PSU launches incubator for social, environmental entrepreneurs
Portland State University's business school leads the state according to a new ranking of sustainable business schools.
Portland State University’s School of Business Administration announced Monday the launch of the Social Innovation Incubator (SII), a new program focused on helping startups whose businesses address environmental, social and economic challenges.
The Social Innovation Incubator will work with early-stage entrepreneurs and "intrapreneurs" — those working on relevant programs within existing organizations — offering strategic support for business planning, marketing and fundraising. Specific services include consulting, mentoring, pro bono legal education and networking.
Cindy Cooper, director of the incubator, said in a statement that PSU is responding to the fact that the Northwest is already a hotbed of socially and environmentally conscious businesses. "We are excited to support innovators and strengthen local initiatives that will create jobs and proliferate sustainable practices," she said.
Administered by PSU’s Center for Global Leadership in Sustainability and PSU’s Entrepreneurship Center, the Social Innovation Incubator launches with two initial members Sustainable Harvest and Preciva.
Sustainable Harvest, an established sustainable coffee importer, joined SII to foster two in-house, intrapreneurial projects including a program in Oaxaca, Mexico that benefits low-income farming communities and a Web-based program being piloted in Tanzania that will help farmer cooperatives track their business and coffee sales.
Preciva is a startup developing electronic tests for cervical cancer that will be distributed in low-income countries where women's health care is lagging.
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