Business Oregon Announces Intent to Award $5 Million in Startup Funding to Support 50 Oregon Businesses

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Business Oregon has announced an Intent to Award $5 million from the Business Oregon Venture Fund Program (BOV Fund Program) to three Oregon-based fund managers to increase access to venture capital for as many as 50 early-stage startups, with priority given to businesses located in underserved geographies and owned and controlled by Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individuals (SEDIs). The BOV Fund Program is a part of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), a program authorized through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury. 

The BOV Fund Program is one of two programs launched by Business Oregon under SSBCI to expand access to venture capital across Oregon, particularly for underserved geographies and SEDI-owned businesses. 

This round of funding is planned to be released following final approvals, which are expected to conclude in late summer of 2023. Business Oregon intends to award BOV funding to the following Oregon-based recipients: 

The BFM Fund (Black Founders Matter): Based in Portland, The BFM Fund invests in seed-stage ventures with a focus on startups led by BIPOC entrepreneurs. 

The BFM Fund is expected to receive $3 million. VertueLab: VertueLab is a non-profit that supports climate technology start-ups with funding and technical support. VertueLab is expected to receive $1.5 million. 

ONAMI: ONAMI is a non-profit that focuses on starting science-based technology companies from the earliest stages and provides financial and operational support. ONAMI is expected to receive $500,000. Combined with the private matching funds, these awards are expected to provide at least $10 million in startup funding to as many as 50 Oregon-based businesses and are expected to create more than 350 jobs in Oregon over the next several years. 

These awards are part of the first tranche of SSBCI funds disbursed by the U.S. Department of Treasury to Business Oregon. 

A second tranche of SSBCI funding is expected to be disbursed to Business Oregon so that additional investments can be made. The expected date for Business Oregon to receive the second tranche of funding is yet to be determined. However, Business Oregon expects to solicit a Request for Grant Applications for additional funds in the coming weeks. For more information on the federal SSBCI program, visit For more information on Business Oregon’s SSBCI programs, including the BOV Fund Program, visit

Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency, invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. The agency’s services span rural community development and infrastructure financing; business retention, expansion and recruitment; export promotion and international trade; investments in industry research and development and entrepreneurship; small business assistance; and support for arts and cultural organizations. Learn more at

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