Resources for Undergraduates

Find Your Place

The following is an ever-growing collection of resources for University of Oregon undergraduate students interested in networking, innovation, or startups in the Eugene-Springfield area.


CH 114 (Green Product Design)

Illustrates how green chemistry, product design, advertising, and sustainable business practices are used to design greener consumer products and accelerate their adoption in the market.

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Mgmt 199 (Innovation and Entrepreneurship)

An introductory course on the topics of innovation and entrepreneurship.

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Mgmt 335 (Launching New Ventures)

Skills, behaviors, and knowledge necessary for creating and growing new ventures. Evaluating opportunities, developing growth strategies, obtaining venture financing, intellectual property, and building a management team.

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Mgmt 455 (Implementing Entrepreneurial Strategies)

Focuses on turning an idea into a serious business venture. Students research new business opportunities and become skilled in developing business tools and processes to carry out venture launch strategies.

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Mktg 445 (Entrepreneurial Marketing)

Techniques for analyzing and developing new markets. Pricing, communicating, and distributing new products or services with limited resources. Developing marketing plans for new ventures.

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PD 101 (Introduction to Product Design

Examines how designers invent things that help people through lectures from designers, drawing assignments, photo documentation, model-making, storytelling, and computer-aided design; product innovation, creation, and sales; and portfolio creation.

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PD 486 (BFA Studio I)

Explores problems that stress design development through innovation and the responsibility to solve complex societal, functional, and aesthetic issues. Seminar component fosters theoretical, professional, and creative discussion.

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PD 487 (BFA Studio II)

Second course in series of interactive studios in which students engage in independent project-based learning.

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PD 488 (BFA Studio III)

Third course in series of interactive studios in which students engage in independent project-based learning.

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Community Networking

Art Walk

Fertilab Startup Center hosts Art Walk, where participants enjoy art by two local artists, live music, free beer, wine, and snacks.

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Eugene-Springfield Women in Tech & Entrepreneurship Group

A group for women interested in coding, startups, and entrepreneurship in the Eugene-Springfield area.

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#EugeneTech Tuesdays at The Barn Light

A CodeChops-organized weekly networking event bringing the Eugene Tech Community together.

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Women in Business

WIB organizes various panels, skill-building workshops, professional speakers, site visits and social events geared toward women in business.

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Funding and Competitions

Cascadia Cleantech Prize

The Cascadia CleanTech Prize invites top cleantech startups to compete for prize packages totaling $10,000 in non-dilutive funding, in-kind services and exposure in front of top Pacific Northwest industry leaders and investors. The competition takes place during Oregon BEST FEST. Companies compete in three categories: Accelerator Stage, Launch Stage, and Growth Stage.

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Civil War Shark Tank

Civil War Shark Tank is a competition between University of Oregon and Oregon State University students in which individuals or teams pitch their ventures in front of an audience and a panel of judges.

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Cleantech Challenge

The Cleantech Challenge is a competition for campus cleantech innovators and entrepreneurs across the state. Undergraduates, graduates, postdocs and faculty from Oregon colleges and community colleges compete for $50,000 in grants and prizes.

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InnovateHER Competition

The InnovateHER Challenge is a national prize competition aimed at unearthing products and services that impact and empower the lives of women and families through local business competitions that culminate in a live pitch Final Round.

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Innovation Mini Grants

Innovation Mini Grants reduce barriers to accessing on campus resources for enterprising and innovating UO students. Currently the grants may be used for TSA machine shop training and pre-paid student hours in the craft center and machine shop. Grants for TSA training are for $200 and include complete training. This training is required for students to use the machine shop any time it is open. Student hours for the machine shop are $15p/h and for the craft center are $10p/h. Student can request hours based on their project.

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Lemelson-MIT Student Innovation Prize

The Lemelson-MIT Student Prize honors promising collegiate inventors around the country. The student prize is open to teams of undergraduate students and individual graduate students who have inventions in categories that represent significant sectors of the economy; healthcare, transportation, food and agriculture, or consumer devices.

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Oregon Venture Fund

Oregon Venture Fund is a venture capital fund that brings together business and technology leaders for the benefit of local entrepreneurs. Each year, OAF invests $100,000 to $2 million each in about half-a-dozen highly-scalable businesses.

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RAINmaker Fund

The RAINMaker Fund offers $5,000 grants to University of Oregon student-led ventures, enabling them to pursue their next milestone and to connect with RAIN Eugene.

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Spark Grants

Spark Grants provide limited funding for U of O students to quickly examine the feasibility of a potential idea by connecting with potential customers, developing a rough prototype, and/or digging deep into the competition.

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Student Sustainability Fund

The Student Sustainability Fund awards grants of $500 to $7,500 to student projects or events that focus on the pursuit of human equity, environmental vitality, and economic well-being.

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UO Foundation Seed Fund

The Seed Fund makes initial investments of $20,000-$75,000 in early-stage companies, with the ability to make follow-on investments depending on the success of the program, while providing experiential learning opportunities to Law and Finance students.

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UROP Mini-grant Program

The UROP mini-grant program provides grants of up to $1,000 that may be used by undergraduate award recipients to purchase materials, equipment, and supplies that are necessary to complete a project and/or assist with travel expenses related to a research project.

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Willamette Angel Conference

The Willamette Angel Conference, one of the largest angel groups in the state of Oregon, connects early-stage companies with the capital they need to grow.

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Incubators and Accelerators

FertiLab Thinkubator

FertiLab Thinkubator provides business incubation space alongside membership and educational programming.

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Huerto de la Familia

Huerto de la Familia assists Latinos to launch or expand good farm and food business ideas with trainings, connections to community resources, and developing a culture of entrepreneurship. The program will consist of two major modules: training and business counseling.

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ID8 Pre-Accelerator Program

ID8 is a five-week pre-accelerator for startups. ID8 helps new companies get into top accelerators and attract seed funding opportunities.

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Oregon Incubator Program

The Oregon Incubator Program is run by the UO Duck Store. The program is designed to provide entrepreneurs with the resources to bring an idea from concept to reality. The Duck Store hosts training courses focusing on topics ranging from collegiate licensing to pricing strategy. Following completion of the program, The Duck Store purchases the participants’ products to be sold at Duck Store locations throughout Oregon and online at

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OTRADI Bioscience Incubator

The OTRADI Bioscience Incubator is Oregon’s first and only bioscience-specific accelerator. The OBI provides scientists and young companies with the resources and expertise needed to take their research from the lab to the market.

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RAIN Eugene Accelerator

The RAIN accelerator is a sixteen-week program that focuses on developing the three most important components of a successful company: the people, the product and the plan.

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Institutes and Centers

Center on Teaching and Learning

CTL uses scientific evidence and research-based practices to advance teaching and student learning. Its content and instructional design experts have developed a suite of evidence-based literacy, math, and early science interventions with a special focus on grades K-3 and struggling learners.

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Innovate Collaborate Oregon (ICO)

ICO allows Oregon universities to collaborate with entrepreneurs, companies and the business community to ensure that ideas generated by faculty, students and staff reach the private sector to create products and services to benefit the global community.

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Institute of Molecular Biology

IMB is a thriving research institute that is a highly collaborative, integrated group where physicists, chemists and biologists who work together to dissect the molecular underpinnings of living organisms.

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Materials Science Institute

The purpose of the Materials Science Institute is to study the structure and properties of materials, to educate in the sciences of materials, and to serve Oregon as a resource in these sciences.

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Tyler Invention Greenhouse

The Tyler Invention Greenhouse focuses on green, or sustainable, chemistry and the creation of environmentally sensitive goods and services.

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Internships and Fellowships

RAIN Accelerator Internships

The RAIN Accelerator provides a 16-week crash course for new startups. Select undergraduates are invited to work alongside these entrepreneurs, conducting market research, puzzling through product-market fit, analyzing industry trends, and more.

University Innovation Fellows

University Innovation Fellows are select UO students with a passion to engage in entrepreneurship and to serve as change agents on campus. The UIF program is run in collaboration with VentureWell and Stanford University, with support from the National Science Foundation. Selected fellows participate in online trainings and meetups, and attend annual gatherings in Silicon Valley and at the VentureWell conference.

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Vice President for Research and Innovation Undergraduate Fellowship 

This fellowship awards students a $5,000 stipend for conducting research, creative scholarship or completing work on an innovative project full-time during the summer.

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Legal Assistance

Business Law Clinic

The Business Law Clinic provides free legal services to Oregon business owners–clients pay only filing fees and out-of-pocket costs.

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Mentors and Consulting

Lane Small Business Development Center

The Small Business Development Center is your support team for your business, offering a wide range of services and training for owners and employees.

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The Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute is where academia, business and government come together to accelerate research and bring breakthrough ideas to market. ONAMI entrepreneurs-in-residence are available to provide advice to early-stage startups.

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The Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute translates scientific research developed in the state of Oregon’s research laboratories into commercial ventures, especially those related to medical discoveries.

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The Clinic

The Clinic offers 20-minute, fast-paced, focused, private 1-on-1 mentoring sessions that culminate in the mentor panel of startup experts providing a list of next steps (prescribed suggestions ranked in order of importance) for representatives of new ventures.

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VertueLab partners with funders and innovators in clean technologies to make a global environmental impact.

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Recurring Events and Activities

Global Entrepreneurship Week

GEW is a series of events–panels, tours, speakers, workshops, etc.–hosted by many research centers and schools on the University of Oregon campus. The weeklong event focuses on multidisciplinary entrepreneurship and building cross-campus awareness and collaboration.

Mini Maker Faire

The Mini Maker-Faire is a tech-educational expo with product demos, presentations from makers, and co-working opportunities to create new products.

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A gaming hackathon presented by the University of Oregon.


Smartups is an entrepreneurial support organization in Eugene, Oregon. It connects entrepreneurs with resources that increase business performance and success in an environment for networking, business education, coaching, and product development.

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Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks.

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CodeChops is a co-working space in downtown Eugene that also facilitates meetups and events for local entrepreneurs and those with interest in coding.

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Eugene Mindworks

Eugene Mindworks is a co-working space and business incubator.

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Eugene Saturday Market

Saturday Market is a Eugene institution that provides a venue for local entrepreneurs to showcase their handcrafted or homegrown, locally sourced or produced goods.

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Riverfront Research Park

University of Oregon operates the Riverfront Innovation Center to assist startups and spin-offs by providing research and lab space for emerging technology-based companies to develop their ideas and technologies.

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Founders Fireside Chats

Through the Founders Fireside Chats, curious parties get unique insight from those who have been there and done that: successful entrepreneurs who share their struggles and their successes.

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Technology and the Arts Downtown talks

TAD Talks are a new event series that examine how technology and the arts encourage economic development and community engagement in the downtown Eugene area.

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Student Organizations

Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Living

CASL holds workshops, classes and tours that connect University of Oregon students and faculty with community organizations and local professionals.

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CEO Network

The CEO Network works to connect minority students, engage an inclusive experience, open doors to opportunity, and network for professional success.

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Design for America

Design for America is a nationwide network of interdisciplinary student teams and community members using design to create local and social impact. The University of Oregon chapter focuses especially on Autism, Homelessness, and Alzheimer’s.

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designBridge is a multi-disciplinary student organization linking the University of Oregon with the surrounding community by offering design and design-build services to communities and organizations that don’t have access or resources to acquire professional design services.

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eBusiness Club

The eBusiness Club aims to equip students with the decision-making, managerial, and technological skills necessary to succeed in a competitive business environment by focusing primarily on dynamic website/database design, project management, and incorporating technology into efficient business processes.

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Entrepreneurship Club

The Entrepreneurship Club facilitates the development of young professionals by providing opportunities to learn from professionals and network with other entrepreneurially minded individuals.

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Green Business Initiative Student Association

Dedicated to the intersection of law, business, and the environment. GBISA’s mission is to promote awareness of sustainable business practices and the legal framework and policies that support green business.

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Industrial Designers Society of America

IDSA is the voice of the industrial and product design profession, advancing the quality and positive impact of design.

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Innovation Journal Club

The Innovation Journal Club explores what makes a scientific innovation commercially viable and how to build a business around that idea.

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