Tag Archives: 2019

2019 Bend Venture Conference Winners

EDCO ANNOUNCES THE WINNERS OF THE 16TH ANNUAL BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE

Six Companies Presented with a Total of $488,000 in Investments & Cash Awards

BEND, OR – October 18, 2019Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) hosted the 16th  Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) to a sold-out crowd at the Tower Theatre in Downtown Bend. This August, nearly 100 companies from across the U.S. and Canada applied to the conference in hopes of making it to the Tower Theatre stage. Over the past two days, 14 finalists presented their ideas to nearly 600 attendees.

This year marks the largest fund yet for the BVC, LLC, setting a funding record for the conference.

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 two different winners.

  • Winners of BVC, LLC, Investment Awards*:
    • Observa (Seattle, WA) – An AI platform bringing ecommerce-style analytics to brick-and-mortar retail, was awarded $250,000.
    • Belmont (Portland, OR) – Providing break rooms with coffee, simplified draft beverages and fully-managed pantry service using proprietary technology, was awarded $100,000.

*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 $75,000 from Business Oregon and $10,000 from Oregon Community Foundation. Investments and follow on deals are still being finalized.

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 fifth award given by the Impact LLC in the past four years.

  • Winner of the BVC Impact LLC, Investment Award*:
    • Riff Cold Brewed (Bend, OR) – Upcycling coffee byproduct into an all-natural energy drink, was awarded $85,000.

*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 Business Oregon and $10,000 from Oregon Community Foundation. Investments are still being finalized.

Early Stage Competition

The Early Stage Competition included companies that are pre-revenue (or very early) and are in the process of testing their product in the market. The three winning Early Stage companies are:

  • Winners of the Portland Seed Fund Early Stage Competition:
    • FleetNurse Inc. (Eugene, OR) – An app-based on-demand staffing service for healthcare facility supervisors, was awarded $25,000.
    • Steamchain Corp. (Salem, OR) – A blockchain company using smart contracts to reduce high currency conversion costs and fluctuation risk in shipping and logistics, was awarded $25,000.
  • Winner of the Keiretsu Forum Audience Award (awarded at EDCO’s September PubTalk):
    • TerrAmor (Corvallis, OR) – A low-cost, easy to deploy, organic-certified solution for soft fruit growers to address the spotted wing drosophila problem, won a $3,000 cash award.

“This year we’ve raised the most money for the BVC LLCs in the history of the conference,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst. “This continues to show the strong local investor support for both the Conference and our current startup ecosystem. BVC continues to connect Central Oregon entrepreneurs to a broader, national audience.”

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 16th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past five years, more than $10 million has been invested in 38 companies as a result of the conference. This year, nearly 600 entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders attended the multi-day conference on October 17-18, in Bend, Oregon. 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. edcoinfo.com

2019 BVC Growth Stage and Impact Finalists Announced

EDCO ANNOUNCES THE FINALISTS IN THE GROWTH AND IMPACT CATEGORIES ADVANCING TO THE BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE, OCTOBER 17-18

BEND, OR – October 4, 2019 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the Semi-Finalists advancing in the Growth Stage and Impact Categories for the 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) on Thursday, October 17 – Friday, October 18, 2019.

In just two weeks, these companies will travel from across the West to present on the Tower Theatre stage. Last year, companies in the Growth Stage category won prizes ranging from $100,000 to $500,000, while the Impact Category winner walked away with $100,000.

In alphabetical order, the five Growth Stage finalists are:

  1. Belmont (Portland, OR) – Providing break rooms with coffee, simplified draft beverages and fully-managed pantry service using proprietary technology.
  2. Candid Wholesale (Portland, OR) – A suite of enterprise-grade tools for SME wholesalers, providing a SaaS platform where buyers can make orders and manage relationships.
  3. Observa (Seattle, WA) – An AI platform bringing ecommerce-style analytics to brick-and-mortar retail.
  4. SendSmart (Portland, OR) – Automates web lead follow up on multiple communication channels, connecting salespeople with leads once they’ve responded.
  5. ThingLogix (Belmont, CA) – Provides companies with the expertise and tools to design, build, deploy, and manage serverless and IoT Applications on the cloud.

In alphabetical order, the four Impact Stage finalists are:

  1. Beta Hatch (Seattle, WA) – Farming for the future by industrializing insects.
  2. Meli Wraps (Bend, OR) – Creators of reusable beeswax wraps for food storage.
  3. Riff Cold Brewed (Bend, OR) – Upcycling coffee byproduct into an all-natural energy drink.
  4. Sironix Renewables (Seattle, WA) – Maker of high-performance, eco-friendly ingredients for cleaning products.

“These companies represent finalists from close to 100 applications received this year,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst. “The steady progression in maturity of both tracks continues with a broad range of geographies and ideas being represented. These top companies also show how the tracks have evolved to look more like true Venture-style investments, with revenues ranging from $500k to close to $4 million.”

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 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 16th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past five years, more than $10 million has been invested in 38 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 17-18, in Bend, Oregon. 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. edcoinfo.com

Jefferson County Offers $143,000 Incentive for Construction of Industrial Space

EDCO logo, Mount Bachelor landscape

Jefferson County Offers $143,000 Incentive for Construction of Industrial Space
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Madras, Ore. Jefferson County has finalized a grant program that offers a cash incentive for
the private development community to construct new industrial or light industrial space within the county’s borders. For years, all existing heavy and light industrial space has been fully occupied in Madras, Metolius, Culver, Crooked River Ranch and Warm Springs, which the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners see as a barrier for business development. This incentive would offer up to $125,000 for construction of a 60,000 square foot building available for lease. The minimum size for eligibility is 20,000 square feet, which would yield a $75,000 cash grant. Sizes in between will be prorated.

Additionally, the grant recipient may also apply for up to $18,000 in “rent gap coverage” to
defray costs if the building remains vacant after completion. This grant is designed for maximum flexibility and does not require a specific property to be identified at the time of the application.

However, those applications with land control (lease or ownership) will be scored higher. Applicants also need not have a tenant in hand to apply. The deadline for applications for this incentive is November 4th, 2019, 2:00pm.

“It is widely known that a shortage of built industrial space available for lease in a community is a barrier for both existing businesses to expand and companies outside our borders to relocate,” said Jefferson County Commissioner Kelly Simmelink. “We don’t want to lose opportunities due to a 12-18 month permitting and construction time frame,” he noted.

Commissioner Mae Huston emphasized that financial capital is also a constraint. “Many of the economic development tools to attract business to Jefferson County are geared to businesses that can be patient through a building project and have sufficient capital for ground-up development,” said Huston.

“The data tells us that most business owners would rather direct their capital and attention to the business rather than real estate,” continued Huston.

Wayne Fording, local business owner and longtime Commissioner, sees the incentive as a way for the public sector to help mitigate private sector risk of investing in new speculative space. “The grant program’s goal is to get someone to add inventory, and we believe occupancy will follow quickly,” said Fording.

This grant program may be used in conjunction with the Oregon Enterprise Zone program,
which offers 3-15 year property tax exemptions for qualifying companies on buildings, equipment and certain types of personal property. Local jurisdictions including Jefferson County, City of Madras, City of Metolius, City of Culver and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs volunteer to temporarily give up some property tax revenue via the Enterprise Zone programs in order to attract new jobs and capital investment.

The source of funding used for the industrial construction incentive program is a portion of the net proceeds of a 1980s Oregon Community Development Grant that the County used to establish a business economic development loan program. The County originally received $400,000. Today, the program has grown with principal and interest repayments to a current value over $800,000.

Grant details are available at www.jeffco.net/RFPs and the deadline for sealed
applications is November 4, 2019 at 2:00 PM.

Contact: Kelly Simmelink, County Commissioner – 503.730.6573
Jeff Rasmussen, County Administrative Officer – 541.460.0889

About Jefferson County:
Established in 1914, Jefferson County comprises the northern portion of the Central Oregon region and includes Oregon’s largest Native American reservation. It is home to some of the largest manufacturers in the region, has among the state’s most diverse population and its farms produce the majority of the annual U.S. and global carrot seed supply.

2019 BVC Early Stage Finalists Announced

ANNOUNCING THE FIVE EARLY STAGE FINALISTS TO PRESENT AT THE 16TH ANNUAL BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE OCTOBER 17-18
Finalists Chosen During Last Night’s Central Oregon PubTalk

BEND, Ore. – September 27, 2019 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announces the Top Five Early Stage Finalists advancing to the Bend Venture Conference (BVC) on Thursday, October 17 – Friday, October 18, 2019. These companies will present on the historic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend, competing for a possible investment of $25,000 from Portland Seed Fund.

The Early Stage competition received 42 company applications from six states. It 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 on the morning of Friday, October 18th.

During last night’s Central Oregon PubTalk, TerrAmor won the Audience Vote and received a $3,000 cash award, courtesy of Keiretsu Forum.

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

  1. FleetNurse Inc. (Eugene, OR) – An app-based on-demand staffing service for healthcare facility supervisors.
  2. Lisi Global, Inc. (Richland, WA) – Environmentally safe, patented electronics technology that eradicates soil pests and pathogens.
  3. Speak Technologies (Portland, OR) – A time-saving productivity tool using AI to follow-up on meetings by automatically capturing notes, key decisions and action items.
  4. Steamchain Corp (Salem, OR) – Steamchain is a Financial Technology company that has created a platform using smart contracts, blockchain technology and proprietary processes to simplify international B2B payments.
  5. TerrAmor (Corvallis, OR) – A low-cost, easy to deploy, organic-certified solution for soft fruit growers to address the spotted wing drosophila problem.

Tickets to the 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 16th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past five years, more than $10 million has been invested in 38 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 17-18, in Bend, Oregon. 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. edcoinfo.com

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2019 BVC Early Stage Semi-Finalists

EDCO ANNOUNCES THE BVC EARLY STAGE SEMI-FINALISTS
10 companies to present at the largest PubTalk of the year September 26th;
Competing for a $3,000 cash award and a spot on the BVC Stage

BEND, Ore. – September 17, 2019 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the 10 semi-finalist companies advancing in the Early Stage competition for the 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) on Thursday, October 17 – Friday, October 18, 2019. This group of companies is one step closer to presenting on the historic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend, competing for an investment of $25,000 from Portland Seed Fund.

These Early Stage semi-finalists will pitch against each other at the September 26th PubTalk with five companies advancing to the Bend Venture Conference. In addition to advancing to the BVC, an audience vote will determine one Early Stage company to receive a $3,000 cash award, courtesy of Keiretsu Forum. Tickets for PubTalk are on sale now and available here.

In alphabetical order, the 10 BVC Early Stage semi-finalists that will compete at the September 26th PubTalk are:

  1. Analog Biometric Technologies (Portland, OR) – A firearm lockbox preventing children from accessing firearms using the length of fingers to unlock.
  2. eCode.me (Bend, OR) – A product recommendation platform that recommends products based on a unique sensory profile.
  3. FleetNurse Inc. (Eugene, OR) – An app-based on-demand staffing service for healthcare facility supervisors.
  4. Honistly (Portland, OR) – Creators of financial instruments that ease anxiety through alternatives to predatory lending and the comfort of predictable expenses via warranties.
  5. Lisi Global, Inc. (Richland, WA) – Environmentally safe, patented electronics technology that eradicates soil pests and pathogens.
  6. Referit Wellness, Inc. (Bend, OR) – An app that helps doctors grow their practices by incentivizing patients to share their favorite doctors.
  7. Shift (Bend, OR) – VR enhanced online training to help educators recognize and mitigate implicit bias in the classroom.
  8. Speak Technologies (Portland, OR) – A time-saving productivity tool using AI to follow-up on meetings by automatically capturing notes, key decisions and action items.
  9. Steamchain Corp (Salem, OR) – A blockchain company using smart contracts to reduce high currency conversion costs and fluctuation risk in shipping and logistics.
  10. TerrAmor (Corvallis, OR) – A low-cost, easy to deploy, organic-certified solution for soft fruit growers to address the spotted wing drosophila problem.

 

During PubTalk, an audience vote, along with a panel of experts, will determine the five companies that advance to BVC October 17-18. With the largest crowd of the year, the action will be live-streamed throughout McMenamins. Don’t wait to secure your seats – tickets are going fast and this event will sell out.

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

PubTalk Agenda
5:00 pm to 5:45 pm Networking, drinks & appetizers
5:45 pm to 8:00 pm Early Stage Company Pitches, Audience Vote, Winner Announcements

PubTalk Cost and Registration
$27 EDCO & OEN Members (Become a member here.)
$37 Non-Members
Cost includes appetizers and a free beverage (choice of beer, wine, or soda)

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the September 26th PubTalk are on sale now and available here.
Tickets to the 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

BVC Title Sponsors

PubTalk Title Sponsors

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 16th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past five years, more than $10 million has been invested in 38 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 17-18, in Bend, Oregon. 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. edcoinfo.com

2019 BVC Semi-Finalists for Early Stage

EDCO ANNOUNCES THE BVC EARLY STAGE SEMI-FINALISTS
Ten companies to present at the largest PubTalk of the year September 26th;
Competing for a $3,000 cash award and a spot on BVC Stage

BEND, Ore. – September 17, 2019 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the 10 semi-finalist companies advancing in the Early Stage competition for the 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) on Thursday, October 17 – Friday, October 18, 2019. This group of companies is one step closer to presenting on the historic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend, competing for an investment of $25,000 from Portland Seed Fund.

These Early Stage semi-finalists will pitch against each other at the September 26th PubTalk with five companies advancing to the Bend Venture Conference. In addition to advancing to the BVC, an audience vote will determine one Early Stage company to receive a $3,000 cash award, courtesy of Keiretsu Forum. Tickets for PubTalk are on sale now and available here.

In alphabetical order, the 10 BVC Early Stage semi-finalists that will compete at the September 26th PubTalk are:

  1. Analog Biometric Technologies (Portland, OR) – A firearm lockbox preventing children from accessing firearms using the length of fingers to unlock.
  2. eCode.me (Bend, OR) – A product recommendation platform that recommends products based on a unique sensory profile.
  3. FleetNurse Inc. (Eugene, OR) – An app-based on-demand staffing service for healthcare facility supervisors.
  4. Honistly (Portland, OR) – Creators of financial instruments that ease anxiety through alternatives to predatory lending and the comfort of predictable expenses via warranties.
  5. Lisi Global, Inc. (Richland, WA) – Environmentally safe, patented electronics technology that eradicates soil pests and pathogens.
  6. Referit Wellness, Inc. (Bend, OR) – An app that helps doctors grow their practices by incentivizing patients to share their favorite doctors.
  7. Shift (Bend, OR) – VR enhanced online training to help educators recognize and mitigate implicit bias in the classroom.
  8. Speak Technologies (Portland, OR) – A time-saving productivity tool using AI to follow-up on meetings by automatically capturing notes, key decisions and action items.
  9. Steamchain Corp (Salem, OR) – A blockchain company using smart contracts to reduce high currency conversion costs and fluctuation risk in shipping and logistics.
  10. TerrAmor (Corvallis, OR) – A low-cost, easy to deploy, organic-certified solution for soft fruit growers to address the spotted wing drosophila problem.

 

During PubTalk, an audience vote, along with a panel of experts, will determine the five companies that advance to BVC October 17-18. With the largest crowd of the year, the action will be live-streamed throughout McMenamins. Don’t wait to secure your seats – tickets are going fast and this event will sell out.

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

PubTalk Agenda
5:00 pm to 5:45 pm Networking, drinks & appetizers
5:45 pm to 8:00 pm Early Stage Company Pitches, Audience Vote, Winner Announcements

PubTalk Cost and Registration
$27 EDCO & OEN Members (Become a member here.)
$37 Non-Members
Cost includes appetizers and a free beverage (choice of beer, wine, or soda)

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the September 26th PubTalk are on sale now and available here.
Tickets to the 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

 

BVC Title Sponsors

PubTalk Title Sponsors

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 16th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past five years, more than $10 million has been invested in 38 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 17-18, in Bend, Oregon. 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. edcoinfo.com

2019 BVC Semi-Finalists for Growth Stage and Impact

EDCO ANNOUNCES THE SEMI-FINALISTS IN THE GROWTH STAGE AND IMPACT CATEGORIES; ONE STEP CLOSER TO PRESENTING AT THE 2019 BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE


BEND, OR – September 12, 2019 – 
Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the Semi-Finalists advancing in the Growth Stage and Impact Categories for the 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) on Thursday, October 17 – Friday, October 18, 2019.

The below semi-finalists have to make it through one more cut before presenting on the historic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend. Last year, companies in the Growth Stage Category won prizes ranging from $100,000 to $500,000, while the Impact Category winner walked away with $100,000. Semi-Finalists in the Early Stage competition will be announced early next week.

In alphabetical order, the 10 Growth Stage semi-finalists are:

  1. Belmont (Portland, OR.) – Providing break rooms with coffee, simplified draft beverages and fully-managed pantry service using proprietary technology.
  2. Broken Top Candle Company (Bend, OR) – Create hand-poured sustainable and conscious products using renewable and recyclable materials.
  3. Candid Wholesale (Portland, OR) – A suite of enterprise-grade tools for SME wholesalers, providing a SaaS platform where buyers can make orders and manage relationships.
  4. ClearOPS, Inc. (New York, NY) – Provides vendor response management for data privacy and security operations.
  5. New Leaf Precision Ag (Portland, OR) – A standardized, data-driven framework that helps growers grow more, waste less and maintain consistency.
  6. Observa (Seattle, WA) – An AI platform bringing ecommerce-style analytics to brick-and-mortar retail.
  7. Rupie (Bend, OR) – An AI-driven, community-focused talent-gig matching platform for building video games.
  8. SendSmart (Portland, OR) – Automates web lead follow up on multiple communication channels, connecting salespeople with leads once they’ve responded.
  9. ThingLogix (Belmont, CA) – Provides companies with the expertise and tools to design, build, deploy, and manage serverless and IoT Applications on the cloud.
  10. Walker Tracker (Portland, OR) – A SaaS platform that partners with companies and organizations to build wellness into their culture and make healthy behaviors fun and accessible.

In alphabetical order, the six Impact Stage semi-finalists are:

  1. Beta Hatch (Seattle, WA) – Farming for the future by industrializing insects.
  2. BrainChild Technologies (Bend, OR) – Accessible hearing tests for infants.
  3. Meli Wraps (Bend, OR) – Creators of reusable beeswax wraps for food storage.
  4. Riff Cold Brewed (Bend, OR) – Upcycling coffee byproduct into an all-natural energy drink.
  5. Sana Packaging (Denver, CO) – Designer and developer of cannabis packaging using sustainable materials.
  6. Sironix Renewables (Seattle, WA) – Maker of high-performance, eco-friendly ingredients for cleaning products.

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 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 16th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past five years, more than $10 million has been invested in 38 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 17-18, in Bend, Oregon. 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. edcoinfo.com

BEND, OR – September 12, 2019 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the Semi-Finalists advancing in the Growth Stage and Impact Categories for the 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) on Thursday, October 17 – Friday, October 18, 2019.

The below semi-finalists have to make it through one more cut before presenting on the historic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend. Last year, companies in the Growth Stage Category won prizes ranging from $100,000 to $500,000, while the Impact Category winner walked away with $100,000. Semi-Finalists in the Early Stage competition will be announced early next week.

In alphabetical order, the 10 Growth Stage semi-finalists are:

  1. Belmont (Portland, OR.) – Providing break rooms with coffee, simplified draft beverages and fully-managed pantry service using proprietary technology.
  2. Broken Top Candle Company (Bend, OR) – Create hand-poured sustainable and conscious products using renewable and recyclable materials.
  3. Candid Wholesale (Portland, OR) – A suite of enterprise-grade tools for SME wholesalers, providing a SaaS platform where buyers can make orders and manage relationships.
  4. ClearOPS, Inc. (New York, NY) – Provides vendor response management for data privacy and security operations.
  5. New Leaf Precision Ag (Portland, OR) – A standardized, data-driven framework that helps growers grow more, waste less and maintain consistency.
  6. Observa (Seattle, WA) – An AI platform bringing ecommerce-style analytics to brick-and-mortar retail.
  7. Rupie (Bend, OR) – An AI-driven, community-focused talent-gig matching platform for building video games.
  8. SendSmart (Portland, OR) – Automates web lead follow up on multiple communication channels, connecting salespeople with leads once they’ve responded.
  9. ThingLogix (Belmont, CA) – Provides companies with the expertise and tools to design, build, deploy, and manage serverless and IoT Applications on the cloud.
  10. Walker Tracker (Portland, OR) – A SaaS platform that partners with companies and organizations to build wellness into their culture and make healthy behaviors fun and accessible.

In alphabetical order, the six Impact Stage semi-finalists are:

  1. Beta Hatch (Seattle, WA) – Farming for the future by industrializing insects.
  2. BrainChild Technologies (Bend, OR) – Accessible hearing tests for infants.
  3. Meli Wraps (Bend, OR) – Creators of reusable beeswax wraps for food storage.
  4. Riff Cold Brewed (Bend, OR) – Upcycling coffee byproduct into an all-natural energy drink.
  5. Sana Packaging (Denver, CO) – Designer and developer of cannabis packaging using sustainable materials.
  6. Sironix Renewables (Seattle, WA) – Maker of high-performance, eco-friendly ingredients for cleaning products.

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 16th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 16th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past five years, more than $10 million has been invested in 38 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 17-18, in Bend, Oregon. 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. edcoinfo.com

Amplion Secured Series A Funding

Amplion, the Bend-based biomarker intelligence company secured their Series A funding from Greycroft with participation from existing investors Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and Imagen Capital Partners. They will use those funds to expand its sales and marketing efforts as well as accelerate product development. Amplion participated in the 2014 Bend Venture Conference and walked away with $400,000 in funding.

https://www.geekwire.com/2019/startup-wants-accelerate-precision-medicine-growing-biological-data-platform/ 

EDCO Welcomes Scott Orman as New Sunriver/La Pine Area Director

EDCO logo, Mount Bachelor landscape

EDCO WELCOMES SCOTT ORMAN AS NEW
SUNRIVER/LA PINE AREA DIRECTOR

BEND, Ore. (August 12, 2019) – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is pleased to welcome Scott Orman as the Sunriver/La Pine Area Director, effective immediately.

In this role, Scott 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, focusing those efforts in southern Deschutes County. He will help guide employers outside the region through the relocation process of moving to the area, manage and help administer incentive programs and work closely with local traded-sector companies to help them grow and expand.

Scott holds a Master’s of Science in Logistics Management from Florida Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s of Science in Education & Military Science from Northern Arizona University. As a resident of Sunriver Resort, Scott enjoys the Central Oregon lifestyle with his wife and four daughters. He is very excited about the economic trends in Sunriver and La Pine and eager to help his community grow.

“We are excited to have Scott fill this new, full-time role to help these communities capitalize on economic trends that this part of the region is realizing,” said EDCO’s CEO Roger Lee. “Our goal and that of our private and public funding partners, is to bring more jobs and diverse employment opportunities to Sunriver and La Pine residents where they live.”

Express Employment Professionals, a longstanding EDCO member, conducted the professional search for the Sunriver/La Pine Area Director position on behalf of EDCO. It was spearheaded by Managing Director Karen Turner with direct assistance by owner Connie Druliner, who is the current EDCO Board President. A hiring committee of local leaders representing different community and business perspectives reviewed and interviewed finalists and made the hiring recommendation.

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 Employment Professionals has been providing recruiting and human resource solutions to the Central Oregon community for over 30 years. Learn more at www.expresspros.com/bendor.

THE BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE RETURNS OCTOBER 17-18

BVC Outside Tower Theatre

THE BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE RETURNS OCTOBER 17-18, 2019
CONFERENCE TICKETS ON SALE NOW
COMPANY APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW THRU AUGUST 15TH

BEND, OR (July 17, 2019) – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) will again host the annual two-day Bend Venture Conference (BVC), now in its 16th year, on Thursday, October 17 – Friday, October 18, 2018, at the iconic Tower Theatre in downtown Bend.

Tickets to the 16th Annual BVC are on sale now and are available here.

This year’s conference will feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Early Stage, and Impact. The application period is open now through Thursday, August 15th and companies across the United States are invited to apply.

  • 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. 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. To apply, click here.
  • Impact Competition: 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. To apply, click here.

Last year, 600 attendees, 50 prominent investors, and over 70 companies joined us for a celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation. Investments, awards, and prizes of approximately $2.35 million were given to multiple winners at the 2018 conference.

“The Bend Venture Conference has become a staple in the Pacific Northwest’s entrepreneurial community. What started as a one-day conference 16 years ago has matured into nearly a week of diverse entrepreneurial activity in Central Oregon. We’re excited to see how BVC grows this year, launching capital into businesses locally and nationally,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst.

Jason Moyer, Fund Manager for the 2019 BVC, LLC said, ““BVC has come a long way. We’re now syndicating with professional funds to invest meaningful sums in many of the region’s most promising ventures. Multiple exits and up-rounds suggest that our selection process is on the right track.”

Companies in the Impact Competition historically compete for investments ranging from $50,000-$100,000. This year’s Early Stage Competition has received a commitment from Portland Seed Fund to invest at least $25,000 into the winning company. Growth Stage Competition finalists could collect an investment of $250,000 or more. The 2019 BVC will feature impressive panelists and keynote speakers from across the country representing angel investors, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs, to be announced at a later date.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 16th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past five years, more than $10 million has been invested in 38 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 17-18, 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.