Author Archives: EDCO Events

ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS OF THE 17TH ANNUAL BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE

2020 Winning companies

ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS OF THE 17TH ANNUAL BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE

Over Half a Million Dollars Awarded

BEND, Ore. – October 16, 2020 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) hosted the 17th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) from Downtown Bend. Over the past two days, 14 companies presented both in-person and virtually to a hybrid audience and six companies were awarded a total of $503,000 in investments and cash.

This August, 85 companies from across the U.S. applied to the conference looking for investment and exposure. These companies represent some of the best in innovation across multiple industries.

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 winners.

  • Winners of BVC, LLC, Investment Awards*:
    • PypeServer (Seattle, WA) – Software that automates the cutting of industrial steel pipe for construction and industrial uses, was awarded $220,000.
    • PetHub (Wenatchee, WA) – A central hub to manage your pet’s life, helping owners share data safely while also finding trusted services and information, 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. 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.

  • Winner of the BVC Impact LLC, Investment Award*:
    • Biomotum (Portland, OR) – Creators of a robotic ankle-assist device that offers a cost-effective, lightweight, portable, and efficient way to improve mobility in those with movement disorders, was awarded $80,000.

*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 the Oregon Growth Board. 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:
    • Cozera (Portland, OR) – Creating verified digital identities for remote & in-person identity verification, was awarded $50,000.
    • MustDeliver (Portland, OR) – A digital marketplace delivering industry-leading clarity, control & communication between shippers and drivers in the trucking business, was awarded $50,000.
  • Winner of the Portland Seed Fund and Elevate Capital Audience Award (awarded at EDCO’s September PubTalk):
    • Masa (Portland, OR) – The first online farmers market, bringing farmers markets to people via an online marketplace, won a $3,000 cash award.

EDCO’s Venture Catalyst, Brian Vierra, said “The BVC LLCs raised more money from individual investors this year than ever before. The Central Oregon investor community continues to grow, showing strong support for our entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
The Bend Venture Conference is an annual celebration of entrepreneurship, innovation and connections. Now in its 17th year, BVC, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past six years, more than $11 million has been invested in 38 companies as a result of the conference. 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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Announcing the 2020 Growth and Impact Competition Finalists

EDCO ANNOUNCES THE GROWTH AND IMPACT COMPETITION FINALISTS PRESENTING AT THE 17TH ANNUAL BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE OCTOBER 15-16

 

BEND, Ore. – October 1, 2020 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announces the finalists in the Growth and Impact Competitions advancing to the 17th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) on Thursday, October 15 – Friday, October 16, 2020.

Companies in the Growth Stage have previously won investments ranging from $100,000 to $2,500,000, while the Impact winner could walk away with $100,000 or more.

“This year’s cohort represents a wide breadth of industries, including everything from car wash innovation to health tech to craft beverages and ecommerce,” said EDCO Venture Catalyst Brian Vierra. “These inspiring companies are proving that the next wave of innovation will continue to shine through during an extremely uncertain time.”

In alphabetical order, the five Growth Stage finalists that will compete at BVC are:

  1. Pet Hub (Wenatchee, WA) – A central hub to manage your pet’s life, helping owners share data safely while also finding trusted services and information.
  2. Plover (Portland, OR) – Disrupting the carwash industry with the world’s most efficient and precise robotic carwash system.
  3. PypeServer (Seattle, WA) – Software that automates the cutting of industrial steel pipe for construction and industrial uses.
  4. RexPay (Phoenix, AZ) – A mobile app where patients can easily understand, manage and pay all their medical bills and track insurance information in one place.
  5. The Accessory Junkie – (Portland, OR) A pioneering, new e-commerce model that connects customers with hard-to-find products from around the world.

In alphabetical order, the four Impact Competition finalists that will compete at BVC are:

  1. Biomotum (Portland, OR) – Creators of a robotic ankle-assist device that offers a cost effective, lightweight, portable, and efficient way to improve mobility in those with movement disorders.
  2. Focal Technologies, Inc (Portland, OR) – A patented ray system using a refracting lens to concentrate the sun’s heat and UV waves into a receiver to break down any organic contaminant in water or soil.
  3. Lazarus 3D, Inc (Corvallis, OR) – Developed a 3D process to rapidly create life-like models of anatomy from MRI screenings for doctors and hospitals.
  4. Wheyward Spirit (Portland, OR) – Repurposing billions of pounds of whey that go to waste to create a more sippable and sustainable spirit.

To view the five Early Stage finalists that were previously announced, click here.

Hosted by EDCO, this year’s BVC will once again feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Impact and Early Stage, bringing together entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders, both virtually and in-person in Bend, Oregon.

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the 17th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

To view the previously announced Early Stage finalists, click here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
The Bend Venture Conference is an annual celebration of entrepreneurship, innovation and connections. Now in its 17th year, BVC, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past six years, more than $11 million has been invested in 38 companies as a result of the conference. This year’s conference will take place both in-person in Bend, Oregon, and virtually online on October 15-16, 2020, gathering entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders. 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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Announcing the First Round of Cuts for the BVC Early Stage Competition

EDCO ANNOUNCES THE EARLY STAGE COMPANIES WHO ARE ADVANCING TO THE NEXT ROUND OF DUE DILIGENCE IN THE BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE

BEND, OR – September 2, 2020 –  Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the companies moving to the next round in the Early Stage competition for the 17th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) on Thursday, October 15 – Friday, October 16, 2020.

The Semi-Finalists that will compete at the September PubTalk will be announced on Monday, September 14th.

The Top 18 Early Stage Companies are:

  1. A Squared Bikes (Tualatin, OR) – Innovative lease-to-own option for high-end outdoor sporting goods, with their first vertical focusing on triathlon bikes
  2. ADHEREGEAR, LLC (Portland, OR) – Deploying a shared-use network for passengers to create a safer and cleaner environment for their personal items
  3. AirGo Ai (Issaquah, WA) – Developing standalone Passive Advanced Driver Assistance and Distracted Driver Monitoring (ADAS/DMS) and telematics systems
  4. Bates Medical Systems (Portland, OR) –  Developing an innovative, comfortable and cost-effective automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) product for the diagnosis of breast cancer
  5. Cozera (Portland, OR) – Creating verified digital identities for remote & in-person identity verification to increase customer satisfaction, deter identity fraud and save time and money
  6. Everyday (Portland, OR) –  An enterprise application and service built by an experienced team to help organizations connect with their customers in the digital world
  7. FoxFace Systems (Camas, WA) – Providing an easy and affordable online platform for the affordable housing compliance process
  8. Grid Rival (Portland, OR) – A social gaming application for the motorsports obsessed, fusing fantasy-style gaming and betting with content and built-in social functionality
  9. Innov8 Ag (Walla Walla, WA) – Empowering growers with data, bringing together disparate on & off-farm data to enable farmers to make informed management decisions based on machine learning
  10. Masa (Portland, OR) – The first online farmers market, bringing farmers markets to people via an online marketplace (think Etsy for farmers)
  11. Mind Current (Beaverton, OR) – Providing private, personalized, real-time suggestions from experts to enhance employee performance and reduce stress
  12. Must Deliver, Inc (Portland, OR) – A digital marketplace delivering industry-leading clarity, control & communication between shippers and drivers in the trucking business
  13. qChange (Bend, OR) – Democratizing leadership development by creating a B2C2B business model (ie: Slack or Dropbox) at 1/10 the cost and over 7x effectiveness
  14. Skip Technology, Inc (Portland, OR) – Developing and manufacturing a low-cost battery for use in utility-scale energy storage, focusing on solar and wind production facilities
  15. Tonsil Tech (Bend, OR) – At home handheld device to painlessly and effectively remove tonsil stones
  16. Vino Voyage (Portland, OR) – Search engine of wine tasting rooms
  17. XcuseMe App (Portland, OR) – A dining platform for socially-distant experience with a focus on table-service restaurants
  18. YesOMS (Bend, OR) – A platform for merchants and brand owners to offer a superior user experience to their customers through their own branded mobile application
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2020 Bend Venture Conference Applications Now Open

2019 BVC Winners holding checks outside the Tower Theatre

THE BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE RETURNS OCTOBER 15-16, 2020 | COMPANY APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW THRU AUGUST 13TH

BEND, OR (July 14, 2020) – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) will again host the annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) on Thursday, October 15 – Friday, October 16, 2020, in downtown Bend and virtually online. Ticketing, speaker announcements and event details for the 17th Annual Bend Venture Conference will be announced in the coming months.

Over the past six years, investments, awards and prizes upwards of $11 million were awarded to 38 companies as a result of the conference. BVC is a yearly celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation, connecting investors, companies and business leaders.

“It’s important now more than ever to get funding into the hands of small businesses,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst. “The Bend Venture Conference continues to bring together inspiring companies and multiple prestigious funds. While this year’s conference may look a little different than in year’s past, the reason we continue to push forward has not changed. BVC has helped create over 1,100 jobs since its inception and companies that have won funding at BVC have received nearly $700 million additional dollars in follow-on investments.”

Growth Stage Competition finalists could collect an investment of $250,000 or more. Companies in the Impact Competition have historically competed for investments ranging from $50,000-$100,000. Companies in the Early Stage competition could receive and investment of $25,000 or more. 2020 BVC will feature impressive speakers from across the country representing angel investors, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.

APPLY

This year’s conference will feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Impact and Early Stage. The application period is open now through Thursday, August 13th 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

We continue to monitor COVID-19 guidelines and precautions and will announce more details on both the in-person and digital options available to both attendees and presenters.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 17th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past six years, more than $11 million has been invested in 38 companies as a result of the conference. This year’s conference will take place both in person in Bend, Oregon, and virtually online on October 15-16, 2020, gathering entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders. 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 Bend Venture Conference Winners

2019 winners with checks outside of Liberty Theater

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

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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

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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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BladeRunner Energy Making a Splash In Renewable Energy

BLADERUNNER ENERGY’S FISH FRIENDLY POWER GENERATOR MAKING A SPLASH IN RENEWABLE ENERGY
Bend Venture Conference Early Stage Winner Making Headlines

Bend, Ore. – December 11, 2018 – In 2017, BladeRunner Energy took home the Early Stage Award of $17,500 at the Bend Venture Conference (BVC). Since then, they have gone on to improve their technology, win yet another prestigious award at the 2018 Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator, and present on the Central Oregon PubTalk stage. Their green technology is quickly moving upstream among the sustainable energy community.

BladeRunner Energy is an eco-friendly micro-hydro solution for sustainable power generation without the use of a dam. Their flexible technology mimicks the natural flow of water, creating enough power to fuel electricity for an entire household, while minimizing environmental impact. The company is working to reduce costs by shrinking the size of the system down so that one person can easily install and store the device for an “energy when you need it” system.

Winning the BVC Early Stage Award provided Co-founder and CTO Moriel Arango the opportunity to focus fulltime on rapidly developing the technology for the company, as well as spreading the word of their product throughout the region. This outreach has permitted them to engage in conversations with local irrigation districts and stakeholders in the CleanTech ecosystem. Today, the team continues to work on the R&D of the technology, which is funded by a Phase II SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation. They are working towards receiving additional funding for their first pilot demonstration aiming to use a stretch of irrigation in the Central Oregon area.

With BVC now in the rearview mirror, Moriel returned to the Central Oregon PubTalk stage earlier in November for an update. He informed the Central Oregon community that they had the confidence to enter the 2018 Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator in Portland, due to their success at BVC the previous year. The company took home the Standout Company Award along with a $2,000 cash prize and $2,500 of in-kind legal services. This success in the accelerator program is an additional boost to their motivation and further drives the point that Oregon is a center of innovation around CleanTech.

The future of any startup can be uncertain, but BladeRunner Energy is working hard to meet key milestones. From the Bend Venture Conference to the Cascadia CleanTech Accelerator, each bit of success gets them one step closer to completing their mission of bringing hydropower to the people.

Find more information at www.bladerunnerenergy.com.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 15th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past five years, nearly $10 million has been invested in 41 companies as a result of the conference. This year, 600 entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders attended the multi-day conference in Bend, Oregon. BVC will return in 2019 on October 17 &18. 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.

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OVER $1.8 MILLION IN FUNDING AWARDED AT THE 2018 BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE

2018 Bend Venture Conference

OVER $1.8 MILLION IN FUNDING AWARDED AT THE 2018 BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE, BRINGING THE FIVE YEAR TOTAL TO NEARLY $10 MILLION

Seven Companies across Three Competition Categories Take Home Investments and Cash Prizes

BEND, OR – October 19, 2018 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) hosted the 15th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) to a sold-out crowd at the Tower Theatre in Downtown Bend. Over the past two days, 14 companies presented their ideas to 600 attendees in hopes of gaining investments from prominent funds. Of those 14 finalists, half of them walked away with funding totaling $1,807,500 in both investments and cash prizes. Side investment deals are still being finalized.

Over the past five years, the Bend Venture Conference has awarded upwards of $9.6 million in funding to 41 companies, completely reinventing Oregon’s angel and venture landscape. 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 four different winners.

  • Winners of BVC, LLC, Investment Awards*:
    • Talkoot, Inc. (Hood River, Ore.) – An intuitive, cloud-based tool that helps teams create high volumes of product copy, was awarded an investment of $135,000+.
    • CommLoan, Inc. (Scottsdale, Ariz.) – A commercial real estate finance marketplace reducing the cost and time it takes to secure commercial real estate loans, was awarded an investment of $100,000.
  • Winners of Seven Peaks Ventures Investment Awards:
    • Talkoot was awarded an additional investment of $500,000.
    • Caligoo (Bend, Ore.) – A mobile customer journey software platform providing predictive and personalized experiences that sense, learn, reason, and react in real-time to target customers and reach applications goals, was awarded and investment of $250,000.
  • Winners of Cascade Angels Fund Investment Awards:
    • Stabilitas (Seattle, Wash.) – An AI engine designed for security teams that allows them to do the work of 1,000 human analysts in real-time, was awarded an investment of $200,000.
    • Talkoot was awarded an additional investment of $200,000.
  • Winner of an Elevate Capital Investment Award:
    • Talkoot received an additional $300,000.

*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 $25,000 from Oregon Growth Account and $10,000 from Oregon Community Foundation. Investments are still being finalized, with the final amounts to be announced in the coming months.

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 fourth award given by the Impact LLC in the past three years.

  • Winner of the BVC Impact LLC, Investment Award*:
    • OCO Corporation (Vida, Ore.) – Converts carbon dioxide generated by industrial and fossil fuel burning power plants into a value-added platform chemical, formic acid, was awarded an investment of $100,000.

*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 Oregon Growth Account and $10,000 from Oregon Community Foundation. Investments are still being finalized, with the final amount to be announced in the coming months.

Early Stage Competition

  •  Winner of the Portland Seed Fund Early Stage Competition:
    • Plover, Inc. (Portland, Ore.), a carwash machine that utilizes computer vision and modern robotics using only steam and water, was awarded an investment of $20,000.
  • Winner of the PrideStaff Early Stage Audience Award:
    • LuDela (Bend, Ore.), bringing smart technology to scented candles, was awarded a cash grant of $2,500 after an audience vote.


Talkoot was the big winner for 2018, walking away with $1.135 million in funding.

“The growth of this conference is really exciting to watch and rewarding to be a part of. It has grown in more ways than just bigger capital deployment. As a result, we’ve seen companies exposed to Bend from across the country, and attendees from across the globe,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst. “And it wouldn’t be possible without our partners and Oregon-based funding entities including Cascade Angels, Seven Peaks Ventures, Elevate Capital, and Portland Seed Fund. This is truly an exciting time to be in Central Oregon.”

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 15th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past five years, nearly $10 million has been invested in 41 companies as a result of the conference. This year, 600 entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders attended the multi-day conference in Bend, Oregon. BVC will return in 2019 on October 17 &18. 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.

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2018 BVC Growth & Impact Finalists Announced

EDCO ANNOUNCE FINALISTS FOR THE GROWTH STAGE AND IMPACT CATEGORIES
ADVANCING TO THE BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE, OCTOBER 18 & 19

BEND, Ore. – October 4, 2018 – Today, Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the Growth Stage and Impact companies advancing to the 15th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) on Thursday, October 18 – Friday, October 19, 2018.

In just two weeks, these companies will travel from across the United States to present on the Tower Theatre stage. Last year, Growth Stage companies won prizes ranging from $25,000 – $485,000, while the Impact Category received over $110,000 in investment.

In alphabetical order, the 5 Growth Stage finalists are:

  1. Caligoo (Bend, Ore.) – A mobile customer journey software platform providing predictive and personalized experiences that sense, learn, reason, and react in real-time to target customers and reach applications goals.
  2. CommLoan, Inc. (Scottsdale, Ariz.) – A commercial real estate finance marketplace reducing the cost and time it takes to secure a commercial real estate loan.
  3. Stabilitas (Seattle, Wash.) – An AI engine designed for security teams that allows us to do the work of 1,000 human analysts in real-time.
  4. Talkoot, Inc. (Hood River, Ore.) – An intuitive, cloud-based tool that helps teams create high volumes of product copy.
  5. TransformativeMed (Seattle, Wash.) – Develops SaaS apps enabling physicians and nurses to deliver better patient care by making hospital medical records intuitive and easy to use.

In alphabetical order, the 4 Impact Stage finalists are:

  1. Asarasi, Inc. (Katonah, N.Y.) – Certified USDA organic plant-based water sourced from maple trees without compromising the groundwater table.
  2. Dweller, Inc. (Portland, Ore.) – Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) built using modular construction and an innovative ownership structure to reduce the cost of housing in dense cities.
  3. OCO Corporation (Vida, Ore.) – Converts carbon dioxide generated by industrial and fossil fuel burning power plants into a value-added platform chemical, formic acid.
  4. ROTBLOC (Bend, Ore.) – A sustainable post wrap for wood trellis systems and ranch fencing that lengthens post life while preventing ground line rot.

“This is the most geographically dispersed group of finalists we’ve ever had, showcasing the notoriety the Bend Venture Conference has gained over the past 15 years,” noted Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst.

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. The BVC finalists presenting at the conference will be announced in early October.

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the 15th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 15th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past four years, more than $7.8 million has been invested in 34 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 18-19, 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.


2018 Title Sponsors:

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