Governor Brown, Commissioner Smith, PDC & others to recognize first round of minority, women founded/owned startup recipients of Portland-metro area Inclusive Fund

August 28, 2016


Contact: Jessica Morkert-Shibley, Communication Coordinator, (971) 563-3735, 

Nitin Rai, Managing Director Elevate Capital, (503) 799-5200

Six minority, women founded/owned startups receiving seed money through the Elevate Inclusive Fund will be announced at a media event on Wednesday.  This marks the first class of companies supported by the Elevate Inclusive Fund, which the Portland Development Commission (PDC) initiated in fall 2014 to address the significant gap in funding for underrepresented entrepreneurs. PDC contributed $500,000 to the fund. Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith proposed an amendment to the 2015-2016 county budget which brought in another $500,000.  Governor Kate Brown and Business Oregon committed $250,000 to launch the fund last year.  Elevate Capital is the manager of the $3 million fund, which is supported by both public and in-state and out-of-state private investors.  

Commissioner Loretta Smith at board meeting

The fund provides both early ­stage investment capital and mentoring to local high­ growth companies founded by underrepresented entrepreneurs across a variety of industries. Some of these startups are also receiving additional funding from the regional Elevate Capital Fund.

What: Elevate Capital presents six minority founded/owned startups as its first class of investments from the Elevate Inclusive Fund.

Who:  Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith, Governor Kate Brown, PDC Executive Director Kimberly Branam, Elevate Capital Managing Director Nitin Rai, and six diverse entrepreneurs who will be available to speak to the media.     

When:  Wednesday, August 31 from 10 to 11 am.   

Where: Oregon Story Board, 411 NW Flanders St. #100 Portland, OR 97209

How it works:  PDC grants money to the Portland Economic Investment Commission (PEIC) a non-profit which works with Elevate Capital, manager of the fund, to distribute the funds to local businesses.  Each of the six startups will select mentors from Elevate Capital’s pool of successful entrepreneurs and will also have access to TiE Oregon’s virtual accelerator program.