Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is joining forces with local Bank of the Cascades to champion new business in the tri-county region. The project is part of a larger EDCO effort underway to support the area’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. As the lead partner in the project, Bank of the Cascades will provide the resources needed to continue EDCO’s Venture Catalyst Manager services, a role currently held by successful entrepreneur, CEO, investor and thought leader Jim Coonan.
In addition, Bank of the Cascades leadership will play a more active role in EDCO’s economic development efforts through platinum membership and a seat on the organization’s board of directors.
“Bank of the Cascades is the first private business partner to invest in our Venture Catalyst Program, which was launched nearly three years ago with an SBA grant,” said Roger Lee, executive director for EDCO. “This is an important step to continue EDCO’s efforts to strengthen Central Oregon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. It will allow us to help more early stage companies, assist in continued success of the region’s business incubator, and provide more runway to complete needed improvements to our equity capital network. ”
In his role as venture catalyst manager, Coonan helps entrepreneurs refine business strategies, access capital funds and link with professional resources and events that will move them forward in their quest to grow and succeed. In addition, Coonan connects new business owners with local experts and start-up business accelerator programs such as venturebox.org.
“As a community bank, we look for ways to inspire and support local business development and promote economic health,” said Terry Zink, President and CEO for Bank of the Cascades. “This strategic partnership with EDCO allows us to reach beyond our traditional banking role to support up-and-coming business owners at the very beginning of their journey.”