Author Archives: Edcoevents

OVER $1.8 MILLION IN FUNDING AWARDED AT THE 2018 BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE

OVER $1.8 MILLION IN FUNDING AWARDED AT THE 2018 BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE, BRINGING THE FIVE YEAR TOTAL TO NEARLY $10 MILLION

Seven Companies across Three Competition Categories Take Home Investments and Cash Prizes

BEND, OR – October 19, 2018 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) hosted the 15th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) to a sold-out crowd at the Tower Theatre in Downtown Bend. Over the past two days, 14 companies presented their ideas to 600 attendees in hopes of gaining investments from prominent funds. Of those 14 finalists, half of them walked away with funding totaling $1,807,500 in both investments and cash prizes. Side investment deals are still being finalized.

Over the past five years, the Bend Venture Conference has awarded upwards of $9.6 million in funding to 41 companies, completely reinventing Oregon’s angel and venture landscape. This year’s award breakdown is as follows:

Growth Stage Competition

The Growth Stage competition, which included companies that have a proven concept and initial revenues, had four different winners.

  • Winners of BVC, LLC, Investment Awards*:
    • Talkoot, Inc. (Hood River, Ore.) – An intuitive, cloud-based tool that helps teams create high volumes of product copy, was awarded an investment of $135,000+.
    • CommLoan, Inc. (Scottsdale, Ariz.) – A commercial real estate finance marketplace reducing the cost and time it takes to secure commercial real estate loans, was awarded an investment of $100,000.
  • Winners of Seven Peaks Ventures Investment Awards:
    • Talkoot was awarded an additional investment of $500,000.
    • Caligoo (Bend, Ore.) – A mobile customer journey software platform providing predictive and personalized experiences that sense, learn, reason, and react in real-time to target customers and reach applications goals, was awarded and investment of $250,000.
  • Winners of Cascade Angels Fund Investment Awards:
    • Stabilitas (Seattle, Wash.) – An AI engine designed for security teams that allows them to do the work of 1,000 human analysts in real-time, was awarded an investment of $200,000.
    • Talkoot was awarded an additional investment of $200,000.
  • Winner of an Elevate Capital Investment Award:
    • Talkoot received an additional $300,000.

*The investment arm of the conference, BVC, LLC, awarded the Growth Stage investments following considerable due diligence of each of the five presenting finalists. This investment included $25,000 from Oregon Growth Account and $10,000 from Oregon Community Foundation. Investments are still being finalized, with the final amounts to be announced in the coming months.

Impact Competition

The Impact Competition, which included for-profit companies with an integrated social or environmental mission, had one winner awarded by the BVC Impact LLC. This is the fourth award given by the Impact LLC in the past three years.

  • Winner of the BVC Impact LLC, Investment Award*:
    • OCO Corporation (Vida, Ore.) – Converts carbon dioxide generated by industrial and fossil fuel burning power plants into a value-added platform chemical, formic acid, was awarded an investment of $100,000.

*The impact investment arm of the conference awarded an investment following considerable due diligence of each of the four presenting finalists. This investment included $25,000 from Oregon Growth Account and $10,000 from Oregon Community Foundation. Investments are still being finalized, with the final amount to be announced in the coming months.

Early Stage Competition

  •  Winner of the Portland Seed Fund Early Stage Competition:
    • Plover, Inc. (Portland, Ore.), a carwash machine that utilizes computer vision and modern robotics using only steam and water, was awarded an investment of $20,000.
  • Winner of the PrideStaff Early Stage Audience Award:
    • LuDela (Bend, Ore.), bringing smart technology to scented candles, was awarded a cash grant of $2,500 after an audience vote.


Talkoot was the big winner for 2018, walking away with $1.135 million in funding.

“The growth of this conference is really exciting to watch and rewarding to be a part of. It has grown in more ways than just bigger capital deployment. As a result, we’ve seen companies exposed to Bend from across the country, and attendees from across the globe,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst. “And it wouldn’t be possible without our partners and Oregon-based funding entities including Cascade Angels, Seven Peaks Ventures, Elevate Capital, and Portland Seed Fund. This is truly an exciting time to be in Central Oregon.”

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 15th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past five years, nearly $10 million has been invested in 41 companies as a result of the conference. This year, 600 entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders attended the multi-day conference in Bend, Oregon. BVC will return in 2019 on October 17 &18. 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.

2018 BVC Growth & Impact Finalists Announced

EDCO ANNOUNCE FINALISTS FOR THE GROWTH STAGE AND IMPACT CATEGORIES
ADVANCING TO THE BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE, OCTOBER 18 & 19

BEND, Ore. – October 4, 2018 – Today, Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the Growth Stage and Impact companies advancing to the 15th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) on Thursday, October 18 – Friday, October 19, 2018.

In just two weeks, these companies will travel from across the United States to present on the Tower Theatre stage. Last year, Growth Stage companies won prizes ranging from $25,000 – $485,000, while the Impact Category received over $110,000 in investment.

In alphabetical order, the 5 Growth Stage finalists are:

  1. Caligoo (Bend, Ore.) – A mobile customer journey software platform providing predictive and personalized experiences that sense, learn, reason, and react in real-time to target customers and reach applications goals.
  2. CommLoan, Inc. (Scottsdale, Ariz.) – A commercial real estate finance marketplace reducing the cost and time it takes to secure a commercial real estate loan.
  3. Stabilitas (Seattle, Wash.) – An AI engine designed for security teams that allows us to do the work of 1,000 human analysts in real-time.
  4. Talkoot, Inc. (Hood River, Ore.) – An intuitive, cloud-based tool that helps teams create high volumes of product copy.
  5. TransformativeMed (Seattle, Wash.) – Develops SaaS apps enabling physicians and nurses to deliver better patient care by making hospital medical records intuitive and easy to use.

In alphabetical order, the 4 Impact Stage finalists are:

  1. Asarasi, Inc. (Katonah, N.Y.) – Certified USDA organic plant-based water sourced from maple trees without compromising the groundwater table.
  2. Dweller, Inc. (Portland, Ore.) – Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) built using modular construction and an innovative ownership structure to reduce the cost of housing in dense cities.
  3. OCO Corporation (Vida, Ore.) – Converts carbon dioxide generated by industrial and fossil fuel burning power plants into a value-added platform chemical, formic acid.
  4. ROTBLOC (Bend, Ore.) – A sustainable post wrap for wood trellis systems and ranch fencing that lengthens post life while preventing ground line rot.

“This is the most geographically dispersed group of finalists we’ve ever had, showcasing the notoriety the Bend Venture Conference has gained over the past 15 years,” noted Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst.

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. The BVC finalists presenting at the conference will be announced in early October.

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the 15th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 15th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past four years, more than $7.8 million has been invested in 34 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 18-19, 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.


2018 Title Sponsors:

EDCO Announces the 2018 BVC Early Stage Finalists

EDCO ANNOUNCES THE FIVE EARLY STAGE FINALISTS TO PRESENT AT
THE 15TH ANNUAL BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE OCTOBER 18-19
Finalists Chosen During Last Night’s Sold Out PubTalk

BEND, Ore. – September 28, 2018 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announces the Top Five Early Stage Finalists advancing to the 15th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) on Thursday, October 18 – Friday, October 19, 2018. These companies will present on the historic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend, competing for an investment of at least $20,000, courtesy of Portland Seed Fund.

The Early Stage competition includes companies that have a great idea and are close to “proof of concept.” They are pre-revenue (or very early) and are in the process of testing their product in the market. The competition will take place the morning of Friday, October 19th.

In alphabetical order, the 5 Early Stage finalists presenting at the Bend Venture Conference are:

  1. Ella & Oak (Bend, Ore.) – An online bridal marketplace for plus-size brides bringing the “try and buy” experience home to consumers before making the big purchase.
  2. LuDela (Bend, Ore.) – Bringing smart technology to the scented candle space.
  3. Plover, Inc. (Portland, Ore.) – A carwash machine that utilizes computer vision and modern robotics to clean cars using only steam and water.
  4. Raaft (Bend, Ore.) – Provider of easy-to-use software that helps software as a service (SAAS) companies reduce customer cancellations.
  5. ZibaHub (Portland, Ore.) – A professional social networking platform connecting health and beauty practitioners to jobs, customers, and each other.

“This is the first year that the BVC has opened up the Early Stage competition to companies outside of Central Oregon and it has resulted in more investment dollars and a more mature group of companies than we have ever previously had,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst. “The talent in this category is going to make for a tight competition.”

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the 15th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 15th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past four years, more than $7.8 million has been invested in 34 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 18-19, 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.

BVC 2018 Title Sponsors:

BVC Early Stage Award Sponsor:

We’re Hiring – Prineville/Crook County Economic Development Director

We're Hiring Prineville Economic Development Directo

BEND, Ore. (September 6, 2018) – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) works to build a stronger, more stable and diversified local economy.  We are currently looking for a Prineville/Crook County Economic Development Director to execute the plans and programs of business retention/expansion and recruitment for projects, and assist in creating or retaining key employment primarily within Prineville and Crook County.  This position is an integral part of the EDCO team and is an excellent chance to make an impact within the Central Oregon business community.

All applications and inquiries should be directed to Greg Lambert at Mid Oregon Personnel, 541-447-1299.

For a complete job description, click here.

2018 BVC Keynote Speakers Announced

THE 15TH ANNUAL BVC TICKETS ON SALE;
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED featuring
BLOOMBERG’S EMILY CHANG,
INDIEGOGO’S BREANNA DIGIAMMARINO

BEND, OR (August 23, 2018) – The Bend Venture Conference (BVC), one of the most prestigious entrepreneur events in the Pacific Northwest, has announced two keynote speakers for the fall conference: Bloomberg Technology host and best-selling author Emily Chang, and Indiegogo’s Breanna DiGiammarino. The 15th Annual BVC returns Thursday, October 18 – Friday, October 19, 2018, to the iconic Tower Theatre in downtown Bend. Tickets are on sale now.

2018 BVC Keynote SpeakerFriday’s keynote, Emily Chang, is the anchor and executive producer of Bloomberg Technology, a daily TV show focused on global technology. She regularly speaks with top tech executives, investors, and entrepreneurs in her podcast, Bloomberg Studio 1.0. The Harvard University graduate has won five regional Emmy awards for her reporting and was previously a CNN correspondent in both Beijing and London. She is also the bestselling author of the groundbreaking book, Brotopia, a look at the world of Silicon Valley and what it is like to navigate the “boys’ club” culture as a woman in tech.

2018 BVC Impact Keynote SpeakerThursday’s Impact keynote, Breanna DiGiammarino is the Senior Director of Social Innovation at Indiegogo. She actively raises awareness about the value and best practices of crowdfunding for social entrepreneurs, working to empower many of the most impactful campaigners on the site. She’s worked on campaigns such as blogger Humans of New York’s fundraiser to address bonded labor in Pakistan with a $2.3 million raise and the B Corp Cotopaxi’s Allpa Travel bag campaign with a $1.3 million raise. Before Indiegogo, Breanna was the Senior Associate at the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a leading social venture fund and an Associate Consultant at The Bridgespan Group, the non-profit arm of Bain & Company.

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 15th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 15th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past four years, more than $7.8 million has been invested in 34 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 18-19, 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.


Central Oregon is Hiring!

Central Oregon is Hiring!

Bend, Ore. (August 21, 2018) – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced today the release of two video campaigns to help local employers attract qualified talent to Central Oregon. These videos, Central Oregon is Hiring and the tech-focused Reboot in Bend, are available to all regional employers in their recruitment efforts as they look to attract the best talent.

The goal of this effort is to encourage skilled job seekers and businesses to consider Central Oregon as more than just a great vacation destination. With a tight labor market, and many local employers hiring for multiple positions, East Cascades Works and EDCO decided to address the needs of the community in a new way.

Heather Ficht, Executive Director of East Cascades Works, noted “Central Oregon is growing and experiencing record low unemployment, creating a labor shortage. We continue to invest in cultivating local talent, but we also need to be responsive to our local business’s immediate needs. We listened to our business partners and followed their lead to create another tool to make that recruitment process a bit easier.”

This effort was truly a community-backed initiative with multiple partners. East Cascades Works, EDCO, Wahoo Films, Visit Bend, Central Oregon Visitors Association, Technology Association of Oregon, Five Talent, and the City of Bend were all direct supporters of this effort.

Kip Barrett, EDCO’s Bend Area Director, said “Beyond those who directly contributed to the effort, there were multiple behind-the-scenes partners and community members who kept moving this initiative forward. We would like to thank all of those volunteers and partners for their support.”

To use this video in your recruitment efforts, click here for simple instructions.

It truly was a community effort to create these videos. We would like to thank those who volunteered their time and resources to make this possible.

Reboot in Bend:
Ryan Comingdeer – Five Talant
Melissa Woepse – Kollective
Paul Freed – Herd Freed Hatz
Adam Krynicki – OSU-Cascades
Eric Nielsen – Moda Health

Central Oregon is Hiring:
Jasmine Barnett – Arts & Culture Alliance of Central Oregon
Wally Corwin – JELD-WEN
Damon Runberg – State of Oregon
Paul Freed – Herd Freed Hartz
David Haines – Bend Chamber of Commerce
Teri Hockett – Technology Association of Oregon

About East Cascades Works
East Cascades Works is a private non-profit organization that supports the talent needs of business, and maximizes and aligns investments in the career goals of individuals to fuel a thriving economy. For more information, visit: www.eastcascadesworks.org

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.

Central Oregon is Hiring: How to use these videos in your recruitment efforts

Want to use our new recruitment videos in your hiring efforts? See below for simple instructions on how to share and embed these codes directly to your website.

Region-wide Video: Central Oregon is Hiring

Tech Recruit Video: Reboot in Bend

To share the videos:
Click on the share button in the top right corner of either video above for a link you can post on whatever channels you use to attract talent.

Copy this code to embed the Central Oregon is Hiring video to your website or blog:
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PL3EPBouwNKSZly7lfdav6gZU8k3bUSjX1″ frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>

Copy this code to embed the Reboot in Bend video to your website or blog:
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PL3EPBouwNKSaQpS4bsioIVwej55uDnhOb” frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; encrypted-media” allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

The Locals Story: ibex

Composite Approach

The Local’s Story: ibex

This Local’s Story company is growing rapidly with plans to add an additional 200 employees to their roster in the coming months.

Kimberly Hartley shares her 14-year journey with ibex. From starting as a part-time employee to her current position as an operations manager overseeing 90+ reports. She has seen both ibex and her career evolve into something more and shares what makes her company unique.

Thank you to our video partners for making this series possible:

2016 BVC WINNER RFPIO PROVIDES BVC INVESTORS WITH SECOND EXIT IN ONE MONTH

2016 BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE WINNER RFPIO PROVIDES BVC INVESTORS WITH SECOND EXIT IN ONE MONTH
To Date, the Fastest Exit for a BVC Company, at Approximately 18 Months

BEND, Ore. – July 24, 2018 – On Tuesday, 2016 Bend Venture Conference (BVC) winner RFPIO announced a $25 million investment from K1 Investment Management LLC, making it the largest round yet for the young company.  With this new funding, the 2016 BVC, LLC investors accepted an offer to exit their investment. This exit offered an extraordinary return in a very short period of time, marking the third exit for a Bend Venture Fund. The two previous exits were Elemental Software and Jama Software from the 2007 and 2008 BVC, LLC portfolios, respectively.

“It’s unusual to have a meaningful exit opportunity this early in the life of an investment. Now RFPIO is positioned with investors who can take it even further,” said current BVC Fund Manager Jason Moyer.

“Returns realized by the BVC, LLCs to date are among the best in the Angel Investing market,” noted Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst.  “If an investor had participated in every LLC since the first fund in 2006, they would have received a ‘cash on cash’ return of approximately 4x. They would also still have a portfolio of 12 companies, many of which have undergone financings at significant increases in valuation.”

Over the past few years, the BVC, LLC funds have been typically $150,000-$350,000 in size. They are just the beginning of the investment effort that is undertaken by the conference each year. Other Angel and Venture funds invest in parallel to the LLCs, deploying amounts in excess of $4,000,000 in past years. Without the company recruitment and due diligence efforts made by the BVC, LLCs, this would not happen.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 15th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past four years, more than $7.8 million has been invested in 34 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 18-19, 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.

EDCO’s Traveling to Outdoor Retailer This July

EDCO’S HEADING TO OUTDOOR RETAILER THIS JULY

SHOWCASING LOCAL COMPANIES SITTING AT THE INTERSECTION OF
OUTDOOR + NATURAL PRODUCTS

BEND, OR (July 19, 2018) – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is heading to Outdoor Retailer next week with the Oregon Outdoor Alliance and a slew of Central Oregon outdoor companies. Outdoor Retailer is North America’s largest outdoor industry trade show and one of the biggest events in the outdoor industry each year.

During the week, EDCO will highlight local companies that sit at the intersection of Outdoor + Natural consumer products, culminating at adVenturesAcademy’s Entrepreneur + Investor [Tent]Pitch + Demo Day on Tuesday, July 24.

Central Oregon’s Mike Wallenfels (Hydro Flask, Oregon Outdoor Alliance) will speak during adVentureAcademy’s entrepreneurial event, along with many other well-known names across both outdoor and natural product industries.

Another Central Oregonian, Jesse Thomas, CEO and Co-Founder of Picky Bars, will be representing his company and products during the [Tent]Pitch portion of the event.

Here are the Central Oregon companies attending Outdoor Retailer next week:

Hydro Flask
Metolius
Ruffwear
Brownwen Jewelry
Laird Superfood
TSI Manufacturing (Mazama)
Tentsile
Oregon Outdoor Alliance
Edelrid
Picky Bars
The Gear Fix
Cairn

adVenturesAcademy’s Entrepreneur + Investor [Tent]Pitch is designed to go beyond traditional pitch events to connect at a deeper level. Most pitch events focus on polished power points and well-rehearsed pitches. However, building a company can never be pre-rehearsed as the only certainty is that it is not going to go as planned. Like any great adventure, success is often determined by how well we navigate the unknowns.

adVenturesAcademy Entrepreneur + Investor [Tent] Pitch + Demo Day
July 24, 2018
4:00pm – 6:30pm
The Commons on Champa
1245 Champa Street, Denver, CO 80204
Tickets are $25 and available here.


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.