E-news banner image photo of Andrew Nelson with text RAIN: Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network

RAINmaker @ UO

Andrew Nelson's title was already a bit…lengthy. The associate professor of management is also academic director for the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship and a Bramsen Faculty Fellow in Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Sustainability.

In July, the wearer of multiple hats added yet another title: executive director of RAIN @ UO.

RAIN @ UO connects resources so that students, faculty, and staff can more easily locate and access information, support, and potential collaborators for entrepreneurial, startup, and research ventures. In addition to strengthening internal connections, RAIN @ UO bridges the campus community and the greater Eugene/Springfield area through association with the Oregon Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network

“The hope is to intertwine all these different activities," Nelson said.

Nelson said his is a fundamentally interactive role. He looks forward to interfacing even more with the Eugene/Springfield community.

“There is so much innovation on campus," he said. “We want to help make students and faculty aware of what is going on in other departments and to push innovation beyond the university and into society."

Chuck Williams, associate vice president for innovation at the University of Oregon said Nelson is a great fit for the position.

“For the past 15 years, Nelson's research and teaching has focused on ways to spur innovation and entrepreneurship. He understands and works with leaders in Silicon Valley and across the globe, and his years of experience will greatly benefit faculty and students at the UO as well as startup founders from the community."

It's also a time of change and growth for RAIN in Eugene. Plans are underway to colocate an accelerator space with the UO's Tyler Invention Center and the Department of Product Design's Innovation Launch Lab in the former Bradford's HiFi building in downtown Eugene.