BEND, Ore. – September 17, 2018 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the semi-finalist companies to advance in the Early Stage competition for the 15th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) to be held Thursday, October 18 – Friday, October 19, 2018. This group of companies is one step closer to presenting on the historic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend, competing for an investment of at least $20,000, courtesy of Portland Seed Fund. Tickets for PubTalk are on sale now and available here.

The ten Early Stage semi-finalists were selected Friday evening after a full day of company pitches during BVC’s Upstart Day. Upstart Day is an annual part of the BVC process, where Early Stage companies are given the opportunity to pitch to experts and investors while being judged on the content of their pitch and viability of their product. This is the first year the competition is open to companies outside of Central Oregon, with representation from across the state.

In alphabetical order, the 10 Early Stage semi-finalists that will compete at the September 27th PubTalk are:

  1. Doing (Portland, Ore.) – A platform that allows businesses to curate and embed events for their clientele.
  2. Ella & Oak (Bend, Ore.) – An online bridal marketplace for plus-size brides bringing the “try and buy” experience home to consumers before making the big purchase.
  3. LifeExec (Bend, Ore.) – A life management web application that allows clients to securely store information and distribute communications during any life event.
  4. LuDela (Bend, Ore.) – Bringing smart technology to the scented candle space.
  5. mimble (Portland, Ore.) – A financial savings app designed to create and track savings goals.
  6. Plover, Inc. (Portland, Ore.) – A carwash machine that utilizes computer vision and modern robotics to clean cars using only steam and water.
  7. Raaft (Bend, Ore.) – Provider of easy-to-use software that helps software as a service (SAAS) companies reduce customer cancellations.
  8. Rogue Approach (Bend, Ore.) – Developer of an unmanned aircraft hybrid-electric powertrain to significantly extend flight time.
  9. ShoeBio (Corvallis, Ore.) – A sneaker searching platform that scours over 360 websites to help you find the best price on your favorite sneakers.
  10. ZibaHub (Portland, Ore.) – A professional social networking platform connecting health and beauty practitioners to jobs, customers, and each other.

As mentioned, these Early Stage semi-finalists will pitch against each other at PubTalk for a spot on the BVC stage. Audience vote, along with a panel of experts, will determine the five companies that advance to BVC October 18-19, so attendance is key. The Early Stage Finalists will be announced during the September 27 PubTalk, with finalists moving on to present at BVC.

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 – Sept. 27
5:00 pm to 5:45 pm Networking
5:45 pm to 8:00 pm Early Stage semi-finalist presentations, voting, and announcement of BVC finalists

PubTalk Cost and Registration
$25 EDCO & OEN Members (Become a member here.)
$35 Non-Members
Cost includes appetizers and a free beverage (choice of beer, wine, or soda)

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the September 27th PubTalk are on sale now and available here.
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.


BVC 2018 Title Sponsors:

BVC Early Stage Award Sponsor:

PubTalk Title Sponsor:


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