Peanut butter and chocolate, and vegan maple sea salt doughnuts at Benny's Donuts in Corvallis. The shop was started with help from the Advantage Accelerator program.
Peanut butter and chocolate, and vegan maple sea salt doughnuts at Benny's Donuts in Corvallis. The shop was started with help from the Advantage Accelerator program. - 
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Marketplace

Building a business from the ground up can be quite an undertaking. Even if you have a brilliant idea, you almost always need help and support to execute it.

At the Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator in Corvallis, Oregon, the university is partnering with the county and investors to create a support system for budding entrepreneurs. 

Students, faculty and people in the Corvallis community can use the accelerator's three-step program to get help starting a new business. Step 1, iterate, helps identify the need for a product or service; Step 2, accelerate, puts the business through its paces to see if it can work; Step 3, launch, does just that — launches the product. 

Along the way, entrepreneurs going through the OSU program can connect to investors and mentors. The goal is to foster economic growth in the area and create strong ties between businesses and the university. 

Marketplace Weekend spoke to two entrepreneurs who took advantage of the OSU Advantage Accelerator: Ashley Ellenson, who is in the second stage of the program, working toward launching her wave-tracking app Surf OR, and Benny Augeri, whose doughnut shop, Benny's Donuts, has become a huge success in town. 

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