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A Brief History

In 2011, the Young Entrepreneur Society (Y.E.S.) of Umpqua Valley was created to ignite an entrepreneurial culture that helps young entrepreneurs feel they can stay here in Southern Oregon to grow successful, innovative, and fun companies. Also, to help young professionals and entrepreneurs connect with each other. In May of 2017, the Umpqua Business Center began managing the Y.E.S. group and renamed it Umpqua Pub Talks. Finally, in June of 2019, Umpqua Economic Development Partnership (the Partnership) took on Pub Talks as a part of their strategic plan to grow this entrepreneurial culture, build a funding pipeline that supports these entrepreneurs, and enhance the economic vitality of Douglas County.

So, What Is It?

A monthly event focused on inspiring, informing, and investing in our area’s local entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The event takes place on the 3rd Wednesday of every month.

Why It’s Important

GrowthTalks is produced by Umpqua Economic Development Partnership. As Douglas County’s lead economic development organization, part of what we focus on is workforce and entrepreneurial development. The ability of entrepreneurs to start new businesses and scale them is critical for future economic growth in our county. These monthly events will allow us to grow our startup community and lead entrepreneurs down a pathway to success.

The Future

In 2020, the Partnership is renamed this event GrowthTalks to emphasize our dedication and commitment towards spurring economic growth and investment back into the community. We look forward to hosting at least 12 events in 2020, including more Pitch Night competitions. Last year we hosted our first pre-seed Pitch Night competition in July. Think Shark Tank, but not as intimidating.

A pre-seed fund of $1,000 was awarded to a local entrepreneur to grow her startup business.

Support GrowthTalks

As a non-profit 501(c)6 organization, we cannot meet our goals without generous support from our community. If you support local small businesses and want to foster economic vitality in our county, all while having a lot of fun, this is a great place to be involved.


Please email leah@uedpartnership.org to request the Partnership Package.

Thank you to our 2020 partners!