“Historically, entrepreneurship has been the lifeblood of the rural economy.”
— Vishal Chordia
— 2018 EO Global Citizen of the Year
“Everyone has a fundamental right to turn an idea into an economic reality, regardless of who you are or where you’re from, with zero barriers in the way.”
— Ewing Marion Kauffman
Foundry Collective’s nonprofit mission is to help small and rural communities develop strong, vibrant, and creative startup communities that contribute to improved prosperity and enjoyment of life. We believe that everyone should have access to the resources they need to take their idea to the next level, create a business, and achieve their dreams.
In rural areas, small businesses drive the economy and are responsible for almost all job growth. The rate of self-employment in rural areas has fallen by 20% between 1988-2016, more than double the overall decline. Improved access to the tools and knowledge necessary to feed entrepreneurship and innovation is critical to reversing this trend and engaging small-town America.Foundry Collective works to promote inclusive and equitable entrepreneurship by supporting places where ideas take root and flourish. These locations are called many things; incubators, business centers, accelerators, maker-spaces, entrepreneurship centers, and more. Regardless of the name, they share a common objective: Provide access to education, mentorship, networking, capital, culture, and community.
A sizable challenge is to ensure that these centers of innovation are sustainable, long-lasting, and provide ongoing support and services. Finding pathways to create locally operated spaces which reflect each community’s unique culture is our ultimate goal.
We encourage you to join us on this journey.
“Small town America is on the verge of a Renaissance led by new types of entrepreneurial pioneers wanting to make a real place for their lives and livelihoods.”
Supporting Rural Startups and Small Business Entrepreneurs
Reinventing Rural is an online community focused on helping rural communities in the Pacific Northwest embrace their rugged culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Whether you are planning to start a business, have just launched one, or want to scale your existing business, you get access to service providers, content experts, and thought leaders to foster your small business success.
Locations We Support
Corvallis Foundry is our “mothership.” The 2500 square foot location offers coworking areas, permanent desks for remote workers, and small office space to incubate startups. Surrounding this are needed resources such as meeting spaces and conference room and coffee, lots of coffee. Corvallis Foundry also provides connection to mentorship, training, education, and programs which enable and inspire entrepreneurs, creating community and collaborations.
Spark Collaborative Studios supports the creatives, makers, builders, innovators, and entrepreneurs of Harney County. Spark Collaborative Studios is an Oregon Benefit Company and a collaborative effort between Sage DesignWorks, Buzzard Ridge Handmade, and J. Hill Images. Supported by BizHarney and Foundry Collective, Spark is proving good things can happen in rural places. Be sure to check our their retail popup area where local creators offer their products for sale.
La Grande Ignite is a one-stop center for small business resources, classes, referrals, a hang-out for entrepreneurs, and a coworking space located in Eastern Oregon. Located in a community of 13,170 people, Ignite’s mission is to facilitate entrepreneurial growth and development from concept to expansion and through succession. Foundry Collective supports Ignite, providing technical services including the website, shared programs and events, and strategy consulting.