START: BladeRunner Energy Making a Splash In Renewable Energy

BLADERUNNER ENERGY’S FISH FRIENDLY POWER GENERATOR MAKING A SPLASH IN RENEWABLE ENERGY
Bend Venture Conference Early Stage Winner Making Headlines

Bend, Ore. – December 6, 2018 – In 2017, BladeRunner Energy took home the Early Stage Award of $17,500 at the Bend Venture Conference (BVC). Since then, they have gone on to improve their technology, win yet another prestigious award at the 2018 Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator, and present on the Central Oregon PubTalk stage. Their green technology is quickly moving upstream among the sustainable energy community.

BladeRunner Energy is an eco-friendly micro-hydro solution for sustainable power generation without the use of a dam. Their flexible technology mimicks the natural flow of water, creating enough power to fuel electricity for an entire household, while minimizing environmental impact. The company is working to reduce costs by shrinking the size of the system down so that one person can easily install and store the device for an “energy when you need it” system.

Winning the BVC Early Stage Award provided Co-founder and CTO Moriel Arango the opportunity to focus fulltime on rapidly developing the technology for the company, as well as spreading the word of their product throughout the region. This outreach has permitted them to engage in conversations with local irrigation districts and stakeholders in the CleanTech ecosystem. Today, the team continues to work on the R&D of the technology, which is funded by a Phase II SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation. They are working towards receiving additional funding for their first pilot demonstration aiming to use a stretch of irrigation in the Central Oregon area.

With BVC now in the rearview mirror, Moriel returned to the Central Oregon PubTalk stage earlier in November for an update. He informed the Central Oregon community that they had the confidence to enter the 2018 Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator in Portland, due to their success at BVC the previous year. The company took home the Standout Company Award along with a $2,000 cash prize and $2,500 of in-kind legal services. This success in the accelerator program is an additional boost to their motivation and further drives the point that Oregon is a center of innovation around CleanTech.

The future of any startup can be uncertain, but BladeRunner Energy is working hard to meet key milestones. From the Bend Venture Conference to the Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator, each bit of success gets them one step closer to completing their mission of bringing hydropower to the people.

Find more information at www.bladerunnerenergy.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.

Last Central Oregon PubTalk of the Year

2018 PubTalk Speakers Announced

EDCO ANNOUNCES SPEAKERS FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15 PUBTALK FEATURING NATE WILDFIRE, MANDALA MISSION, PAWKET TREATS, AND BLADERUNNER ENERGY

BEND, OR (November 13, 2018)Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the speakers for the last PubTalk of the year, this Thursday, November 15, 5 pm at McMenamins in Downtown Bend. 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

Nate Wildfire, Director, Oregon Growth Board & Capital Strategist, Business Oregon
Nate’s work with the Oregon Growth Board and Business Oregon helps to improve and grow Oregon businesses. He is currently managing a $180 million investment fund meant to grow access to capital for Oregon businesses and provide returns to the state. Nate’s keynote will discuss how the State of Oregon is fostering entrepreneurship and innovation through different initiatives and how local companies can tap into that ecosystem. With experience in community and economic development, Nate is working with the state to improve access to capital to help businesses grow.

Company Pitches

McKenna Dempsey, Founder, Mandala Mission
McKenna Dempsey of Mandala Mission recently took home the First Place Award at the 2018 BendTECH unConference. With a goal to change the way young women think about their mental wellness, McKenna created the mobile app and initiative that helps young women manage anxiety and depression through exercises, goals, and intention setting. The app works to change the way we interact with our mental health by adjusting our monthly, weekly, and daily habits. After school programs for teens and events that bring women together will be implemented with the success of the app.

Mark Shenfield, Founder, PAWKET TREATS
Dogs love to get treats when they’ve done something good, just as dog owners want to train their dogs to behave well. When you’re out and about it’s hard to carry dog treats in your pocket or purse without making a mess. Mark Shenfield sought to eliminate the problem of messy treats and create an environmentally friendly solution to carrying them. He then created PAWKET TREATS, the all natural, portable dog treats that fit in your pocket without the crumbs.

Company Update

Moriel Arango, Co-founder and CTO, BladeRunner Energy
The 2017 Bend Venture Conference Early Stage Winner is back to present on the PubTalk Stage. BladeRunner Energy’s fish-friendly micro-hydro solution limits the need for a dam, helping transition towards sustainable power while accounting for environmental impact. Their technology harnesses the power found in the natural flow of water by using a proprietary rotor with design lines inspired by the natural motion of fluid for enhanced efficiency. The BladeRunner team recently made headlines by winning the 2018 Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator Standout Company Award. Read more about their achievements here.

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

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

Title Sponsors
2017 PubTalk Title Sponsors Columbia Bank, Karnopp Peterson, University of Oregon, Velox Systems

 

 

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

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 an 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>