Silicon Florist links arrangement for September 13, 2016

In today’s links, questioning if startup accelerators and innovation districts really work, announcing the winner of the Foot Locker and PENSOLE design challenge, IOTAS impresses Oregon BEST, Eugene RAIN, and new directions for Free Geek.

Do startup accelerators really work?

“The nation’s leading tech hubs have far and away the majority of accelerators,” wrote Florida. “While accelerators have spurred lots of startups in these places, they are themselves a product of their well-established entrepreneurial ecosystems.”

Foot Locker and PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy Unveil Winning Sneaker Design from the First ‘Fueling the Future of Footwear’ Master Class in Partnership with ASICS America

Together, the brands selected 18 students out of 1,400 applicants with skill sets across design, engineering and business to compete in six teams and create a new silhouette for the ASICS GEL-Lyte III sneaker. The three-week design course, which took place in July 2015, featured an intense competition built upon Foot Locker’s commitment to delivering the freshest, athletic-inspired footwear and PENSOLE’s “learn by doing” footwear design process. The winning team created a compelling custom design for the iconic ASICS GEL-Lyte III sneaker.

Oregon energy conservation technology startup lands $250K investment

IOTAS will use the funds from Oregon BEST to collaborate with Portland State University researchers to validate energy savings from the company’s technology, which promises lower utility bills for apartment dwellers.

RAIN creates space for collaborative innovation

Eugene is a rich town — perhaps not in the traditional sense, but in its special ideology that attracts and retains people and families, as well as the creative, forward-thinking and innovative minds that choose to embrace it. To grow and thrive, it is critical for our city and its residents that we blend Eugene’s culture into a climate that fosters economic development.

Free Geek’s new director seeks to raise its profile

Free Geek is thinking beyond its walls and aspiring to be known for more than its geeky heritage, aspiring to build a reputation among Portlanders for its efforts to bridge the digital divide by bringing computing and online connectivity to a broader population.