A new Oregon incubator called the Center of Excellence helps apparel, footwear startups

A running start

Bob Taylor is no stranger to Portland’s booming footwear industry. He’s taken three shoe startups to market, including Portland-based Cloggens LLC and AQX Inc.

He now wants to nurture the region’s footwear and apparel startups on a larger scale.

Taylor and partner William Weinstein have leased and remodeled 10,000 square feet in the historic George Lawrence building in Old Town. Their new venture, called the Center of Excellence , offers a host of support services, including a fabric and shoe-component library, rapid prototyping, access to a network of designers and developers and — most importantly for many businesses — access to manufacturing. The founders will work to connect promising startups with seed funding.

Portland Business Journal – by Robin J. Moody Business Journal staff writer

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