October 21, 2011 Portland Business Journal

October 21, 2011 Portland Business Journal

by Robert Goldfield , Special sections editor

Fledgling enterprise AudioName won $10,000 last Friday at the Bend Venture Conference.

Portland-based AudioName took the prize for “concept stage” company — ventures that are barely off the ground. It was the only Portland-area company among the six presenting businesses in that category.

The $10,000 grant consisted of funds provided by Bend Broadband and the Economic Development for Central Oregon organization.

Redmond-based company RES Equine Products Inc. won the “launch stage” category, obtaining a $250,000 investment from angel investors and the Oregon Growth Account.

AudioName is the creation of Sheetel Dube, a name that’s not the easiest to pronounce on first reading. That served as inspiration for developing the AudioName product –– software that allows users to add an audio component to their email signatures or social profiles to show people how to pronounce their name.

Dube said the Bend award, determined by a vote of the conference’s attendees, helps validate the concept.

She’s still determining how she’ll put the prize money to use, but she says it will help her take the next steps of deciding on a business model and who the target audience should be for marketing.

This week, Dube flew to San Francisco, intending to meet with members of the TiE Group, an international group that aids entrepreneurs and has access to angel investors.

RES Equine makes products that protect horses, such as horse boots and fly masks. Its main selling point is the use of a highly endurable, and replaceable, Velcro-like fastener used in such products.

The investors behind the $250,000 investment will take a 20 percent ownership stake in RES Equine, saidRuth Lindley, marketing manager for Economic Development for Central Oregon. This should be the only round of investment the company needs, meaning the investors can avoid dilution of their shares, she said.

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