Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the Oregon Story Board Accelerator?
The Oregon Story Board Accelerator will be located in our new offices at NW 4th and Flanders in Portland, OR. We'll have conference and meeting rooms available for investor and team meetings, a kitchen, and indoor bike racks available for use.
What resources will Oregon Story Board provide to the Accelerator?
In addition to funding (see “Investment” section below), Oregon Story Board will provide access to industry executives and mentors to help businesses create the future of digital storytelling and build great companies of their own. Oregon Story Board will also support companies with facilities, visibility, and proactive engagement around business opportunities that emerge from the program. We’ll provide the opportunity to pitch to angel investors, venture capitalists, industry influentials, press, and the public during our end-of-program Demo Day.
What networking and educational opportunities will be provided during the three months of active programming?
One of the biggest benefits of going through the Oregon Story Board Accelerator program is having access to knowledgeable mentors. You will have access to Oregon Story Board leadership, board members, seasoned entrepreneurs, experienced investors, or individuals with considerable expertise in their field to give feedback and offer you guidance. We also host numerous talks and presentations, and point you toward community programming that builds your network.
We will also organize a variety of one-on-one meetings with mentors chosen based on your company needs. Our mentor pool includes local, national, and international business leaders with a breadth of experience building businesses in technology, entertainment, and communications.
You’ll also have the peer-mentorship of other companies in the program, as well as graduates from our first class.
What are the dates for the next Accelerator class?
The 2015 accelerator class will begin near the end of June, and run for four months, with a public Demo Day in mid-October.
Do I have to be there for the entire 4-month period?
The Oregon Story Board Accelerator is a major commitment, and we expect you to be around most of the time. The first 3 months are crucial for mentors and staff to help develop the skill toolset that prepares companies for Demo Day. The last month of the program is focused on developing your presentation, from the story, to the visuals, to presentation coaching.
DO I HAVE TO LIVE IN OREGON?
The Oregon Story Board program is focused on companies registered and operating in the state of Oregon.
Where will we live while we’re there?
We welcome companies from around the state of Oregon, but we aren’t able to provide housing for companies outside of Portland at this time. We’d be happy to help you look, though!
Do the companies that participate have to stay in the Portland area when the program ends after three months?
No. Companies are free to move to any Oregon location they wish after the program. We are looking for companies that want to stay in Oregon and become a sustainable part of the digital storytelling ecosystem.
What if my company doesn’t ultimately succeed?
At least you tried. Because not just anyone is accepted into the Oregon Story Board Accelerator program, you’ll have an impressive resume item for your next gig that will look way better than almost anything else you could have spent your time doing. And you will have met a large number of smart and well-connected people who can help you tremendously with whatever you do next. Hopefully that will be another digital storytelling business.
Do you invest in the companies that go through the accelerator program?
We invest in all companies at the start of the program. Each company participating in the program is eligible for funding, with amounts varying depending on the size and legal structure of the business. For companies that are organized as LLCs we offer two-year, low-interest loans, and for those organized as Corporations, we offer convertible debt options.
What sort of control am I giving up by granting equity or other investment rights to Oregon Story Board?
Oregon Story Board expects to have all the same rights as any other funder, relative to our minority ownership position. In a nutshell, we don’t want any special or controlling interests in your company. We won’t ask for a board seat or for any uncommon investor rights. You will still run the show.
What about any intellectual property (IP) developed by my company?
As far as Oregon Story Board is concerned, the IP developed by a participating company is retained by the company. However, Oregon Story Board is not in a position to protect or advise you on your intellectual property rights, so we cannot and do not take any responsibility for doing so. Because Oregon Story Board does not require non-disclosure agreements or other confidentiality obligations from anyone involved in the Oregon Story Board Accelerator process, you, the applicant, are solely responsible for protecting your intellectual property rights for your business – before, during, and after the program
APPLICATION PROCESS AND LEGAL STUFF
What types of businesses are suitable for the Oregon Story Board Accelerator program?
Oregon Story Board is looking for Oregon-based digital storytelling companies with innovative ideas for products, tools, solutions, and services. No single short-term project initiatives, please. We are looking to support scalable companies, with a desire to grow and sustain their viability in Oregon for years to come. Companies working in film, video, animation, visual effects, gaming, and digital media – or any combination therein – are the industry focus for the Oregon Story Board program.
How detailed does my idea need to be in the application?
In this initial application process, we ask applicants to fill out our online application form as comprehensively as possible.
Do I need to send in a business plan?
Nope. Just fill out the online application – that’s all we need for now.
When is the application deadline?
Applications for the 2015 accelerator class are now closed.
How will I know if I have been selected for the next stage of candidacy?
All applicants will receive an e-mail notification from Oregon Story Board upon the selection of your application to schedule an interview. We’ll notify companies that have not been selected for interviews. Interviews will begin that following week, so please plan to be available.
How long will my presentation be during face-to-face interviews?
Companies will receive half an hour for their initial interview. A projector and computer will be provided for, and just let us know ahead of time any media you’d like to present and we can do our best to support.
Where can I access the online application form?
Applications for the 2015 class are now closed.
You can view a cheat sheet of all of the application questions for planning purposes here.