1. What is the Beaverton Challenge?
The Beaverton Challenge is a program sponsored by the City of Beaverton and Westside Startup Fund, LLC where five startups will be selected to receive at least $20,000 cash convertible-note investment along with incubation services from the Oregon Technology Business Center (OTBC).
2. What is the timeframe for the Challenge?
We expect to begin accepting applications for the 2018 Beaverton Startup Challenge in the summer of 2017, select Semifinalists by mid October and the five winners will be announced in early December.
3. What kind of startup should apply?
We are seeking for-profit, early-stage growth businesses with the ambition and potential to scale in a national or international market. Applicants should have two to five team members with at least one team member working on the startup full time. Applicants may be self-funded, grant-funded, and/or have investor funding of up to $250,000.
4. I have an idea for a startup but do not have funding or a minimum viable product (MVP). Am I eligible to apply?
You need to be beyond the “idea” stage to where you have at least done a significant amount of customer-need validation, and meet the criteria described in the answer to the previous question.
5. How do I apply?
An online application form will be available this summer! Fill out this form and we’ll notify you when signups are open.
6. I’m applying outside of Beaverton. How do I know Beaverton is a good place to grow my business?
As the home to both Tektronix and Nike, Beaverton is one of the most successful entrepreneurial cities in the state. The City of Beaverton is open for business and offers several services to help small businesses. And as your company grows on the west side, you’ll benefit from some of the lowest business taxes in the tri-county area.
7. Is there an entry fee?
There is an application fee of $20.
8. Where will the office space be located?
At the Oregon Technology Business Center, 3800 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton, OR. OTBC is conveniently located a short walk from the Beaverton Central MAX station, with easy access to highways 26 and 217.
9. Who are the judges for the Challenge?
The judges include OTBC staff, a representative of the City of Beaverton, and representatives of the angels who have invested in the Westside Startup Fund 2, LLC.
10. Are multiple applications allowed per person?
No. OTBC encourages applicants to apply with their most compelling business idea.
11. I am not a U.S. citizen, may I apply?
Yes, any legal resident may apply.
12. Is anyone ineligible?
Any legal resident, with only a few exceptions, may apply. Staff and board members of OTBC, judges and their immediate family members (spouse, child, parent, and sibling) are ineligible to apply for the challenge.
13. How will I know if I make it to the semi-finalist in October?
You will be notified via email and a follow-up phone call. Please provide accurate contact information so that we can easily reach you.
14. What commitments are required of winners?
Finalists will be required to sign the convertible note documents and a letter of agreement prior to winner selection. Requirements in those documents will include:
a. Winners must have their company headquarters at and operate out of the OTBC office space in Beaverton.
b. Winners will submit assessment information to OTBC at the beginning and end of the challenge year.
c. Winners will agree to submit quarterly reports and documentation demonstrating the use of working capital funds.
d. For five (5) years after program completion, winners will agree to report annually to OTBC their number of full-time equivalent jobs, revenue and capital raised.
e. Winners will agree to assist with the Challenge program in future years, including serving as mentors to future Challenge winners.
15. How are winners chosen?
The selection committee will decide on the winning startups based on criteria that will include:
a. Compelling company story
b. Founder experience
c. Growth potential
d. Ability to leverage the Challenge prize package
16. Is the $20,000 each startup will receive an investment or a grant?
The $20,000 is an investment from the Westside Startup Fund in the form of a two year convertible note.
17. If I win, how can I spend the $20,000?
Funding can be used for working capital expenses. Eligible expenses include contract services, equipment, inventory, business & technical services, business moving expenses, and memberships in business organizations. Winners will agree to submit quarterly reports and documentation demonstrating the use of working capital funds.
18. What is Oregon Technology Business Center (OTBC)?
OTBC is a nonprofit incubator for startup companies located in Beaverton, Oregon. OTBC was created by the City of Beaverton 10 years ago with the goal of improving economic development by helping entrepreneurs start and grow companies. One measure of OTBC’s success is its return on investment. Since inception, and considering only grants and investor dollars brought into Beaverton by OTBC companies, OTBC has returned a 14.7 multiple on the City of Beaverton’s investment.