Author Archives: EDCO

2019 BVC Semi-Finalists for Growth Stage and Impact

EDCO ANNOUNCES THE SEMI-FINALISTS IN THE GROWTH STAGE AND IMPACT CATEGORIES; ONE STEP CLOSER TO PRESENTING AT THE 2019 BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE


BEND, OR – September 12, 2019 – 
Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the Semi-Finalists advancing in the Growth Stage and Impact Categories for the 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) on Thursday, October 17 – Friday, October 18, 2019.

The below semi-finalists have to make it through one more cut before presenting on the historic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend. Last year, companies in the Growth Stage Category won prizes ranging from $100,000 to $500,000, while the Impact Category winner walked away with $100,000. Semi-Finalists in the Early Stage competition will be announced early next week.

In alphabetical order, the 10 Growth Stage semi-finalists are:

  1. Belmont (Portland, OR.) – Providing break rooms with coffee, simplified draft beverages and fully-managed pantry service using proprietary technology.
  2. Broken Top Candle Company (Bend, OR) – Create hand-poured sustainable and conscious products using renewable and recyclable materials.
  3. Candid Wholesale (Portland, OR) – A suite of enterprise-grade tools for SME wholesalers, providing a SaaS platform where buyers can make orders and manage relationships.
  4. ClearOPS, Inc. (New York, NY) – Provides vendor response management for data privacy and security operations.
  5. New Leaf Precision Ag (Portland, OR) – A standardized, data-driven framework that helps growers grow more, waste less and maintain consistency.
  6. Observa (Seattle, WA) – An AI platform bringing ecommerce-style analytics to brick-and-mortar retail.
  7. Rupie (Bend, OR) – An AI-driven, community-focused talent-gig matching platform for building video games.
  8. SendSmart (Portland, OR) – Automates web lead follow up on multiple communication channels, connecting salespeople with leads once they’ve responded.
  9. ThingLogix (Belmont, CA) – Provides companies with the expertise and tools to design, build, deploy, and manage serverless and IoT Applications on the cloud.
  10. Walker Tracker (Portland, OR) – A SaaS platform that partners with companies and organizations to build wellness into their culture and make healthy behaviors fun and accessible.

In alphabetical order, the six Impact Stage semi-finalists are:

  1. Beta Hatch (Seattle, WA) – Farming for the future by industrializing insects.
  2. BrainChild Technologies (Bend, OR) – Accessible hearing tests for infants.
  3. Meli Wraps (Bend, OR) – Creators of reusable beeswax wraps for food storage.
  4. Riff Cold Brewed (Bend, OR) – Upcycling coffee byproduct into an all-natural energy drink.
  5. Sana Packaging (Denver, CO) – Designer and developer of cannabis packaging using sustainable materials.
  6. Sironix Renewables (Seattle, WA) – Maker of high-performance, eco-friendly ingredients for cleaning products.

Hosted by Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), this year’s BVC will once again feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Early Stage and Impact, bringing together over 600 entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders to Bend, Oregon.

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 16th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past five years, more than $10 million has been invested in 38 companies as a result of the conference. This year, over 600 entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders are expected to attend the multi-day conference on October 17-18, in Bend, Oregon. bendvc.com

About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)
EDCO is a non-profit corporation supported by private and public members and stakeholders, whose mission is to create middle-class jobs in Central Oregon by recruiting new employers to move to the region; helping entrepreneurs start new, scalable businesses; and working with businesses that are already here to grow their operations. edcoinfo.com

BEND, OR – September 12, 2019 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the Semi-Finalists advancing in the Growth Stage and Impact Categories for the 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) on Thursday, October 17 – Friday, October 18, 2019.

The below semi-finalists have to make it through one more cut before presenting on the historic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend. Last year, companies in the Growth Stage Category won prizes ranging from $100,000 to $500,000, while the Impact Category winner walked away with $100,000. Semi-Finalists in the Early Stage competition will be announced early next week.

In alphabetical order, the 10 Growth Stage semi-finalists are:

  1. Belmont (Portland, OR.) – Providing break rooms with coffee, simplified draft beverages and fully-managed pantry service using proprietary technology.
  2. Broken Top Candle Company (Bend, OR) – Create hand-poured sustainable and conscious products using renewable and recyclable materials.
  3. Candid Wholesale (Portland, OR) – A suite of enterprise-grade tools for SME wholesalers, providing a SaaS platform where buyers can make orders and manage relationships.
  4. ClearOPS, Inc. (New York, NY) – Provides vendor response management for data privacy and security operations.
  5. New Leaf Precision Ag (Portland, OR) – A standardized, data-driven framework that helps growers grow more, waste less and maintain consistency.
  6. Observa (Seattle, WA) – An AI platform bringing ecommerce-style analytics to brick-and-mortar retail.
  7. Rupie (Bend, OR) – An AI-driven, community-focused talent-gig matching platform for building video games.
  8. SendSmart (Portland, OR) – Automates web lead follow up on multiple communication channels, connecting salespeople with leads once they’ve responded.
  9. ThingLogix (Belmont, CA) – Provides companies with the expertise and tools to design, build, deploy, and manage serverless and IoT Applications on the cloud.
  10. Walker Tracker (Portland, OR) – A SaaS platform that partners with companies and organizations to build wellness into their culture and make healthy behaviors fun and accessible.

In alphabetical order, the six Impact Stage semi-finalists are:

  1. Beta Hatch (Seattle, WA) – Farming for the future by industrializing insects.
  2. BrainChild Technologies (Bend, OR) – Accessible hearing tests for infants.
  3. Meli Wraps (Bend, OR) – Creators of reusable beeswax wraps for food storage.
  4. Riff Cold Brewed (Bend, OR) – Upcycling coffee byproduct into an all-natural energy drink.
  5. Sana Packaging (Denver, CO) – Designer and developer of cannabis packaging using sustainable materials.
  6. Sironix Renewables (Seattle, WA) – Maker of high-performance, eco-friendly ingredients for cleaning products.

Hosted by Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), this year’s BVC will once again feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Early Stage and Impact, bringing together over 600 entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders to Bend, Oregon.

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 16th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past five years, more than $10 million has been invested in 38 companies as a result of the conference. This year, over 600 entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders are expected to attend the multi-day conference on October 17-18, in Bend, Oregon. bendvc.com

About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)
EDCO is a non-profit corporation supported by private and public members and stakeholders, whose mission is to create middle-class jobs in Central Oregon by recruiting new employers to move to the region; helping entrepreneurs start new, scalable businesses; and working with businesses that are already here to grow their operations. edcoinfo.com

Start: LeadMethod Immersed in Bend

August 20, 2019 – In 2013 LeadMethod Founder & CEO Justin Johnson moved from Seattle to Bend. Unsure how to immerse himself in the business community, he reached out to EDCO for resources that allowed him to connect with many local leaders, influencers and mentors.

One local resource he connected with was the Bend Venture Conference, and in 2017 LeadMethod walked away from the annual angel investing event with over $485,000 in funding. The winners of the largest Angel Conference in the West kicked their growth into high gear. The money raised from BVC allowed LeadMethod to increase its staff by 50% and move into a new 5,000 square foot office space, giving them both the manpower and room to scale the business while also adding the ability to test new and innovative ideas.

LeadMethod, a creator of the first channel revenue optimization software, allows manufacturers and distributors to get more information on the leads provided throughout the entire sales cycle. With 25% of their customers surpassing $1 billion in revenue, they continue to gain industry trust worldwide while expanding their footprint in Bend.

For more info on LeadMethod, visit: https://leadmethod.com/

Amplion Secured Series A Funding

Amplion, the Bend-based biomarker intelligence company secured their Series A funding from Greycroft with participation from existing investors Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and Imagen Capital Partners. They will use those funds to expand its sales and marketing efforts as well as accelerate product development. Amplion participated in the 2014 Bend Venture Conference and walked away with $400,000 in funding.

https://www.geekwire.com/2019/startup-wants-accelerate-precision-medicine-growing-biological-data-platform/ 

Grow: Laird Superfood Expands in Sisters

Laird Superfood staff outside Sisters facility

August 13, 2019 – In November 2015 Laird Superfood started its operations with just three employees in Sisters, Oregon. Their flagship product, Laird Superfood creamer was making waves across the natural products market thanks in part to the company’s namesake and co-founder, Laird Hamilton. The company creates clean, all-natural superfood products that are sustainably grown and responsibly sourced, including coffee creamers and hydration products.

Today, the company has over 80 employees and a brand new 20,000+ sq. ft. state-of-the-art campus. A recent investment from global co-working giant WeWork (now The We Company) gave the company the capital needed to continue its expansion with innovative growth plans.

What started as an idea would not have been possible in Sisters without help from EDCO. Laird Superfood CEO Paul Hodge had recently moved to the Sisters community and wasn’t convinced manufacturing a globally distributed product would be possible in a city with just 2,700 residents. EDCO quickly aligned city and county leadership, state government and local support to give Laird Superfood the resources needed to launch. From incentives to land selection, workforce and development assistance, EDCO worked closely with the company, providing the necessary help for them to achieve a successful start with roots firmly planted in Sisters.

For more information about Laird Superfood, visit: https://lairdsuperfood.com/

EDCO Welcomes Scott Orman as New Sunriver/La Pine Area Director

EDCO logo, Mount Bachelor landscape

EDCO WELCOMES SCOTT ORMAN AS NEW
SUNRIVER/LA PINE AREA DIRECTOR

BEND, Ore. (August 12, 2019) – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is pleased to welcome Scott Orman as the Sunriver/La Pine Area Director, effective immediately.

In this role, Scott will be responsible for supporting EDCO’s mission of creating a diversified local economy and a strong base of middle class jobs in Central Oregon, focusing those efforts in southern Deschutes County. He will help guide employers outside the region through the relocation process of moving to the area, manage and help administer incentive programs and work closely with local traded-sector companies to help them grow and expand.

Scott holds a Master’s of Science in Logistics Management from Florida Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s of Science in Education & Military Science from Northern Arizona University. As a resident of Sunriver Resort, Scott enjoys the Central Oregon lifestyle with his wife and four daughters. He is very excited about the economic trends in Sunriver and La Pine and eager to help his community grow.

“We are excited to have Scott fill this new, full-time role to help these communities capitalize on economic trends that this part of the region is realizing,” said EDCO’s CEO Roger Lee. “Our goal and that of our private and public funding partners, is to bring more jobs and diverse employment opportunities to Sunriver and La Pine residents where they live.”

Express Employment Professionals, a longstanding EDCO member, conducted the professional search for the Sunriver/La Pine Area Director position on behalf of EDCO. It was spearheaded by Managing Director Karen Turner with direct assistance by owner Connie Druliner, who is the current EDCO Board President. A hiring committee of local leaders representing different community and business perspectives reviewed and interviewed finalists and made the hiring recommendation.

About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)

EDCO is a non-profit corporation supported by private and public members and stakeholders, whose mission is to create middle-class jobs in Central Oregon by: recruiting new employers to move to the region; helping entrepreneurs start new, scalable businesses; and working with businesses already located here to grow their operations. For more information, visit www.edcoinfo.com.

About Express Employment Professionals

Express Employment Professionals is an international franchise organization that is locally owned and operated by Connie Druliner. Express Employment Professionals has been providing recruiting and human resource solutions to the Central Oregon community for over 30 years. Learn more at www.expresspros.com/bendor.

Move: Aquaglide Bounces Over to Bend

August 8, 2019 – Last year Aquaglide, one of the world’s premier inflatable water sport product companies, was in the process of being acquired by outdoor industry powerhouse Kent Watersports through Connelly Skis, one of Kent’s iconic brands. EDCO worked with Aquaglide providing location options, cost comparisons and more, to show Kent Watersports the many benefits of relocating Aquaglide to Bend.

After months of back and forth discussions, Kent Watersports was convinced that the move was a financially responsible decision and great for their employees. One year later Aquaglide now operates its headquarters from Central Oregon, with a team of 10 who were hired locally. For Aquaglide, the lifestyle and ability to attract the top-level talent that Central Oregon provides was the defining factor in relocating to Bend.

For more information on Aquaglide and their products, visit their website: https://www.aquaglide.com/

THE BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE RETURNS OCTOBER 17-18

BVC Outside Tower Theatre

THE BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE RETURNS OCTOBER 17-18, 2019
CONFERENCE TICKETS ON SALE NOW
COMPANY APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW THRU AUGUST 15TH

BEND, OR (July 17, 2019) – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) will again host the annual two-day Bend Venture Conference (BVC), now in its 16th year, on Thursday, October 17 – Friday, October 18, 2018, at the iconic Tower Theatre in downtown Bend.

Tickets to the 16th Annual BVC are on sale now and are available here.

This year’s conference will feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Early Stage, and Impact. The application period is open now through Thursday, August 15th and companies across the United States are invited to apply.

  • Growth Stage Competition: This category is open to companies that have a proven concept, have generated initial revenues and are prepared to scale quickly with investment. To apply, click here.
  • Early Stage Competition: This category is open to companies that have a great idea and are close to “proof of concept.” They are pre-revenue (or very early-revenue) and are in the process of testing their product in the market. To apply, click here.
  • Impact Competition: This category is open to for-profit companies, whose business models are integrated with a mission to have a significant and measurable social or environmental impact. Applicants should be aiming to generate long-term enterprise value and attractive returns on capital. To apply, click here.

Last year, 600 attendees, 50 prominent investors, and over 70 companies joined us for a celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation. Investments, awards, and prizes of approximately $2.35 million were given to multiple winners at the 2018 conference.

“The Bend Venture Conference has become a staple in the Pacific Northwest’s entrepreneurial community. What started as a one-day conference 16 years ago has matured into nearly a week of diverse entrepreneurial activity in Central Oregon. We’re excited to see how BVC grows this year, launching capital into businesses locally and nationally,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst.

Jason Moyer, Fund Manager for the 2019 BVC, LLC said, ““BVC has come a long way. We’re now syndicating with professional funds to invest meaningful sums in many of the region’s most promising ventures. Multiple exits and up-rounds suggest that our selection process is on the right track.”

Companies in the Impact Competition historically compete for investments ranging from $50,000-$100,000. This year’s Early Stage Competition has received a commitment from Portland Seed Fund to invest at least $25,000 into the winning company. Growth Stage Competition finalists could collect an investment of $250,000 or more. The 2019 BVC will feature impressive panelists and keynote speakers from across the country representing angel investors, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs, to be announced at a later date.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 16th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past five years, more than $10 million has been invested in 38 companies as a result of the conference. This year, over 600 entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders are expected to attend the multi-day conference on October 17-18, in Bend, Oregon. For more information, visit www.bendvc.com.

About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)
EDCO is a non-profit corporation supported by private and public members and stakeholders, whose mission is to create middle-class jobs in Central Oregon by: recruiting new employers to move to the region; helping entrepreneurs start new, scalable businesses; and working with businesses that are already here to grow their operations. For more information, visit www.edcoinfo.com.

PUBTALK HITS THE ROAD – JOIN US IN SISTERS ON THURSDAY, JULY 25TH

People laughing at McMenamins, PubTalk logo, EDCO logo

EDCO’S CENTRAL OREGON PUBTALK HITS THE ROAD
JOIN US IN SISTERS, THURSDAY, JULY 25TH


Bend, Ore. (July 15, 2019)Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)’s Central Oregon PubTalk hits the road! Join us in Sisters at Three Creeks Production Facility to hear what’s been cooking in their entrepreneurial community. See below for the Sisters-centric lineup of companies presenting later this month at the Tasting Room @ Three Creeks Brewing Production Facility in Sisters on Thursday, July 25, at 5 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and available via Eventbrite here.

EDCO’s Central Oregon PubTalk is a happy hour aimed at bringing together different facets of the business community in one place to network, share ideas and further local businesses.

Keynote Speaker

Samuel Pyke, Founder, Owner, Producer, Cinematographer Hill Shadow Pictures

“Every moment can be captured in the right light…”

Growing up in Sisters, Samuel Pyke was drawn to telling stories, specifically in the visual medium. He began to recognize the importance of composition and other characteristics that would draw people into his work. He’s created incredible work for companies including Realtree, Camp Chef, Smith & Wesson, Discovery Studios, and many more. He’ll discuss the expectations of his clientele, how he works to make their different visions a reality, and how he’s been able to live and thrive professionally in a smaller community.

Company Pitch

Josie Johnson, CEO & Founder, Josie’s Best Gluten Free Mixes
Josie’s Best produces gluten-free baking mixes that provide classic tastes and textures leaving people in disbelief that what they are eating is gluten-free. Their mission is to provide products that are not “good for gluten-free” but great overall products. Their lineup includes a gluten-free pancake mix, GF waffle mix, GF crepe mix, and GF all-purpose flour, providing both retail and foodservice sizes and options.

Company Updates

Dan Stewart & Christine Funk, Thompson Guitars
Noted for their power and immediate, responsive voice, Preston Thompson Guitars pay tribute to the best American made instruments from the 1930s. Master guitar luthier, the late Preston Thompson, and his small team of highly skilled craftsman produce custom acoustic guitars that have the look, playing feel and above all, the sound of the best instruments from that original Golden Era of guitar making.

Jamie Eichman, COO, Laird Superfood
Laird Superfood, Inc. creates award-winning, all-natural superfood products that are both delicious and functional. The company was co-founded in 2015 by the world’s most prolific big-wave surfer, Laird Hamilton. His passion project to perfect his personal regimen grew into a dynamic, innovative brand with a mission to bring clean, simple and thoughtfully formulated superfoods to the masses. As one of the fastest-growing companies in the natural foods space, Laird Superfood’s offerings are environmentally sustainable, responsibly tested and made with whole-food ingredients that everyone can feel good about.

Agenda
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Networking, drinks and appetizers
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm Company Presentations & Keynote

Venue
Tasting Room @ Three Creeks Production Facility
265 Barclay Drive, Sisters, OR 97759

Cost and Registration
$26 EDCO & OEN Members (Become an EDCO Member here)
$36 Non-Members

Admission includes appetizers and a free beverage (choice of beer, wine, or soda).

Title Sponsors

About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)

Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is a non-profit corporation supported by private and public members and stakeholders, whose mission is to create middle-class jobs in Central Oregon by: recruiting new employers to move to the region; helping entrepreneurs start new, scalable businesses; and working with businesses that are already here to grow their operations. For more information, visit www.edcoinfo.com.

EDCO’S PUBTALK RETURNS THURSDAY, JUNE 27TH

People laughing at McMenamins, PubTalk logo, EDCO logo

EDCO’S PUBTALK RETURNS THURSDAY, JUNE 27TH
FEATURING HYDRO FLASK, TERRA FRMA, ADVENTURE GURU

Bend, Ore. (June 11, 2019)Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) has announced the speakers for the next Central Oregon PubTalk at McMenamins in downtown Bend on Thursday, June 27, at 5 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and available via Eventbrite here.

EDCO’s Central Oregon PubTalk is a happy hour aimed at bringing together different facets of the business community in one place to network, share ideas and further local businesses.

Keynote Speaker
Mike Wallenfels, SVP Global Sales, Helen of Troy

Think Omni-Channel: Developing Brick & Mortar Avenues in a Digitally Native World

Mike has spent much of his career in sales leadership for brands like Hydro Flask, Timbuk2 and Mountain Hardwear. He’s also advised digitally native brands (think Cotopaxi and Rumpl) in extending beyond their direct online sales worlds. After a company has mastered Kickstarter, direct online sales and Amazon, what comes next? Hear Mike’s stories of developing sales channels for leading brands and startups and why developing a brick & mortar strategy is still important in a digital world.

Company Pitches
Allison Barnard, CEO & Founder,
Terra Frma
There are reasons people don’t prepare even when they know they must. Founder Allison Barnard was in a full stop, avoiding preparing her family for a disaster. Knowing she wasn’t alone in this reaction, she set out to solve a serious problem. Allison knew the potential value of a step-by-step product that would prepare people before, guide them during and support them after any disaster without power or cell service. Terra Frma is a holistic approach to natural disaster preparedness combining expert steps with wellness-focused guidance to build physical and emotional resilience in the face of a disaster.

Shannon Enete, CEO & Founder, Adventure Guru
Adventure Guru is a video-based adventure guide aiming to change the world one adventure at a time. In order to do so, they want every type of person (size, shape, color, sexuality, ability, etc.) to represent the beauty of humanity and inspire everyone to get outside and enrich his/her life. Sometimes you need to see someone that looks like you exploring the great outdoors before you realize it’s not just for the elite athlete that we’re used to seeing on pamphlets and in magazines.

Agenda
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Networking – Drinks and appetizers
6:00 pm to 6:45 pm Company Presentations
6:45 pm to 7:30 pm Keynote Panel Discussion

Cost and Registration
$26 EDCO & OEN Members (Become an EDCO Member here)
$36 Non-Members

Admission includes appetizers and a free beverage (choice of beer, wine, or soda).

Title Sponsors

2019 PubTalk Title Sponsors Columbia Bank, Karnopp Peterson, University of Oregon, Velox Systems