PORTLAND -- Launching a new business is tough. But in Portland, there are successful companies always willing to lend a helping hand.
Advertising agency Roundhouse works with Intel, Adidas, MSN and lots of other national and local heavy hitters. Now they want to take what they learned to give small start-ups some of that knowledge.
The Roundhouse Collaborative is a two-day incubator boot camp. The idea was born when Aaron Koch, owner of a small chocolate company, called Roundhouse for some advice.
A team at Roundhouse helped develop a brand, marketing plan, website and social media plan for Koch, along with a new name: "Treehouse Chocolate Company."
"I met with six people, all experts in their field. A web designer, copy writer, a strategist - it was neat," Koch said.
Now Roundhouse's plan is to support four local businesses a year, pro bono.
"Some big brands gave us a chance to jump in," said Dan Walsh, the managing director at Roundhouse "In a sense, we've been there and we like to extend that back to other small businesses."
The companies that get the free services will be selected this spring. Following the boot-camp, Roundhouse will checking in quarterly with the companies to offer support and advice.