Innovation in Corvallis — What’s the big deal?

MundorffImageCONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE CORVALLIS ECONOMY often bring up a few key factors: innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. The community ranks among the top cities in the country for patents and Ph.Ds. per capita. And as the home to a global leader in computer technologies, a vibrant startup business culture and the state’s largest research university, the city brims with energy that seems almost out of place in its agricultural setting.

At the City Club of Corvallis meeting on Tuesday, November 14, three speakers will address the impacts of this innovative spirit on local culture and economy. The question is this: What does an innovation economy mean for Corvallis, for longtime residents and newcomers, for young families and retirees, for business owners and employees?

Addressing these questions will be three people familiar with the local economy:

  • David Youngentob, coastal venture catalyst for the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, RAIN
  • Karl Mundorff, director of the Oregon State University Advantage program
  • Patrick O’Connor, economist with the State of Oregon Employment Department

Among the issues they will discuss are the community’s attitude toward business development, the impact of the arts community, the city’s role in the regional economy, the availability of housing and demand for city services such as recreation, transportation and public health.

The discussion will be moderated by Tom Nelson, Economic Development manager for the City of Corvallis.

The event is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 11:30 at the Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis at 1112 NW Circle Blvd. The event will begin at noon, and a lunch from Valley Catering will be available: $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. To reserve lunch, send email to by Friday, November 10. You can also pay for lunch online with your credit card.

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