The Agora Investment Platform (f.k.a. IPED) was the world’s first collaborative investment technology platform matching community defined investment priorities with relevant public, private and philanthropic funding sources in order to promote economic vitality. The online platform allows communities and public, private and philanthropic funders from a variety of geographies to connect, source new opportunities, and manage the capital raising process for the critical elements required to build a thriving economy – infrastructure, education, healthcare, workforce and entrepreneurial development, etc.
The initial Oregon Solutions project team included a broad array of community leaders, investors, advisors, public agencies, and foundations. Agora’s mission was to improve coordination among all stakeholders in order to expedite investment and reduce inefficiency—allowing members to transact quickly and confidently towards common goals.
The Agora project stemmed from conversations with nearly 200 community leaders and capital providers in Oregon and Washington from the public, private and non-profit sectors. They reported that investment in community and economic development priorities was constrained by geographic separation between communities and the institutions and organizations that deploy capital. The success of Agora requires the integration of information technology and civic engagement (e.g. human systems) to meet the needs of all stakeholders.
The project team helped execute the pilot implementation of Agora in the Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD)- a district that includes three counties in Oregon (Hood River, Wasco and Sherman) and two counties in Washington (Klickitat and Skamania). This project began as a collaboration among MCEDD, the Central Oregon Regional Solutions Center, Oregon Solutions, US EDA, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Ford Family Foundation and Business Oregon. The collaboration has grown to include Oregon Community Foundation, One Pacific Coast Bank, Craft3, and additional federal and state agencies.
For more information regarding Agora, please visit their website here.