SOREDI Offers a 'Venture Catalyst' to Help Jumpstart Local Businesses

Venture Catalyst Alex Palmer explains that what he does is quite different than a venture capitalist — but the upshot for local businesses may be of much greater value.

Posted: Dec. 13, 2018 3:50 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — For local entrepreneurs, getting a new business off the ground can be as simple — and as mind-numbingly complex — as getting some guidance and encouragement in the right direction. For that, the non-profit Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. (SOREDI) stands ready with their "Venture Catalysts."

"Starting close to home, you may wonder what a Venture Catalyst does anyway, so here goes," said Venture Catalyst Alex Palmer. "First up, it’s not to be confused with Venture Capitalist. Venture Capitalists are those rich folks who run venture capital funds that invest directly into start-up companies."

While SOREDI does help entrepreneurs toward finding the funds they need to get started, providing that funding directly is not precisely Palmer's job. Instead, it's things like the LAUNCH program — helping business owners hone their business plans, seek out investors that fit their means and needs, get training or mentoring, find helpful events or networking opportunities, or even find an affordable workspace.

"The main part of my job is advising companies and entrepreneurs with a focus on getting start-ups ready to raise investment, and then helping those companies get funded," Palmer said. "The second part of my job is much more of a long-term strategy to build the eco-system so that we have more promising start-ups and entrepreneurs in the pipeline who are growing, looking to secure funding and ultimately creating jobs, successful companies and economic prosperity here in Southern Oregon."

For more on what Palmer and the LAUNCH program have to offer, you can check out his article here.

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