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.
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.