Klamath IDEA announced that on Wednesday, March 18 it will launch a new web platform to connect the region’s growing entrepreneurial and small business community to expert service providers and resources, according to a news release.
The site is powered by SourceLink, a nationally known platform supporting entrepreneurial ecosystems in over 100 communities nationwide.
“Entrepreneurs and small business owners need different things at different times,” said Kat Rutledge, director of Klamath IDEA and the Klamath Community College Small Business Development Center. “What Klamath IDEA has identified through its work thus far is that our ecosystem has lacked an effective framework for getting entrepreneurs and small business owners connected to the resources they need.”
“With SourceLink’s Resource Navigator, our entrepreneurs and small business owners will be able to connect directly to the local resource provider that can best and most quickly assist them with capital access, marketing, business planning, or anything else they need to be successful.”
For phase-1 of the launch, Klamath IDEA has partnered with 15 nonprofit and government service providers that are frequently involved in local business startup and growth activities. Additional resource partners, including for-profit service providers, will be added to the platform as data is gathered and gaps in the ecosystem are identified.
“The primary objective during the launch phase is to provide a simple, intuitive, transparent way for entrepreneurs and small business owners to connect directly to the resource that is most suited to their need,” Rutledge said. “The resource partners are doing a wonderful job meeting the needs of entrepreneurs once they finally get connected, but our ecosystem will benefit greatly from a platform that can make that connection much quicker and with much less frustration.”
In addition to its targeted matchmaking between providers and entrepreneurs, KlamathIDEA.org will provide a centralized calendar of business-related events, trainings and networking opportunities and will curate frequently-requested content from local, state and federal sources related to starting and growing a business. The platform is free to use for business owners and entrepreneurs, and most of the services provided by the resource network are also provided at no cost to the business user.
Initial funding for the SourceLink platform was provided by Business Oregon through its Rural Opportunities Initiative grant program, and by the Oregon Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network. Staffing support will be funded in part by the City of Klamath Falls, Klamath County, and the Oregon SBDC Network.
The site will be officially unveiled at a public launch event on Wednesday, March 18 at 5:30 p.m. at Gaucho Collective, 1038 Main St., in downtown Klamath Falls. The event is free for those who register in advance. Tickets are available at the door for $5. Food will be provided by Mia’s and Pia’s Pizzeria and Brewhouse. A no-host bar will be available.
IDEA is a community initiative dedicated to creating wealth and prosperity for the communities of South Central Oregon. Klamath IDEA is committed to developing a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem to strengthen existing business and support the emergence of new ones by providing easy access to the help and information entrepreneurs need.
For more information about the event and to sign up, visit www.facebook.com/KlamathIDEA.