Tag Archives: entrepreneur

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 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

Start: LeadMethod Immersed in Bend

August 20, 2019 – In 2013 LeadMethod Founder & CEO Justin Johnson moved from Seattle to Bend. Unsure how to immerse himself in the business community, he reached out to EDCO for resources that allowed him to connect with many local leaders, influencers and mentors.

One local resource he connected with was the Bend Venture Conference, and in 2017 LeadMethod walked away from the annual angel investing event with over $485,000 in funding. The winners of the largest Angel Conference in the West kicked their growth into high gear. The money raised from BVC allowed LeadMethod to increase its staff by 50% and move into a new 5,000 square foot office space, giving them both the manpower and room to scale the business while also adding the ability to test new and innovative ideas.

LeadMethod, a creator of the first channel revenue optimization software, allows manufacturers and distributors to get more information on the leads provided throughout the entire sales cycle. With 25% of their customers surpassing $1 billion in revenue, they continue to gain industry trust worldwide while expanding their footprint in Bend.

For more info on LeadMethod, visit: https://leadmethod.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/ 

Grow: Laird Superfood Expands in Sisters

August 13, 2019 – In November 2015 Laird Superfood started its operations with just three employees in Sisters, Oregon. Their flagship product, Laird Superfood creamer was making waves across the natural products market thanks in part to the company’s namesake and co-founder, Laird Hamilton. The company creates clean, all-natural superfood products that are sustainably grown and responsibly sourced, including coffee creamers and hydration products.

Today, the company has over 80 employees and a brand new 20,000+ sq. ft. state-of-the-art campus. A recent investment from global co-working giant WeWork (now The We Company) gave the company the capital needed to continue its expansion with innovative growth plans.

What started as an idea would not have been possible in Sisters without help from EDCO. Laird Superfood CEO Paul Hodge had recently moved to the Sisters community and wasn’t convinced manufacturing a globally distributed product would be possible in a city with just 2,700 residents. EDCO quickly aligned city and county leadership, state government and local support to give Laird Superfood the resources needed to launch. From incentives to land selection, workforce and development assistance, EDCO worked closely with the company, providing the necessary help for them to achieve a successful start with roots firmly planted in Sisters.

For more information about Laird Superfood, visit: https://lairdsuperfood.com/

EDCO’S PUBTALK RETURNS THURSDAY, JUNE 27TH

People laughing at McMenamins, PubTalk logo, EDCO logo

EDCO’S PUBTALK RETURNS THURSDAY, JUNE 27TH
FEATURING HYDRO FLASK, TERRA FRMA, ADVENTURE GURU

Bend, Ore. (June 11, 2019)Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) has announced the speakers for the next Central Oregon PubTalk at McMenamins in downtown Bend on Thursday, June 27, at 5 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and available via Eventbrite here.

EDCO’s Central Oregon PubTalk is a happy hour aimed at bringing together different facets of the business community in one place to network, share ideas and further local businesses.

Keynote Speaker
Mike Wallenfels, SVP Global Sales, Helen of Troy

Think Omni-Channel: Developing Brick & Mortar Avenues in a Digitally Native World

Mike has spent much of his career in sales leadership for brands like Hydro Flask, Timbuk2 and Mountain Hardwear. He’s also advised digitally native brands (think Cotopaxi and Rumpl) in extending beyond their direct online sales worlds. After a company has mastered Kickstarter, direct online sales and Amazon, what comes next? Hear Mike’s stories of developing sales channels for leading brands and startups and why developing a brick & mortar strategy is still important in a digital world.

Company Pitches
Allison Barnard, CEO & Founder,
Terra Frma
There are reasons people don’t prepare even when they know they must. Founder Allison Barnard was in a full stop, avoiding preparing her family for a disaster. Knowing she wasn’t alone in this reaction, she set out to solve a serious problem. Allison knew the potential value of a step-by-step product that would prepare people before, guide them during and support them after any disaster without power or cell service. Terra Frma is a holistic approach to natural disaster preparedness combining expert steps with wellness-focused guidance to build physical and emotional resilience in the face of a disaster.

Shannon Enete, CEO & Founder, Adventure Guru
Adventure Guru is a video-based adventure guide aiming to change the world one adventure at a time. In order to do so, they want every type of person (size, shape, color, sexuality, ability, etc.) to represent the beauty of humanity and inspire everyone to get outside and enrich his/her life. Sometimes you need to see someone that looks like you exploring the great outdoors before you realize it’s not just for the elite athlete that we’re used to seeing on pamphlets and in magazines.

Agenda
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Networking – Drinks and appetizers
6:00 pm to 6:45 pm Company Presentations
6:45 pm to 7:30 pm Keynote Panel Discussion

Cost and Registration
$26 EDCO & OEN Members (Become an EDCO Member here)
$36 Non-Members

Admission includes appetizers and a free beverage (choice of beer, wine, or soda).

Title Sponsors

2019 PubTalk Title Sponsors Columbia Bank, Karnopp Peterson, University of Oregon, Velox Systems