Application Period Open February 6-March 6, 2017 via

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 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 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 or


Natalie Dent, Consultant
Investor and Entrepreneur Relations
Cascade Angels

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.

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.

Bend-Redmond Ranked #1 Best-Performing Small City for 2016 by Milken Institute

BEND, Ore. – December 14, 2016 – Bend-Redmond, Oregon, tops the U.S. Best-Performing Small Cities index, rising from eighth the previous year. The metro improves in seven of the nine indicators. The health-care system provides economic stability. The central Oregon economy is vibrant and has been able to diversity its economic base through the new waves of innovation.

Read the full story here.

Ruffwear is one of Outside’s Best Places to Work

BEND, Ore. – December 13, 2016 –  Each year, Outside magazine releases a list of 100 companies that go beyond work-life balance by making employee health and happiness a point of pride. Ruffwear is honored and humbled to be included among Outside’s 100 Best Places to Work for 2016.

To be considered for this list, companies from across the country enter a two-part survey process. The first part evaluates each company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems, and demographics. The second part consists of an employee survey to measure personal experience. The combined score determines the top companies and the final ranking.

Read the full story here.

MOVE: Q&A with George Pierce, Owner, Pierce Footwear

BEND, Ore. – December 6th, 2016 – Former champion duathlete (run-bike-run) George Pierce was inspired to make a comeback to racing after a near-death bike-truck accident in 2010. While rehabilitating fractured vertebrae in his back and neck, Pierce developed a new type of footwear that addressed the problem of getting in and out of shoes, both for multi-sport athletes and those with limited mobility. Six years later, Pierce Footwear is helping all types of athletes put their best feet forward.

EDCO: What inspired you to start Pierce Footwear?

GP: Prior to the accident, I’d been retired from the sport for about seven years. Afterward, I realized I was lucky to be alive and decided to make a comeback with the goal of making the U.S. Duathlon Team. I trained every day and made the team in 2011. I went to World’s in Spain and placed 7th that year.

During my training, I knew there had to be a way to improve transition speed when changing shoes (twice in duathlons). I asked a friend to build the first prototype out of an old pair of Sauconys…and they worked! I raced in them two weeks later and immediately cut 5% off my T1 (first transition) and T2 (second transition) times. I filed patents right after that race in 2012. Since then, I’ve gone back and forth to a Korean shoe factory five times in the last three years to refine the product.


The first six prototypes, including v.1 (Saucony shoe, far left)

EDCO: Why did you choose to move your business to Central Oregon?

GP: We moved here from Palo Alto, Calif., in August 2016 for several reasons – there’s more visibility for the product, more people who use the product, greater workforce potential, tremendous community support, and compelling tax breaks.

Jay Dicharry PT, SCS, from Rebound Physical Therapy was actually an inspiration for the shoe. He wrote an article on foot dynamics and how footwear should allow the foot to perform. I didn’t realize he was from Bend when I first read the article – it was just a happy coincidence.

EDCO: How did EDCO help with your move?

GP: I first talked to EDCO back in the summer/fall of 2015 during the Outside Games after a local resident suggested I connect with you. Since then, EDCO has provided a lot of friendly help – making introductions (including to the Bend High Cross Country coach), finding housing, storing product, and getting us involved with Oregon Outdoor Alliance (OOA), the Bend Venture Conference and Opportunity Knocks (OK).

EDCO: What’s next for Pierce Footwear?

GP: Well, Pierce Footwear and Special Olympics have a history of empowering athletes through sport, spirit and courage. It all started in 2014 when I met someone from the Special Olympics Committee who thought the shoes could work for their athletes. We’ve sponsored teams in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and have had several athletes on the podium wearing Pierce Footwear. I’m now a global ambassador for Special Olympics triathlons and in March 2017, we’re sponsoring 2,000 athletes as part of the first-ever shoe program for the Special Olympic, followed by pilot projects in Latin America, Europe and China.  We’re currently raising funds to help support our donation of 2,000 pairs of shoes. (EDCO note: To find out more or to donate, click here.)

2016 Special Olympics Triathlon Team for Nations Triathlon Sept. 11

EDCO: Any advice for companies moving to the area?

GP: Call EDCO and work with Tom (Rowley, EDCO’s Bend Manager). Talk to people. Network. It’s easy to get to know the community here. Everyone is so friendly. I would also recommend joining an OK group. I didn’t even know this existed before I moved here and it is fantastic. I’m actually in two groups now (one for the outdoor industry and one for manufacturing) and they offer so much guidance and support.

For outdoor companies, I recommend getting plugged into OOA. I applied to their Venture Out Conference and made it to the semi-finals. I will definitely do that again next year.

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

Forbes: How The Outdoor Industry Is Creating A Huge Boom In Bend

BEND, Ore. – November 28, 2016 – Bend, Oregon is booming. In fact, it had the highest job growth rate in the entire country last  year.

To be totally honest, before my husband’s company Fat Chance Bikes was chosen for the 2016 Bend Outdoor Worx program (the only outdoor industry incubator in the country), the only thing I knew about Bend was that it was three hours north of my new town of Ashland and cold. A couple of visits later and my mind is blown; I’ll tell you why:

For the full story: Here

$186,000 Raised at second Civil War Rally and Auctions

BEND, Ore. – November 17, 2016 – Last week Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) and Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend (BGCB) teamed up to host the Second Annual Civil War Rally & Auction, raising more than $186,000 to support our kids, our families and economic opportunities for all. The event, held at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes, brought business leaders, parents, community members, coaches, players, and alumni together for a night of spirited rivalry and fundraising in support of the two non-profits.

EDCO and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend believe that successful economic development begins with healthy families and kids. The foundation of healthy families is gainful employment. Together, they form a strong partnership that fulfills the promise of a thriving community. BGCB’s youth development programs ensure that the economic opportunities EDCO creates today will be met by the emerging workforce of tomorrow.

With the help of sponsors, volunteers, staff, partners, talent, donors, and more than 400 attendees, the Riverhouse on the Deschutes was transformed into a football stadium, complete with the energy and excitement of the Civil War game. Event highlights included almost 200 live and silent auction items, gourmet tailgating food, referee auctioneers, on-field announcers and sportscasters, field turf and sponsor box seats, Summit High School Pep Band, emcee Bob Grim, ex-NFL and Oregon State football player, and appearances by Pat Casey, head baseball coach for Oregon State, and Brent Haberly, University of Oregon linebacker (2002-2006).

“It’s wonderful to see our organizations and the community come together for the second year in a row to make this event such a huge success,” said Roger Lee, Executive Director for EDCO. “Thanks to everyone who sponsored, volunteered and attended. This is truly a joint venture.”

“As an organization, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend could not be more excited about this continued partnership with EDCO,” said Derek Beauvais, Executive Director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend. “And, the support from the community has been amazing. We look forward to making year three even bigger and better next November!”


About the Partnership
Successful economic development creates a strong base of middle class jobs and a diverse, stable economy. It also begins with healthy families and kids who have the support they need to secure careers and pursue their education. Together, Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend (BGCB) form a natural partnership that fulfills this promise of a thriving community.

The BGCB provides parents with quality, affordable youth development programs after school and all summer long so they can go to work confident their kids are in a safe positive and caring environment where they can learn and grow. Boys & Girls Clubs’ academic success and career readiness programs are preparing the next generation for higher education as well as the nation’s workforce. It is a long-term investment and one that ensures the economic opportunities EDCO creates today will be met by the emerging workforce of tomorrow.


About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend (BGCB) seeks to enable and inspire all young people, especially those who need it most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. At their two locations, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend offers youth ages 5-18 life-changing programs, focusing on Academic SuccessHealthy Lifestyles and Character & Citizenship. For more information, visit


About Economic Development for Central Oregon

Celebrating its 35th year, 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


Media Contacts

Derek Beauvais, Executive Director

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend

541.617.2877 x10

Natalie Dent, Marketing & Communications Manager


541.388.3236 x6

UPDATE: The 2016 Bend Venture Conference Awards Over $3,918,000 in Funding

BEND, Ore. – October 19, 2016 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) last week hosted the 13th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) and announced that over $3,918,000 was awarded in investments and cash prizes, setting a new record for Oregon angel conferences and making it one of the top angel conferences in the country.

The conference featured four competition categories, 12 winners and investments made by numerous investment groups including BendBroadband Business, Business Oregon, BVC LLC, Cascade Angels, Craft3, Elevate Capital, Office of the State Treasurer, Oregon Angel Fund, Oregon BEST, Oregon Community Foundation, and Trigen Investments.

Growth Stage Competition

This competition, which included companies with a proven concept and initial revenues, had five winners:

  • Hubb (Vancouver, Wash.), a SaaS platform for event management, was awarded $2,515,000, making them BVC’s biggest winner.
  • RFPIO Inc. (Portland, Ore.), a SaaS solution that streamlines the RFP response process, was awarded $350,000.
  • Outdoor Project (Portland, Ore.), the fastest growing media platform for outdoor recreation and travel, was awarded $150,000.
  • Scout Military Discount (Portland, Ore.), an app that allows the military community to receive discounts, was awarded $125,000.
  • Fat Chance Bicycles (Ashland, Ore.), an iconic heritage mountain bike brand, was awarded $100,000.
The Bend Venture Conference's big winner, Allie Magyar of Hubb, walked away with four checks totaling $2,515,000.

The Bend Venture Conference’s big winner, Allie Magyar of Hubb, walked away with four checks totaling $2,515,000.

Social Impact Competition

This competition, which included for-profit companies with an integrated social or environmental mission, had three winners:

  • Sudara (Bend, Ore.), a company that designs and manufactures beautiful products in India, creating jobs for survivors of sex-trafficking, was awarded $250,000.
  • OpConnect (Portland, Ore.), a company that sells and operates smart electric vehicle charging stations, was awarded $100,000.
  • Hemex Health (Portland, Ore.), a company that provides new diagnostics for malaria and sickle cell disease, was awarded $50,000.

Early Stage Competition

This competition, which included companies who were close to “proof of concept” and pre or early revenue, had two winners:

  •  Cascade Wellness Technologies (Sunriver, Ore.), manufacturer of an Automated Thermal Contrast device to non-evasively increase blood flow to the body, was awarded $100,000.
  • CushCore (Bend, Ore.), manufacturer of an Inner-Tire Suspension System for mountain bikes, was awarded $15,000.

Venture Out Competition

The first venture event focused solely on the outdoor industry, hosted by Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW) and the Oregon Outdoor Alliance (OOA) in collaboration with EDCO, had three winners: 

  • SnoPlanks (Bend, Ore.), maker of handcrafted bamboo snowboards and skis, was awarded $100,000.
  • TOUGHER (Corvallis, Ore.), maker of durable and functional work wear for women, won $10,000.
  • CushCore (mentioned above) was awarded $3,000.

“The goal of this conference is to bring together investors and companies in the hopes that through the process some magic will occur and companies will get discovered and funded,” said Brian Vierra, Venture Catalyst for EDCO. “This year, due to a high level of collaboration between both angel and venture funds, institutions and the State itself, we succeeded to a level the conference hasn’t seen before. This resulted in a new record of almost $4 million for investment deployed.”

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 this year’s conference, where close to $4 million was awarded to 12 winners.


Press Contact

Brian Vierra

Venture Catalyst Manager


(541) 388.3236 x5