Top Ten BVC Early Stage Semi-Finalists Just Announced, To Present at PubTalk Sept. 28

EDCO’S BIGGEST PUBTALK OF THE YEAR SEPTEMBER 28th WHERE
TEN EARLY STAGE SEMI-FINALISTS COMPETE FOR A SPOT ON THE BVC STAGE

BEND, OR (September 13, 2017) – Economic Development for Central Oregon‘s (EDCO) next PubTalk, the biggest of 2017, will take place Thursday, September 28th, 5 pm at McMenamins in Downtown Bend. This PubTalk will feature ten Bend Venture Conference (BVC) Early Stage semi-finalists competing, with audience input, for a spot on the BVC stage October 20th. Tickets for PubTalk are on sale now and available here.

The ten Early Stage semi-finalists were selected yesterday after a full-day of company pitches during BVC’s Upstart Day. Upstart Day is an annual part of the BVC process, where Early Stage companies are given the opportunity to pitch in front of experts and investors, while both being judged on the content of their pitch and receiving important feedback needed for advancing their ventures.

In alphabetical order, the Ten Early Stage semi-finalists (all from Central Oregon) advancing to compete at the September 28th PubTalk are:

  1. BladeRunner Energy – A micro-hydro technology based on biomimicry that harnesses renewable energy from the natural flow of water.
  2. kidcareshare – A social network for parent communities to instantly schedule and trade carpools, play dates and care.
  3. Mission Limelight – Empowers non-profits and commercial enterprises to maximize their marketing, fundraising and social impact.
  4. Ockam – A blockchain based platform to solve systemic security and interoperability problems in all IOT devices.
  5. Snappy Sitters – Matches reliable and capable sitters with busy families who have extremely high standards.
  6. Tread & Butter – Intentionally-designed cork insoles for sport, work and outdoors.
  7. Tribe Pilot – A social tool to plan outdoor adventure.
  8. Voilà – Specialty instant coffee from top US roasters, delivered monthly.
  9. Wildish – Makers of outdoorsy gear for outsidey people.
  10. Wingo – The first truly ergonomic cases for tablets and smartphones to alleviate pain, prevent injury, and substantially increase comfort.

As mentioned, these Early Stage semi-finalists will pitch against each other for a spot on the BVC stage. During PubTalk the audience vote, along with an expert panel, will determine the five companies that advance to BVC October 19-20, so attendance is key.

With the largest crowd of the year, the action will be live-streamed throughout multiple rooms at McMenamins. Don’t wait to secure your seats – tickets are going fast and this event will sell out.

Since 2011, BendBroadband Business has sponsored the Early Stage competition. This year, the cash award has increased to an impressive $17,500 for the BVC Early Stage winner.

Hosted by EDCO, this year’s BVC will once again feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Early Stage and Social Impact. Last year, nearly $4 million in funding was awarded to ten companies. The finalists for all three categories will be announced in the weeks leading up to the Bend Venture Conference, October 19-20, 2017.

PubTalk Agenda – Sept. 28
5:00 pm to 5:45 pm Networking
5:45 pm to 8:00 pm Early Stage semi-finalist presentations, voting & announcement of finalists

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

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. More than 600 attendees, six funds, 32 prominent investors, and 89 companies participated in 2016’s conference, where nearly $4 million was invested in 10 companies.

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 Announces Top Ten Social Impact Bend Venture Conference Semi-Finalists

EDCO ANNOUNCES THE TOP TEN SOCIAL IMPACT COMPANIES
TO ADVANCE AS PART OF THE 2017 BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE
Early Stage Semi-Finalists To Be Announced Next Week

BEND, OR (September 8, 2017) – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the Top Ten Social Impact Companies to advance to the next round for the 14th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) taking place Thursday, October 19 – Friday, October 20. These companies have one additional round of cuts before they have the chance to present on the historic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend. Last year, companies in the Social Impact category won prizes ranging from $50,000 to $100,000.

These ten Social Impact semi-finalists were selected Thursday after review by a panel of fund and individual investor experts. The Social Impact Competition, which includes for-profit companies whose business models are integrated with a social or environmental mission, will take place on the afternoon of Thursday, October 19. Tickets can be purchased for the Social Impact Competition only, or for the entire conference, here.

In alphabetical order, the Ten Social Impact semi-finalists are:

  1. Curadite, Inc. (Portland, OR) – A simple, flexible, reliable, 4G LTE cellular medication adherence platform leveraging disposable medication packaging to improve outcomes and lower costs.
  2. Diatomix (Beaverton, OR) – A bioengineered photocatalytic technology that actively and continuously improves indoor air quality.
  3. eWind Solutions (Beaverton, OR) – A renewable airborne wind energy company utilizing a rigid wing kite to produce energy.
  4. Focal Technologies, Inc. (Portland, OR) – A technology to focus heat and UV from the sun to break down organic contaminants in water and soil.
  5. Garden Bar (Portland, OR) – A salad-centric, fast casual restaurant concept specializing in healthy and convenient meals, made with fresh and high-quality ingredients.
  6. Green Theme International (Portland, OR) – The next generation in textile performance in durability, value and environmental sustainability with clean chemistry and a water free solution.
  7. InPipe Energy (Portland, OR) – Creates a new source of clean electricity, helps improve the economics of water management and reduces carbon emissions.
  8. Paid To Go LLC (Corvallis, OR) – Makes active commutes and exercise fun and rewarding.
  9. ScoutSavvy (Portland, OR) – Community-Powered Diversity Career Connection Network
  10. The Renewal Workshop (Cascade Locks, OR) – A new kind of apparel company that makes discarded clothing and textiles into something new.

Hosted by Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), this year’s BVC will once again feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Early Stage and Social Impact. Last year, nearly $4 million in funding was awarded to ten companies. The finalists for all three categories will be announced in the weeks leading up to the Bend Venture Conference, October 19-20, 2017.

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the 14th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. More than 600 attendees, six funds, 32 prominent investors, and 89 companies participated in 2016’s conference, where nearly $4 million was invested in 10 companies.

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.

2017 Title Sponsors:

bvctitlespnsrs

Press Contact
Brian Vierra
Venture Catalyst, EDCO
541.388.3236 x5
brian@edcoinfo.com

###

EDCO ANNOUNCES THE TOP TEN GROWTH STAGE COMPANIES TO ADVANCE AS PART OF THE 2017 BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE

EDCO ANNOUNCES THE TOP TEN GROWTH STAGE COMPANIES TO ADVANCE AS PART OF THE 2017 BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE

Social Impact Semi-Finalists To Be Announced Friday
Early Stage Semi-Finalists To Be Announced Next Week

BEND, OR (September 7, 2017) – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the Top Ten companies to advance to the next round of the Growth Stage Competition for the 14th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) to be held Thursday, October 19 – Friday, October 20. These companies are one step closer to becoming one of the five finalists that will present on the historic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend. Last year, companies in the Growth Stage category won prizes ranging from $100,000 to $1,750,000.

“The applicants competing in the Growth Stage category this year are some of the most compelling we’ve had. The vetting process hasn’t been easy,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst. “With two companies in the Top Ten from Bend, one from Seattle and one from California, the West is well represented.”

The ten Growth Stage semi-finalists were selected Wednesday evening after review by a panel of ten different funds and individual investor experts. These companies will advance to the next round of cuts, which will be announced at the end of September.

In alphabetical order, the Ten Growth Stage semi-finalists that will compete to make it through the next round of cuts are:

  1. Allumia (Seattle, WA) – Provides energy efficiency as a service to commercial and industrial buildings: eliminating risk and capital expense for customers and generating ongoing returns for investors.
  2. DesignMedix (Portland, OR) – Develops drugs to overcome drug resistance in multiple diseases, with a malaria drug ready for human trials, to be sponsored by the NIH.
  3. Drone Complier (Portland, OR) – Provides government compliance management solutions integrated with field services to companies entering or growing in the Drone Industry.
  4. Handful (Wilsonville, OR) – Lifestyle products for women that are flattering, versatile and feel great no matter what life throws your way.
  5. InvestiPro (Bend, OR) – The first fully-automated application for conducting effective and compliant internal workplace investigations.
  6. LeadMethod Bend, OR – The first Channel Revenue Optimization software to get channel partner engagement and feedback in order to increase revenue.
  7. Mogol Inc. (Portland, OR) – Connects cities and states to cars so they can control the flow of traffic without expensive roadside equipment.
  8. Tali (Portland, OR) – A voice-driven, hands-free productivity assistant powered by artificial intelligence that helps organizations become more productive and profitable.
  9. Tripgrid (Portland, OR) – Travel management simplified. Tripgrid fixes the complexity of travel planning by providing a simple, intuitive workspace.
  10. UbiquiOS Technology (Dublin, CA) – Provides low-cost wireless connectivity software for IoT applications.

Hosted by Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), this year’s BVC will once again feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Early Stage, and Social Impact. Last year, nearly $4 million in funding was awarded to ten companies. The semi-finalists for all three categories will be announced in the weeks leading up to the Bend Venture Conference, October 19-20, 2017.

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the 14th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. More than 600 attendees, six funds, 32 prominent investors, and 89 companies participated in 2016’s conference, where nearly $4 million was invested in 10 companies.

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.

 

2017 Title Sponsors:

EDCO ANNOUNCE THE TOP TWENTY GROWTH STAGE COMPANIES TO ADVANCE AS PART OF THE 2017 BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE

BEND, Ore. – August 31, 2017 –Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the Top Twenty companies to advance to the next round of the Growth Stage Competition for the 14th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) to be held Thursday, October 19- Friday, October 20. This group of companies is one step closer to presenting on the historic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend. Last year, companies in the Growth Stage category won prizes ranging from $15,000 to $1,750,000.

“As a group, the quality of this year’s applicants was extremely strong,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst. “We have representation from across the country: from Bend to Bozeman, California all the way East to Michigan. And companies span a variety of industries: cleantech, software, travel, UAS and much more. This strength of this group might make for one of the most competitive processes we’ve had in a while. In these coming weeks, we’ll have a tight race.”

The twenty Growth Stage semi-finalists were selected Wednesday evening after review by a panel of ten different funds and individual investor experts. These companies will advance to the next round of cuts, which will be announced next week.

In alphabetical order, the 20 Growth Stage semi-finalists that will compete to make it through the next round of cuts are:

  1. Allumia Seattle, WA
  2. DealPoint Portland, OR
  3. DesignMedix Portland, OR
  4. Drone Complier Portland, OR
  5. Falcon Pursuit Portland, OR
  6. Gathrly Portland, OR
  7. Halo Automotive Portland, OR
  8. Handful Wilsonville, OR
  9. Heritage Laboratories Eugene, OR
  10. HobbyDB Boulder, CO
  11. InvestiPro Bend, OR
  12. Lead Method Bend, OR
  13. LEVRUM Corvallis, OR
  14. Mogol Inc. Portland, OR
  15. Tali Portland, OR
  16. Tellagence Portland, OR
  17. Trailermade Los Angeles, CA
  18. Tripgrid Portland, OR
  19. UbiquiOS Technology Dublin, CA
  20. VR Motion Corp Hillsboro, OR

Hosted by Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), this year’s BVC will once again feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Early Stage and Social Impact. Last year, nearly $4 million in funding was awarded to ten companies, with investments ranging from $15,000 to $2.5 million. The semi-finalists for all three categories will be announced in the weeks leading up to Bend Venture Conference, October 19-20, 2017.

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the 14th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. More than 600 attendees, six funds, 32 prominent investors, and 89 companies participated in 2016’s conference, where nearly $4 million was invested in 10 companies.

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.

2017 Title Sponsors:
bvctitlespnsrs
Press Contact
Brian Vierra
Venture Catalyst, EDCO
541.388.3236 x5
brian@edcoinfo.com

Youth Career Connect Launches in Redmond with Addition of Larry Holeman

BEND, OR (August 29, 2017) – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is pleased to welcome the addition of Larry Holeman as its first Redmond Internship Coordinator, a newly created position to serve the greater Redmond area.

In this role, Holeman will be responsible for connecting high school, college and university students with Redmond area employers with the purpose of creating or continuing internships that provide real work experience to young adults. The program, Youth Career Connect – Redmond, is supported by Better Together, a non-profit founded through the High Desert Education Service District (HDESD) and is underwritten by the region’s school districts, Central Oregon Community College (COCC), OSU-Cascades, private foundations, and public grants. Specific funding for the Youth Career Connect – Redmond program is provided by the Redmond Executives Association (REA), COCC, the Central Oregon STEM Hub, the Youth Development Council, and EDCO.

The Youth Career Connect internship program launched this year in three local communities: Redmond, Bend (through the Bend Chamber of Commerce) and Jefferson County (through the Madras/Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce). It is the culmination of more than four years of behind-the-scenes work with education, business and economic development leaders across the tri-county region.

Holeman’s experience includes private sector leadership and management in the high technology and manufacturing industries. For 15 years he was a technical staff member for ARGOSystems, a subsidiary of Boeing. Additionally, he co-founded ViewNow, a Bend-based video on demand programming, management and marketing services company that was sold to Avail Media. Throughout his career, he has also performed business and product development and operations management services for several manufacturing companies including Gitella, Inc., Vent Pro, Inc. and Cray Water Sports International, Inc.

“We are excited about Larry’s diverse business experience and passion for connecting young adults and employers,” said Roger Lee, EDCO’s CEO. “I’m convinced that he will build a robust internship program in Redmond that is a win for both students and employers.”

Holeman holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University. He has been a Central Oregon resident for over 20 years, and with his wife, raised three daughters in the region. Active in the community, he has been a co-facilitator for Opportunity Knocks and is a member of EDCO’s Stable of Experts, focused on helping early stage companies.

Express Employment Professionals, a member of the Better Together collaborative, conducted a professional search on behalf of EDCO for the position. Spearheaded by Shawn Cotton with assistance from Josh Johnson and owner Connie Druiliner, the process also included representation from the underwriters, community partners and students who reviewed and interviewed finalists.

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 has been providing Recruiting and Human Resource solutions to the Central Oregon community for over 30 years. Learn more about Express Personnel at https://www.expresspros.com/bendor/.

THE 14TH ANNUAL BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE TICKETS ON SALE; KEYNOTE SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED ft. BRAD FELD, AVIEL GINZBURG & TONY ARNERICH

BEND, OR (August 28, 2017) – The Bend Venture Conference (BVC), one of the most prestigious entrepreneur events in the Pacific Northwest, has announced three keynote speakers for the two-day conference: Brad Feld, Aviel Ginzburg, and Tony Arnerich. The 14th Annual BVC returns Thursday, October 19 – Friday, October 20, 2017, to the iconic Tower Theatre in downtown Bend. Tickets are on sale now.

Friday’s keynote, Brad Feld, is Co-Founder of the Foundry Group, one of the most well-renowned early stage venture firms in the United States. An early stage investor and entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience, Feld’s keynote will stream live from Boulder, Colorado, onto the Tower Theatre stage. Moderated in person by Aviel Ginzburg, the talk will focus on where early stage financing is heading, new trends emerging in the accelerator world, how corporate America is bridging the gap to the startup world, and more.

Seattle-based Ginzburg is the Managing Director of the Amazon Alexa Accelerator powered by Techstars, a Venture Partner at Founder’s Co-op, and Co-Founder of Simply Measured. Feld is also a Co-Founder of Techstars, where he works with Ginzburg on the Alexa Accelerator Program. Created in partnership with Amazon’s Alexa Fund, the Alexa Accelerator focuses on advancing voice-powered technologies.

The Social Impact Competition will take place Thursday afternoon and feature keynote speaker Tony Arnerich. Arnerich founded Arnerich Massena, one of Portland’s largest investment firms in 1991. Bringing a unique perspective and over 30 years’ experience, Arnerich will discuss the transition from his life in private wealth management to impact investing. Additionally, as an advisor Arnerich works directly with clients across the board: corporate, public, and not-for-profit organizations, as well as high net worth individuals.

Hosted by Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), this year’s BVC will once again feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Early Stage and Social Impact. Last year, nearly $4 million in funding was awarded to ten companies, with investments ranging from $15,000 to $2.5 million.

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the 14th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. More than 600 attendees, six funds, 32 prominent investors, and 89 companies participated in 2016’s conference, where nearly $4 million was invested in 10 companies.

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.

Applications Due Soon for CBN’s Central Oregon Fastest 20 Awards

The September 30th deadline to apply for Cascade Business News’ (CBN) inaugural Central Oregon Fastest 20 Awards is quickly approaching. Sponsored by Columbia Bank and SGA Certified Public Accounts & Consultants, the CBN Fastest 20 was created to recognize the fastest-growing companies located and based in the High Desert region.

From Cascade Business News:

According to Cory Allen, SVP, Commercial Banking Team Leader for Columbia Bank, economic predictions show that Central Oregon’s economy will grow faster than the national average again this year. “This is the perfect time to begin recognizing the companies who are sustaining and expanding job growth in our region.”

Amber L. Yates, CPA with SGA added, “Our rapidly growing business clients are having a major impact on both job and wage growth in Central Oregon. SGA is excited to recognize these emerging companies and their contribution to the continued growth of the local economy.

“I encourage you to submit an application as one of the Fastest 20 growing businesses in Central Oregon. It’s an outstanding way to be honored for your hard work and success.”

The criteria for a business to qualify include:
— Established and operating on or before January 1, 2014.
— Gross revenues in 2016 greater than 2014 with consistent year-over-year growth.
— Gross annual revenues $100,000 or greater in fiscal year 2016.

Reported revenues should be taken from externally prepared financial statements or tax returns filed with the IRS. The deadline for applications is September 30, 2017.

Companies can be recognized by downloading and filling out the form available here.

For additional information, visit Cascade Business News’ website.

EDCO WELCOMES KIP BARRETT AS NEW BEND AREA DIRECTOR

BEND, OR (August 15, 2017) – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is pleased to welcome the addition of Kip Barrett as Bend Area Director, effective immediately.

In his role, Kip 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. In this role, he will focus on guiding employers outside the region through the relocation process of moving to Bend, manage and help administer incentive programs, and work closely with local traded-sector companies to help them grow and expand.

Over the past decade, Kip has held a variety of roles in the renewable energy industry, most recently leading a solar project company Mergers & Acquisitions team for Tesla. Prior to Tesla, he was actively developing varied wind, solar and other renewable energy projects at the federal, state and municipal level, including multi-million dollar projects for Fortune 500 companies.

“Kip’s varied experience and past engagement in economic development make him a perfect fit with our mission at EDCO,” said Roger Lee, EDCO’s CEO. “He’s been actively involved in the BVC and has worked with other EDCO directors through his previous endeavors. We’re excited to have Kip’s entrepreneurial experience and ability to relate to our local business owners.”

Kip holds an MBA from Portland State University and an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He’s lived in Bend with his family since 2005 and enjoys many, if not all the outdoor activities available in our region. An active member of the community, Kip was also a founding Board Member and Board Treasurer for the Oregon Small Wind Energy Association, co-founder of New Roots Energy, an Adjunct Faculty member at OSU-Cascades, and has been actively involved in the Bend Venture Conference for the past decade.

Mid Oregon Personnel conducted the professional search for the Bend Area Director position on behalf of EDCO, spearheaded by Vice President Sam Lambert. A hiring committee representing different community and business perspectives reviewed and interviewed finalists.

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 Mid Oregon Personnel
Mid Oregon Personnel is a local Central Oregon staffing company with full-time offices in four major area communities: Bend, Redmond, Prineville, and Madras. Founded in 1984, Mid Oregon Personnel offers employers and employees customized service instead of applying a formula, aiming to fit the right person with each company’s culture, resulting in a higher retention rate than typical for the industry.

THE BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE 2017 APPLICATION DEADLINE FRIDAY, AUGUST 11TH

BEND, OR (August 7, 2017) – The application deadline for companies looking to present at the largest Angel Conference in the West, the Bend Venture Conference (BVC), is fast approaching. To be considered, companies must have their applications completed by this Friday, August 11th. The 14th annual two-day conference returns Thursday, October 19 – Friday, October 20, 2017, to the iconic Tower Theatre in downtown Bend.

Hosted by Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), this year’s conference will once again feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Early Stage, and Social Impact. Last year, nearly $4 million in funding was awarded to ten companies.

  • 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. Applicants can be located anywhere in the U.S. 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. Applicants must be located in Central Oregon. To apply, click here.
  • Social Impact Competition: Now in its second year, 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. Applicants can be located anywhere in the U.S. To apply, click here.

“Bend Venture Conference truly elevated venture and angel investing in Oregon last year by deploying nearly $4 million to ten companies. It was a banner year with over 90 impressive applicants. We continue to attract some of the most innovative companies in the west to compete for these investments. And at the same time, there’s room for companies of all stages to compete within our three categories,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst.

Companies in the Social Impact Competition historically compete for investments ranging from $50,000-$100,000. BendBroadband Business returns to sponsor the Early Stage Competition with a $17,500 cash award, while Growth Stage Competition finalists could collect an investment of $250,000 or more. The 2017 BVC will feature impressive panelists and keynote speakers from across the country representing angel investors, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs, to be announced shortly.

Jason Moyer, Fund Manager for the 2017 BVC, LLC said, “During the past several years, BVC has matured from a local angel event to one of the more valuable conferences in the country. We’re attracting some of the region’s most promising early-stage ventures, along with numerous professionally managed investment funds.”

“The inaugural year of the Social Impact Fund was wildly successful and exceeded all expectations,” noted Ryan Andrews, Fund Manager for the 2017 BVC Social Impact Fund. “We were the very first fund to invest in two companies, OpConnect and Hemex Health, which have both gone on to raise significant additional investment and find market traction. This is a huge accomplishment for any fund and our goal for this year is to continue on that path.”

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the 14th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. More than 600 attendees, six funds, 32 prominent investors, and 90 companies participated in 2016’s conference, where nearly $4 million was invested in 10 companies.

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.

HiDEC Rebrands as Grow 3Degrees, Transfers Ownership to OMEP

Grow 3Degrees

BEND, OR (August 1, 2017) – Today, Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) unveiled the rebranding of the High Desert Enterprise Consortium (HiDEC) as Grow 3o, a move that aims to better convey the effort, which gives local entrepreneurs and companies access to continued education and peer-learning, with a focus on Lean principles.

Over the past year, EDCO and the HiDEC Steering Committee have been working together with The Mandala Agency, a full-service branding, marketing and creative ad firm located in Bend, on both a name change and rebranding effort. From this emerged Grow 3o, giving the group a clearer mission and focus.

Grow 3o relates to how small course corrections and incremental improvements over time can lead to significant gains and transform organizations. Continuous improvement is about engagement and problem-solving at all levels, and when consistently implemented it separates good companies from truly great ones.

In this spirit of continuous improvement, the core of what HiDEC (and what is now Grow 3o) stands for, EDCO chose to transition ownership of the effort to an organization that has the same values and goals, but one that could dedicate more resources to the effort. Effective immediately, the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP) will take the lead of Grow 3o and expand EDCO’s efforts of engaging more Central Oregon employers to learn best practices from experts and peers alike that will help their organizations improve.

“We really believe that OMEP is the perfect organization to carry forward this effort in our region,” said Roger Lee, CEO of EDCO. “They are already the lean and continuous improvement experts in the state and this will serve our companies well both in the short and long term.”

OMEP is just one of a nationwide network of organizations called MEP Centers governed by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), bringing considerable horsepower not only from their own team, but in best practices and resources from other parts of the country. These Lean implementation specialists understand the importance of culture and leadership, and as former business owners and engineers, their team knows the ins and outs of manufacturing. Like HiDEC did in the past, OMEP and Grow 3o work with a variety of industries outside of manufacturing, including health care, financial services, government administration and more.

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.

About Grow 3o
Grow 3⁰’s mission is to help Central Oregon businesses improve their processes by leveraging the knowledge of experts and members through training and practical application of best practices. The organization is focused on Lean training and implementation: from first steps to advanced continuous improvement through events, workshops, problem-solving tours and more.