We’re Hiring – Director of Membership

Director of Membership Applications Being Accepted

Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) works to build a stronger, more stable, and diversified local economy.  We are hiring our very first Director of Membership to actively develop our membership base. This role will be outward facing in the community in sharing how EDCO benefits our region as a whole. This is an excellent chance to make an impact within the Central Oregon business community.

 Want more information? The job description and how to apply are just a click away.

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Oregon Entrepreneurs Network Announces 2017 Angel Oregon Semifinalists

RIPCLEAR, PIERCE FOOTWEAR, COLOR KITCHEN, OUTDOOR PROJECT
ALL SEMIFINALISTS IN OEN’S 2017 ANGEL OREGON PROGRAM
POTENTIAL TO RECEIVE OVER $200,000 IN FUNDING

BEND, OR (March 8, 2017) –  Out of 101 applications, three Bend-based companies and one Bend Venture Conference Winner have advanced through the next round of cuts in Oregon Entrepreneurs Network’s (OEN) 2017 Angel Oregon Program. These four semifinalists are part of an elite group of only ten companies in the Early Stage Semifinalists category.

Ripclear, Pierce Footwear, and Color Kitchen are all from Bend, and Outdoor Project took home a top prize during EDCO’s 2016 Bend Venture Conference. These four companies will compete for a spot to present at OEN’s Angel Oregon Showcase April 27th in Portland. The winner of the showcase has historically been awarded a prize worth over $200,000.

Additionally, cash prizes and loans for the top women and minority-owned businesses will be awarded at the event.

The finalists will be announced on or before March 23. Congratulations to all four companies still in the competition!

  • Pierce Footwear: “We re-invent the shoe.”
  • ColorKitchen: “Naturally vibrant food colors and artificial dye-free, plant-based, and non-GMO decorative kits for the health-conscious home-baker and bakeries.”
  • Ripclear: “Ripclear lens protectors are a patented thin film technology that protects eyewear lenses & meets ANSI Z87 military rated clarity. Screen protectors for lenses.”
  • Outdoor Project: “With 5.5 MILLION users and 700% year-over-year growth, the fastest growing website in the U.S. for outdoor recreation and travel.”


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.

About Bend Venture Conference
Bend Venture Conference, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. More than 500 attendees, six funds, 32 prominent investors, and 90 companies participated in 2016’s conference, where close to $4 million was awarded to 10 winners.
For Press Inquiries:
Elise Rossman
Director of Marketing and Communications, EDCO
541.388.3236 x6
elise@edcoinfo.com

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EDCO’S NEXT PUBTALK SET FOR MARCH 23 AT MCMENAMINS FEATURING TOM GONSER, FOUNDER OF DOCUSIGN

EDCO’S NEXT PUBTALK SET FOR MARCH 23 AT MCMENAMINS FEATURING TOM GONSER, FOUNDER OF DOCUSIGN

BEND, OR (March 1, 2017) – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the speakers for the next PubTalk to be held Thursday, March 23, 5pm at McMenamins in Downtown Bend. Tickets are on sale now and available here.

EDCO’s Central Oregon PubTalk, held the fourth Thursday of the month, 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. Where Beers and Business Collide!


Keynote Speakers:

DocuSign, Seven Peaks Ventures
Tom Gonser, founder of DocuSign and Partner at Seven Peaks Ventures, will be this month’s keynote, interviewed by his colleague Corey Schmid, Partner at Seven Peaks Ventures. Gonser founded DocuSign 13 years ago. As CEO and chief strategist, he navigated the company through explosive growth and hundreds of millions in funding, while turning the company into an industry leader.

Company Pitches:
The Water Kefir People
Jacinda Swan, CEO and Founder of The Water Kefir People, has been brewing and fermenting Water Kefir in Hawaii since 2015. She and her partner created a handcrafted dairy-free probiotic beverage line. Recently relocated from the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Swan is excited about the business climate and potential to expand the business in Bend.

Food4All
Kami Semick, Co-Founder & CEO, helped establish Food4All, a farm-to-table commerce and business management platform creating a dynamic online marketplace for selling, buying, distributing, and delivering local food. Food4All supports sustainable, healthy communities by making it easy to find and buy fresh food from local farms and artisan food producers. Simply browse the app, locate farms in your area and place an order for local products.

Company Update:

LeadMethod
Justin Johnson, CEO of LeadMethod, a software company helping sales teams and companies maximize leads. LeadMethod is a revolutionary software platform built specifically for companies selling through an outside channel of distributors and independent representatives, helping them automate the lead capture and distribution process, generate real-time feedback from their channel partners, and make data-driven decisions to increase sales.

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 Speaker Presentation

Cost and Registration 
$25 EDCO & OEN Members
$35 Non-Members
Cost includes appetizers and a free beverage (choice of beer, wine, or soda)

Questions?
Contact Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO): ereilly@edcoinfo.com or 541-388-3236 x3.

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MILKEN INSTITUTE RELEASES NEW STUDY ON BEND-REDMOND MSA

MILKEN INSTITUTE RELEASES NEW STUDY ON THE BEND-REDMOND MSA
RECOGNIZING REGION’S SUCCESS, GROWTH

BEND, OR (February 27, 2017) – The Los Angeles-based Milken Institute released the findings to its most recent Best Performing Small Cities study, affirming the Bend-Redmond area as number one in the country. The Milken Institute has tracked and evaluated the success of metropolitan areas in its Best-Performing Cities index since 1999, highlighting urban regions that are outperforming their peers on key measures of economic health, including total employment and wage growth.

Led by economist Minoli Ratnatunga and a team of research analysts at the Institute, conclusions from their investigation included a list of nine “key findings” across a broad spectrum of factors. While some success factors were specific to the location (i.e. scenic beauty), several policies and strategies employed in the Bend-Redmond area could be implemented in similar regions across the country. The just released “Regional Performance Over Time” research aims to identify those elements.

“We really enjoyed learning more about the extremely collaborative approach the Bend-Redmond region continually takes towards development and think it bodes well for your economy,” stated Minoli Ratnatunga, Associate Director of Regional Economics Research at the Milken Institute. We hope that the lessons learned from Central Oregon will be of use to local decision-makers across the country.”

This past fall, Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) helped Milken Institute researchers with introductions to individuals and organizations across the area that could provide perspectives and illuminate strategies and efforts to improve and diversify the economy.

“It was an honor to work with the Milken Institute economists, and to be selected for this study,” said Roger Lee, EDCO Executive Director. “We will be following their ongoing research about other places in the country from which we can learn and improve.”

For the complete study, click here.

About The Milken Institute

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs, and improve health. They achieve this through independent, data-driven research, action-oriented meetings, and meaningful policy initiatives. For more information, visit www.milkeninstitute.org.

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.

For Press Inquiries:
Roger Lee
Executive Director, EDCO
541.388.3236 x1
roger@edcoinfo.com

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Outdoor Project, 2016 BVC Winners, Awarded Additional $2M in Funding

Outdoor Project Secures Series A Funding
— $2M investment will drive nationwide expansion —
— Oregon Angel Fund leads the round with Cascade Angels’ support —
— Company was awarded $150k as winners of 2016 Bend Venture Conference —

BEND, OR (February 23, 2017) – Local startup Outdoor Project—found online at outdoorproject.com—announced this week that it has secured a total of $2M in a Series A funding round. This past October, Outdoor Project was awarded $150,000 in funding as part of the Bend Venture Conference.

The most recent investment was led by Oregon Angel Fund, and includes Cascade Angels. Outdoor Project is Oregon Angel Fund’s first digital media investment and the second to be added to Cascade Angels’ portfolio. The round includes participation from other angel investors and industry veterans from the digital media and outdoor industries.

“When we first met with Outdoor Project, we were immediately impressed by their team. They are clearly very passionate and knowledgeable about the outdoors and have created a great way to share experiences with other passionate enthusiasts,” said Jon Maroney, a partner at Oregon Angel Fund.  “ OAF is very excited to be part of Outdoor Project’s adventure.”

Julie Harrelson, Fund Manager for Cascade Angels, added “we are pleased to be making this investment in Outdoor Project. Outdoor Project impressed our team with their growing track record of success over the past three years. This is our sixth and final investment for 2016 and we’re excited to be an integral part of their business.”

Tyson Gillard, Co-Founder and CEO at Outdoor Project commented, “Closing this funding round is tremendous validation for the quality work our contributors and team put into building the world’s greatest outdoor adventure guidebook. Great media, detailed maps and inspiring, complete content is a key piece to support an ever-growing movement for people, largely millennials and young families, to get outside. We’re excited to expand our content to the entire U.S. and key markets in Canada in 2017.”

Outdoor Project will use a portion of the funding to add five new hires to support its six person founding team. It will also bring on more adventurers to join its nearly 200 active contributors who provide the media and information used to build adventures on the website. The company will announce these key industry hires as well as new board members in the coming weeks.

Gillard concluded, “Building a successful digital media company requires a great team that understands how brands can leverage great content to connect with their target audience, and we’ve been fortunate to add some amazing industry insiders to the business.”

About Outdoor Project

Outdoor Project’s goal is to create the most comprehensive online resource and the largest community for outdoor adventure and travel, with a plan to revolutionize the way that people find, search for and share their outdoor experience. The website provides photos, maps, and guides for all types of human-powered outdoor activities. The content aims to inspire users to explore new places, head a little bit further down their favorite trails, and get outside more often to find adventure. Outdoor Project starts with exceptional photography and adventure videos, custom maps, and guides. A community of members completes the picture. Outdoor Project can be found at www.outdoorproject.com.

About Oregon Angel Fund

Founded in 2007, OAF is a community supported, professionally managed, investor driven venture capital fund backed by the leaders of Oregon’s business, technology, and entrepreneurial communities. The fund’s largest investors include the State of Oregon, the Oregon Community Foundation, and the Meyer Memorial Trust. OAF invests $10 million annually in the most promising startups and early-stage growth companies in Oregon and SW Washington. Over 2,200 jobs have been created by the over 40 companies in the portfolio. For more information please visit: www.OregonAngelFund.com

About Cascade Angels

Founded in 2013, Cascade Angels is a professionally managed, investor driven venture fund that creates opportunities for investors and businesses with connections to Central Oregon to drive economic growth and fuel prosperity. The Fund’s investors include prominent business leaders, exited entrepreneurs and institutional investors who are committed to contributing to a sustainable economy and building Oregon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Since 2014, Cascade Angels Fund has invested almost $2M in 13 early stage companies that cumulatively employ over 100 people. For more information, visit www.CascadeAngels.com or www.twitter.com/CascadeAngels.

About the Bend Venture Conference
The Bend Venture Conference, hosted by Economic Development for Central Oregon, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. More than 500 attendees, six funds, 32 prominent investors, and 90 companies participated in 2016’s conference, where close to $4 million was awarded to 12 winners.

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Three Bend Companies In The Running For $200,000 Investment

7Even Dynamics, ColorKitchen, Ripclear in the running to win over $200,000 in funding
as part of OEN’s Angel Oregon Program

Bend, OR – February 10, 2017 – Oregon Entrepreneurs Network recently announced the 18 early-stage companies to make the quarterfinals of their 2017 Angel Oregon Program, with three of the hopefuls based locally in Bend, Oregon. The below companies will compete for a spot in the semifinals, with the next round of cuts to be announced February 22nd. A wide range of sectors are represented in the program, including: consumer products, food & beverage, education, biotech, software, cleantech, marketing, retail, medical devices, real estate, media, and healthcare.

The winner of the investment (which has historically ranged between $200,000 to $300,000) will be awarded April 27th during OEN’s Angel Oregon Showcase.

The three competing Bend companies are:

  • 7Even Dynamics, Inc. — “We re-invent the shoe.”
  • ColorKitchen — “Naturally vibrant food colors and artificial dye-free, plant-based, and non-GMO decorative kits for the health-conscious home-baker and bakeries.”
  • Ripclear — “Ripclear lens protectors are a patented thin film technology that protects eyewear lenses & meets ANSI Z87 military rated clarity. Screen protectors for lenses.”

The remaining companies in the running are:

  • BG Reynolds LLC — “BG Reynolds is the trusted brand for an incredible cocktail experience, and adventure in every glass!”
  • CMS Global — “We provide Global access to quality education for everyone!”
  • Costanoan Biotechnologies — “Costanoan Biotechnologies lets life science researchers find the right needle in a stack of needles, making drug discovery and production faster and cheaper.”
  • EcoPro Polymers — “Provides formaldehyde-free, safe and sustainable adhesives for interior wood products by removing toxic formaldehyde from interior air.”
  • Gift 2 Grow — “Beautifully simple SaaS marketing automation platform designed specifically for independent professionals and local businesses.”
  • Happy Smiles For Kids — “Unique hand-crafted Stuffed dolls for hospital and military children/teens/adults- for sale individually or in large quantities.”
  • Madorra — “Madorra has the first non-hormonal, non-invasive medical device to treat vaginal atrophy in post-menopausal women.”
  • Noappfee.com — “We revolutionize apartment hunting by instantly matching renters to homes they qualify for so they can move in today!”
  • OmniAlly Digital Solutions — “Your Partner in Complete Visual Communication Solutions.”
  • OpConnect — “OpConnect operates a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that manages electric car chargers made by a number of manufacturers to help charger owners maximize revenue.”
  • Outdoor Project — “With 5.5 MILLION users and 700% year-over-year growth, the fastest growing website in the U.S. for outdoor recreation and travel.”
  • Pixameter — “PixaMed is an intelligent imaging platform that delivers skin lesion measurement, analysis, tracking, and documentation using a mobile device.”
  • Prefeye — “Retailer B2B preference recommendation platform.  Preference matching people to products based on individual preferences of taste, style, fit, look and feel.”
  • Rooted Recovery — “Rooted Recovery is uprooting the barriers that keep people sick by reinventing the ways people access and receive treatment.”
  • Zembula — “Zembula is a SaaS company that empowers brands to easily create fun and engaging experiences that drive 7x the click through rates and 7x the time spent.”
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CASCADE ANGELS FUND INVITES EARLY STAGE COMPANIES TO APPLY FOR FUNDING

Application Period Open February 6-March 6, 2017 via Gust.com

BEND, Ore. – February 1, 2017 – Entrepreneurs seeking investment capital have an opportunity to present their early stage businesses for growth to Cascade Angels. Cascade Angels Fund 2017, LLC (“Cascade Angels Fund 2017” or the “Fund”) has opened up its first application period for entrepreneurs to apply for investment on Gust.com from February 6 through March 6, 2017.

The Fund anticipates additional application rounds in the coming months and investing in 4-7 companies in 2017. Typical investments are made in early stage, Oregon-based companies from any industry. Investments are anticipated to range from $100,000 to $250,000.

Cascade Angels Fund 2017, LLC is the fourth year-round fund based in Central Oregon managed by Harrelson Group. The Fund’s mission is to create opportunities for investors and businesses in and with connections to Central Oregon to drive economic growth and fuel prosperity in Oregon. The Fund’s profile on Gust.com includes additional information regarding its purpose, mission and goals. Since 2014, Cascade Angels Fund has committed almost $2M in 13 companies, all of which are still in operation and cumulatively employ over 100 people.

“The continued focus of Cascade Angels is to generate returns for investors, while also generating a return for the community through the impact of job creation and economic diversity,” said Julie Harrelson, Fund Manager for Cascade Angels.

Julie Harrelson, CEO, Harrelson Group, Fund Manager, Cascade Angels is an entrepreneur, investor and leader in Oregon’s startup community. She has navigated multiple executive roles in design, technology and angel investing. In 2013, Julie co-founded Cascade Angels Fund in Bend with a group of entrepreneurs and investors.

Cascade Angels Fund is sponsored by Jones & Roth, Karnopp Petersen LLP, US Bank, and Harrelson Group.

*Membership in the Cascade Angels Fund 2017 is by referral and invitation only. Angel and venture investments involve a high degree of risk. Participation in the Cascade Angels Fund 2017 is limited to “accredited investors,” as defined by the general rules and regulations of the Securities Act of 1933 of the Securities and Exchange Commission AND to investors who have such knowledge and experience in financial and business matters that they are capable of evaluating the merits and risks of prospective investments.

This release is not an offer to sell or solicit investment in the Cascade Angels Fund 2017, its portfolio companies, or applying companies. The Cascade Angels Fund 2017 does not operate as a broker-dealer or investment adviser and is not registered as such with any federal or state securities regulator.

About Cascade Angels Fund

Founded in 2013, Cascade Angels is a professionally managed, investor driven venture fund that creates opportunities for investors and businesses with connections to Central Oregon to drive economic growth and fuel prosperity. The Fund’s investors include prominent business leaders, exited entrepreneurs and institutional investors who are committed to contributing to a sustainable economy and building Oregon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Since 2014, Cascade Angels Fund has committed almost $2M in 13 early stage companies that cumulatively employ over 100 people. For more information, visit www.CascadeAngels.com or www.twitter.com/CascadeAngels.

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Natalie Dent, Consultant
Investor and Entrepreneur Relations
Cascade Angels
natalie@cascadeangels.com
206-605-1802

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MOVE: Q&A with Terry Buchholz, PE, CWRE, principal and owner of Integrated Water Solutions

BEND, Ore. – January 3, 2016 – Ever wonder how the water flow of the Columbia River is managed? Big agencies like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) do it, but they don’t do it alone. They are assisted by people like Terry Buchholz, owner of Integrated Water Solutions (IWS) in Sisters, who along with a council of many other interest groups collaborate to develop the long-term strategic plans for the river’s water. EDCO recently sat down with Terry and realized how lucky we are to have this expertize right in our backyard.

EDCO: What inspired you to start Integrated Water Solutions?

TB: For over 30 years I worked as a Water Resources Engineer and Planner for big firms like HDR Engineering and David Evans and Associates. I rose to Vice President at both companies and managed complex environmental and water resource projects across the Pacific Northwest. I wanted to use my experience to build a company that was focused on delivering a tailor made solution for each individual project, so I started Integrated Water Solutions in Beaverton, Oregon in 2009. We’ve built a small team that collaborates with other companies to find the best resources for a particular job.

EDCO: Tell us more about Integrated Water Solutions.

TB: IWS’s mission is to assist clients in developing their long-term strategic direction for addressing water needs, while improving the natural function of the watershed. We assist in four key areas – comprehensive water management planning, facilitation and process management, program and project management, and compliance strategy. What makes us different is our collaborative, strategic, adaptive approach and client-focused process.

EDCO: Can you tell us more about the projects you are currently working on?

TB: Many of our projects are confidential, but a big one that we’ve been working on for eight years is the Columbia River Treaty. This project is a massive collaboration between the United States and Canada, focused on the management of the Columbia River. Although most of the river runs through the USA, two-thirds of the water volume comes from Canada. The Treaty was originally signed in 1964 after the city of Vanport, OR, flooded. Now, the federal agencies that oversees the Treaty are focused on water flow and the hydropower created by the Columbia River. With 15 tribes, 10 federal agencies and 4 states directly affected by the treaty and the river, it’s a very complex situation. Over the years, we’ve assisted in many ways including policy development, technical recommendations, program planning, and management support. In Central Oregon we have projects with the Tumalo Irrigation District, Central Oregon Irrigation District, The City of Prineville, and Crook County.

EDCO: Why did you choose Sisters?

TB: My husband was ready to retire and Central Oregon seemed to be a great place to live. So, just over two years ago we expanded our company to Sisters. At first I was traveling back and forth (between Beaverton and Sisters), but it didn’t take long for me to realize I wanted to be in Sisters full time. Sisters has a small town feel where everybody looks out for each other. My daughter Lauren oversees our Beaverton operations, while I focus on the projects in Central Oregon and beyond.

EDCO: How has EDCO helped you grow your business?

TB: With many years of experience in this industry, I felt confident that I could build my own company and we had been running it successfully for a few years before moving to Sisters. EDCO, and specifically Caprielle Lewis (EDCO’s Sisters Area Manager), were instrumental in getting us connected to the local business ecosystem and helping us find office space in the Sisters Tech Center.

EDCO: What are your plans for future growth?

TB: Because our business model is focused on strategic collaboration with other companies, we plan to grow slowly. We just hired a new intern (Jordan Clymens, a Sisters High School graduate) who we hope will grow into a full-time staff member. Eventually, we’d like to get up to five employees, but we’ll take the time to grow organically. We hope that our collaborative approach will help create job opportunities with many of our strategic partners as well.

For more information on how EDCO can help you move your business to Central Oregon, please call (541) 388-3236.

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Bend Ranks #5 on SmartAsset’s List of “The Top 10 Boomtowns of 2016”

BEND, Ore. – December 22, 2016 – The U.S. economy isn’t exactly booming. While the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since 2007, the economy is still growing at a relatively slow pace. Some places, however, are better off than others. For the third year in a row, SmartAsset took a look at the places experiencing rapid population and economic growth. Read on to find out which cities rank at the top of our list.

Read the full story here.

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