Eastern Oregon Business Innovation Network is available from Hill at ahill@finance4mybusiness.com at 541-379-0279.