The 9th Annual Bend Venture Conference Set to Break Records


Conference organizers cite applications, strong ticket sales and investor momentum. Fans of ABC’s Shark Tank can join the entrepreneurial feeding frenzy October 18 and 19 at the Tower Theatre. The keynote presenter, Daymond John, is an entrepreneur turned angel investor and one of the five ‘sharks’ on ABC’s hit business reality show, Shark Tank.


At the 9th annual Bend Venture Conference, a dozen finalists in the conference’s two business plan competitions will pitch their business ideas to a near sellout audience of angel investors and venture capitalists. Organizers expect to award $250,000 to one of the six Launch Stage finalists, selected by the conference’s private investors. Additionally, one of six Concept Stage finalists (startups who are pre-revenue and less developed than their Launch Stage counterparts) will receive a $10,000 grant in the BendBroadband Concept competition.

“With a major investment opportunity up for grabs, we expect 2012 to be a banner year for the Bend Venture Conference,” said Jim Coonan, Venture Catalyst Manager of Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), which is hosting the event. “The interest level in BVC is intensifying. This year we’ll be hosting investors new to the conference from the Bay Area, Seattle, and Portland.”    

Ticket sales are near capacity, but a few remain.  The conference set a new record for applications from entrepreneurs, topping 70 this year with growth driven primarily in the Launch Stage category.  Coonan added that the quality level of the six Launch Stage finalists is excellent and that the investment team faces a tough choice.

On the investment side, the Bend Venture Conference is funded by local private investors, the Oregon Growth Account (which has provided for the second year a maximum matching investment of $50,000 based on achieving $200,000 in private investment) and the Oregon Community Foundation (which has provided for the first time ever a $25,000 matching investment, predicated on achieving $100,000 in funding from private investors, which has already been realized).

If You Go

  • When: October 18 & 19
  • Where: Tower Theatre on October 19, various locations on October 18th
  • Registration information:
  • Tickets for the Thursday networking reception at Broken Top are available and sold separately for those unable to attend the full Friday conference.

About the Bend Venture Conference (
Now in its ninth year, the Bend Venture Conference (BVC) is the premier regional event connecting concept and early stage companies with investment opportunities.  Known for a friendly, accessible atmosphere in a scenic setting, the event attracts more than 300 of the Pacific Northwest‘s top investors, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. The event is held at the historic Tower Theatre in Bend, Oregon.

On Thursday, BVC attendees can take advantage of:

  • Three informative seminars
  • the Tech Alliance’s lively unConference, and
  • a pre-conference networking reception at Broken Top Club.

The Friday business competition features:

  • Daymond John as keynote speaker
  • Launch Stage competition
  • Concept Stage competition, and
  • The Winners’ Reception

About EDCO (
Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to diversifying the Central Oregon economy by attracting new investment and jobs. EDCO focuses on recruiting new companies, helping grow Central Oregon’s entrepreneurs, and by helping traded-sector firms already in Central Oregon expand. EDCO has been helping to diversify Central Oregon’s economy since 1981.


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