We help innovators while providing experiential learning opportunities to the innovators of tomorrow.  

Who we are:

We are a department of Oregon State University-Cascades that helps innovators turn their ideas into reality.

At the same time, we train tomorrow's innovators by giving them experiential learning opportunities where they help your business or non-profit grow.

 

Who we work with:

We work with innovators, creators, founders, and managers in the community as well as within the university.  We work with:

  • New entrepreneurs that wants to launch or grow their business;

  • Aspiring nonprofit founders;

  • Managers that want to launch a new product or service at an existing company or nonprofit; and

  • Managers that need help with a project.

 

Our services are available to the public.

 

Our Impact

We help our clients build and sell new, amazing things.  As a result, we create jobs, help our clients get funding, and grow the economy in Oregon. 

At the same time, we train our students with the real-world skills that they need to enter the workforce.

Problem We Solve

Analysis Paralysis

When building anything new, it's easy to fall victim to analysis paralysis.  Finding the right information or support can be difficult when there are millions of books, workshops, courses, coaches, consultants, mentors, and trade groups.  Also, finding the time to learn, build, and launch can be difficult or impossible. As a result, innovators can spend years thinking about creating instead of building.

 

 

Our Solution

Make Your Ideas a Reality Now - Not Later.

The Co-Lab provides you with a roadmap to turn your idea into a reality by giving you the most relevant information, helping you create, and giving you mentorship.  Unlike other workshops, books, videos, and online courses, we help you refine your idea and create an action plan that is customized to you.  Then we help you create.  

  

Sprints

We give you access to an online education tool and then help you build a customized action plan for your project.

  

Consulting

The Co-Lab can help you manage your project and execute on your action plan.

 

 

  

Mentorship

Our Executive Director provides one-on-one coaching and can help you find additional mentors, mentor groups, or resources that work for you.

Sprints

Co-Lab Sprints are structured bursts of learning, work sessions, and action that help you:

  • Learn the basics that you need to grow your business or nonprofit.
  • Refine your project 
  • Find the educational, mentorship, and funding resources that are relevant to you;
  • Build an action plan with next steps to get the job done.

 

Learn by Doing:

Our sprints are interactive and help you learn by doing. We use a simple process:

1.  You Complete Our Interactive, Customized Training Online  

We ask you questions based on your unique needs, and provide the most relevant information to teach you based on your responses.  Then, we ask you a series of questions to help you create an action plan, and you get a draft Action Plan emailed to you as a Google Document that you can edit.  This Action Plan includes links, templates, and other information that are relevant to you.
 

2.  Work with Our Staff and Interns in a Work Session that will Help You Refine Your Goals

Next, we help you refine your goals, address your questions, and discuss additional resources that may help you in a work session with our staff and Co-Lab interns,.  Additionally, we talk about common mistakes, concerns, and best practices.

3.  We Help You Finalize Your Plan and Take Next Steps  

Co-Lab staff and interns help you refine your Action Plan so that you can use it to take action yourself or work with a consultant.  Our goal is to help you build a document that can be used as the basis of a Scope of Work, Request for Proposal, or other documents that you can use with your employees or outside software developers, business consultants, marketing consultants, or freelancers.  If relevant, we add other information, such as:  

  • funding sources;
  • business consultants, marketing consultants, lawyers, software developers, freelance websites;
  • online software tools to help you automate key processes;'
  • other educational resources that may be relevant to you; 
  • free or low-cost support programs for businesses or nonprofits.

 

Explore our UPCOMING Sprints

This sprint covers the basics of starting a company or nonprofit. 

Who should join?

  • Founders who are starting a company or nonprofit
  • Founders who "just started" but are missing key items.  (Please see the list below)

 

What will we cover?

  • Naming:  How do you see what names are available? How do you register your domain name?  What is a Trademark? Also, how do you see whether it's available what are the best practices for registration?
  • Choosing an Entity:  What is the difference between entities (Sole proprietorship, Partnership, LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp, Nonprofit Corporation, etc.)?
  • Registration:  How do you register your entity? Where do you need to register?
  • Required Documents:  What documents do you need, and where do you get them?
  • Contracts:  Where can you find legal help, best practices, and templates for inspiration?
  • Tax Setup:  What is an EIN, and why do you need one? What is a BIN, when do you need one, and how do you get one?
  • Insurance:  What insurance should you consider?
  • Permitting:  How do you find out if you need a permit?
  • Employment:  What are some of your obligations as an employer?
  • Referrals:  Why should you get help, and where do you get help? (Including free and low-cost sources)
  • Timing:  When should you "start?"

You get an "Action Plan" that you may use to take next steps, find help, and find additional support for your business.

 

What won't we cover?

The following items are covered by other Sprints.

  • Finding a Business Model, and Establishing Product-Market Fit
  • Protyping, Establishing a Supply chain, or building Hardware/Software
  • Finding and Preparing to Get Funding
  • Creating Websites and Setting up E-Commerce
  • Creating A Mobile App or Web App

If you need help with finding help beyond these topics, please join our Special Project Sprint, and we will help you find available resources.

 

How does the Sprint work?

Our sprints aren't passive lectures.  They help you learn about the topic, your needs, and how to take action.  They are work-shops.  Here's how it works:

  • Registration:  You register.
  • Pre-Work:  We send you a online module that needs to be completed prior to the sprint. 
  • Action Plan Draft:  Based on your answers in the online module, we create an editable Action Plan that is tailored to you, and send it to you via email.  
  • Sprint:  You join our web conference via Zoom with other companies and nonprofits.  We answer your questions and fill in the gaps.
  • Post-Sprint:  You get a draft "Action Plan" that you can use for your purposes.

 

Where will the Sprint be held?

The sprint will be held online via Zoom.  

 

What is the next Sprint date?

February 2022, but TBD.

 

Fee:

$150

 

How do I register?

If interested, email adam.krynicki@osucascades.edu

This sprint covers the basics of Creating a Software App, Mobile App, or Web App

Who should join?

  • Companies, nonprofits, or government entities that want to launch software (mobile app, web app)

 

What will we cover?

  • Gather your Requirements
  • Create your Single-statement purpose. X is a system that enables Y to do Z.
  • Create User Scenarios
  • Identify non-goals
  • Create a UX Flow diagram
  • Analyze Use Cases
  • Create a Screen-by-Screen Specification (aka wireframes)
  • Identfy online tools, code bases, or developers (including low-cost or no-code tools)

You will get an action plan document that you may use as a Scope of Work or Request for Proposal with developers.  We will also provide a list of developers that may develop your project.  You may also qualify to use the Co-Lab consultancy that can help you with:

  • Rapid clickable prototype development
  • v0.0.1 deployment
  • Iterative feature development, deployment & feedback

 

What won't we cover?

The following items are covered by other Sprints.

  • Setting Up your Business or Nonprofit
  • Finding a Business Model, and Establishing Product-Market Fit
  • Finding and Preparing to Get Funding
  • Creating Websites and Setting up E-Commerce  (Web apps are typically more complex than websites, and we separate these sprints)

If you need help with finding help beyond these topics, please join our Triage Sprint, and we will help you find available resources.

 

How does the Sprint work?

Our sprints aren't passive lectures.  They help you learn about the topic, your needs, and how to take action.  They are work-shops.  Here's how it works:

  • Registration:  You register.
  • Pre-Work:  We send you a online module that needs to be completed prior to the sprint. 
  • Action Plan Drafts:  Based on your answers in the online module, we create an editable Action Plan that is tailored to you, and send it to you via email.  
  • Sprint Sessions:  You join our web conferences via Zoom.  We answer your questions and fill in the gaps.
  • Post-Sprint:  You get a draft "Action Plan" that you can use for your purposes.

 

Where will the Sprint be held?

The sprint will be held online via Zoom.  

 

What is the next Sprint date?

February 2022, but TBD.

 

Fee:

$975

 

How do I register?

If interested, email adam.krynicki@osucascades.edu

This sprint covers the basics of Finding funding and creating a plan to get it.

Who should join?

  • Anyone looking to find funding resources for their small business, tech startup, or nonprofit.

What will we cover?

  • Types of funding:  What types of funding are available?  (Grants, equity investment, loans, revenue share, etc.)
  • Best practices:  What are best practices for the different funding types? When should you pursue them?
  • Funders: Where do you find funders?
  • Preparation:  How do you prepare to go after certain types of funding? Do you need a pitch, business plan, grant skeleton?
  • Referrals to support services:  Where do you get help for getting funding?

You will get an action plan document that you may use yourself as a checklist as guide.  You may also use this as a Scope of Work to use the Co-Lab's student consultancy to help you with your pitch deck, business plan, grant skeleton, etc.

 

What won't we cover?

We unfortunately don't cover pitching, business planning, or grant writing as part of this Sprint.  They are covered by other Sprints or you may use the Student Consultancy and mentorship from our Executive Director for these tasks.  

Also, please note that the following items are covered by other Sprints.

  • Setting Up your Business or Nonprofit
  • Finding a Business Model, and Establishing Product-Market Fit
  • Finding and Preparing to Get Funding
  • Best practices for getting the type of funding you're seeking
  • Creating Websites and Setting up E-Commerce  (Web apps are typically more complex than websites, and we separate these sprints)
  • Creating software, web apps, or mobile apps.

If you need help with finding help beyond these topics, please join our Special Project Sprint, and we will help you find available resources.

 

How does the Sprint work?

Our sprints aren't passive lectures.  They help you learn about the topic, your needs, and how to take action.  They are work-shops.  Here's how it works:

  • Registration:  You register.
  • Pre-Work:  We send you a online module that needs to be completed prior to the sprint. 
  • Action Plan Draft:  Based on your answers in the online module, we create an editable Action Plan that is tailored to you, and send it to you via email.  
  • Sprint:  You join our web conference via Zoom with other companies and nonprofits.  We answer your questions and fill in the gaps.
  • Post-Sprint:  You get a draft "Action Plan" and referrals that you can use for your purposes.  You may use it to find help, resources.  Also, you may use it for the Scope of Work to work with our Student Consultancy.

 

Where will the Sprint be held?

The sprint will be held online via Zoom.  

 

What is the next Sprint date?

March 2022.

 

Fee:

$150

 

How do I register?

If interested, email adam.krynicki@osucascades.edu

This sprint covers the basics of building a product/service that a customer wants to buy.

Who should join?

Businesses, tech startups, or nonprofits that want to:

  • sell a product or service.
  • test the market without spending a ton of money

 

What will we cover?

  • How to create a basic elevator pitch
  • The types of revenue models and how to find one that could work for you
  • Your customer journey
  • Customer discovery
  • How to create a Minimum Viable Product to test your market.

 

You get an "Action Plan" that you may use to take next steps, find help, and find additional support.

 

What won't we cover?

The following items are covered by other Sprints.

  • Creating a pitch-deck for investors
  • Establishing your Business or Nonprofit
  • Finding and Preparing to Get Funding
  • Creating Websites and Setting up E-Commerce
  • Creating A Mobile App or Web App

If you need help with finding help beyond these topics, please join our Special Project Sprint, and we will help you find available resources.

 

How does the Sprint work?

Our sprints aren't passive lectures.  They help you learn about the topic, your needs, and how to take action.  They are work-shops.  Here's how it works:

  • Registration:  You register.
  • Pre-Work:  We send you a online module that needs to be completed prior to the sprint. 
  • Action Plan Draft:  Based on your answers in the online module, we create an editable Action Plan that is tailored to you, and send it to you via email.  
  • Sprint:  You join our web conference via Zoom with other companies and nonprofits.  We answer your questions and fill in the gaps.
  • Post-Sprint:  You get a draft "Action Plan" that you can use for your purposes.

 

Where will the Sprint be held?

The sprint will be held online via Zoom.  

 

What is the next Sprint date?

April 2022

 

Fee:

TBD

 

How do I register?

If interested, email adam.krynicki@osucascades.edu

This sprint is for projects that (1) are for limited duration projects and (2) do not fall within the scope of other sprints. 

Who should join?

Businesses, tech startups, or nonprofits that want to put together an action plan for short projects such as:

  • build a pitch deck
  • write a grant skeleton
  • build a survey, send it, and collect data
  • do customer discovery interviews
  • build a leads list and find potential customers
  • build a list-serv
  • create a data visualization or map
  • create a branding guide
  • create a content calendar
  • other limited duration projects
  • create a newsletter
  • create a sponsorship packet

What will we cover?

  • How can you create an action plan that you can use yourself, give to employees, or convey to independent contractors?
  • Where can you find examples of how others have achieved success?
  • How can you establish goals and communicate them to get what you want?
  • Where can you find potential free/low-cost support?
  • Where can you find software, templates, or tools to help you?
  • Where can you find consultants, developers, lawyers, accountants, others to help you?

What will you get?

  • You will get an action plan draft that you can use yourself, with employees, or with contractors.

How does the Sprint work?

Our sprints aren't passive lectures.  They help you learn about the topic, your needs, and how to take action.  They are work-shops.  Here's how it works:

  • Registration:  You register.
  • Pre-Work:  We send you a online module that needs to be completed prior to the sprint. 
  • Action Plan Draft:  Based on your answers in the online module, we create an editable Action Plan that is tailored to you, and send it to you via email.  
  • Sprint:  You join our web conference via Zoom.  We answer your questions and fill in the gaps.
  • Post-Sprint:  You get a draft "Action Plan" that you can use for your purposes.

Where will the Sprint be held?

The sprint will be held online via Zoom.  

 

What is the next Sprint date?

Held monthly starting February 2022.

 

Fee:

$300

Note that this sprint is typically more expensive than other sprints as it requires Co-Lab staff an interns to dedicate additional time to researching and creating a customized action plan with you.  If you have a project that falls within the scope of other sprints, then please register for them.  

 

How do I register?

If interested, email adam.krynicki@osucascades.edu

Consulting

Co-Lab clients can get access to a group of student consultants that can help with their projects.  For example, students can:

  • Develop Prototypes

  • Develop Websites

  • Build Apps

  • Perform Market Research, Create Surveys, Analyze Information, Draft Reports

  • Generate Sales Leads

  • Create and Run Social Media Marketing Campaigns

  • Act as a Virtual Assistant

To get started with the consultancy, a Scope of Work is needed.  You may create a Scope of Work through our design sprints or by working with the Executive Director.   Please note that the cost of working with the interns is $17/hour.   

Mentorship

The Co-Lab's Executive Director meets with clients one-on-one to help them.  Advising hours are exclusive to Co-Lab Consulting clients.  To get started with the consultancy, please attend a Sprint and Register to become a Co-Lab Consultancy client.  Additionally, the Co-Lab works on the following mentorship initiatives:

 

  • Mentor Network:  The Co-Lab hosts a Social Network for Startup and Nonprofit Mentors at https://www.upskillor.com.  Through this network of 200+ mentors, mentors can connect clients to resources across the state and help clients find the support they need.  
  • Mentor and Consultant List:  The Co-Lab maintains a list of mentors, business consultants, web developers, software developers, lawyers, and accountants that can be used to make referrals.  To provide your information for this list, please go to the Mentor Form.
  • Startup Group Facilitation:  The Co-Lab facilitates a Startup Group peer-mentorship group with Opportunity Knocks;
  • SBIR Group Support:  The Co-Lab supports the Women's Small Business Innovation Research Group at Opportunity Knocks;

For more information about these initiatives, please contact the Co-Lab's Executive Director.

Get Started with the Co-Lab

Get access to the space, resources, and coaching you need to launch your new venture.

EMAIL US TO GET STARTED

Contact Us

If you are interested in working with the Co-Lab, please contact the Executive Director.

EMAIL USAnchor

Location

The Innovation Co-Lab is located at the Graduate Research Center on the second floor.  

GET DIRECTIONS