Launch Stage Competitors from a Year Ago Fare Exceptionally Well

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All 2011 Bend Venture Conference finalists garner funding

One could say that all of the finalists at the 2011 Bend Venture Conference were winners. Indeed, the four launch stage companies who did not win the $250,000 investment prize last year have all been successful in garnering additional funding for their operations.

  • Bend-based CiviData raised $50k right after BVC and topped that off this year with $80,000.
  • Pneu-Logic installed a new management team that includes Bend-based CEO Tom Orton and CFO Jason Moyer, who helped secure a private raise of $850,000. 

  • Athletepath was selected for Wieden + Kennedy’s Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE) and received $18,000 as part of that selection. In January 2012, the startup secured $300,000 in a seed round led by Willamette MBA Angel Fund with participation from Portland investors Nitin Khanna and Eric Doebele.
  • In June 2012, Indow Windows secured $1.3 million Series A investment led by Vision Ridge Partners w/ Northwest Energy Angels investing $225,000.

At the concept company level, AudioName has also demonstrated remarkable progress. Prior to the 2011 Bend Venture Conference, founder Sheetal Dube was selected for the inaugural class of the Portland Seed Fund. Since BVC, she is being mentored by Nitin Khanna, CEO of Mergertech and a well-known angel investor. Dube was honored with the 2012 Orchid Award by Portland Business Journal for being a Women of Influence and is currently finalizing a $200,000 investment round.

“Funding is the ultimate litmus test,” said Jim Coonan, EDCO Venture Catalyst Manager. “The success our 2011 finalists have had speaks directly to the quality level of companies BVC attracts, as well as the rich entrepreneurial talent in Central Oregon and the state.”

About the Bend Venture Conference Company Selection and Development Process:

The Bend Venture Conference offers two paths to become a presenting finalist on the Tower Theatre stage October 19th.

  • Concept companies (those in the preliminary stages, honing their concept and technology) will be winnowed down to 10 or 12 and then the September 27th PubTalk audience will select the top five who go on to present at the Conference. The BVC audience makes the final Concept Stage company selection.
  • Launch companies: The investment arm of the Conference, the BVC, LLC, selects the top five Launch Stage companies (those further along, possibly even revenue positive) in a series of weekly meetings over two months. Following on-stage pitches, BVC investors then choose the company they agree has the most promise for growth and return.
  • Award: The Launch Stage category offers big prize money ($250,000 in 2011) in the form of an investment, while the BendBroadband Concept Stage award winner receives a $10K grant—just the amount many startups need to get to the next level.

Throughout the selection process, EDCO staff, BVC investors, and other close partners provide detailed business model and plan review, funding advice, and presentation coaching.

About the Bend Venture Conference
Now in its 9th year, the Bend Venture Conference (BVC) is the premier regional event connecting seed and early stage companies with investment opportunities and attracts more than 300 of the Pacific Northwest’s top entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders.  Held at the historic Tower Theatre in downtown Bend, Oregon, the event includes intimate pre-conference seminar opportunities, a pre-conference networking reception at Broken Top Club, the full day venture conference on October 19th, and an opportunity to explore Bend’s lively hotel, restaurant and downtown scene. See www.bendvc.com for more information.


About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)

EDCO is a private non-profit corporation founded over 30 years ago and dedicated to building a vibrant and thriving regional economy by attracting new investment and traded-sector jobs (manufacturing, professional, headquarters and high technology businesses) through marketing, recruitment and substantive assistance to existing companies. Learn more about EDCO at www.edcoinfo.com.

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