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Over $3.75 million awarded at Bend Venture Conference


Economic Development for Central Oregon hosted the 13th Annual Bend Venture Conference this week to a sold-out crowd and just announced the winners of $3,755,000 in investments and cash prizes, setting a new record for Oregon angel conferences. Side investment deals are still being finalized.

Growth Stage Competition

The Growth Stage Competition, which included companies that had a proven concept and initial revenues, had five different winners.

· Winners of BVC, LLC, Investment Awards*:

o Hubb (Vancouver, Wash.), a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that automates the business process for collecting, managing and marketing the abstracts, speakers and sponsors for conferences and meetings, was awarded $140,000.

A secondary investment of $100,000 was awarded to RFPIO Inc. (Portland, Ore.), a SaaS solution that streamlines the RFP response process and increases the win rate through automation, collaboration and Salesforce integration.

· Winner of a Business Oregon Award:

o Fat Chance Bicycles (Ashland, Ore.), an iconic heritage mountain bike brand, was awarded $100,000 by Business Oregon.

· Winners of Cascade Angels Fund Investment Awards:

o Hubb was awarded $175,000.

o A secondary investment of $150,000 was awarded to Outdoor Project (Portland, Ore.), the fastest growing media platform in the U.S. for outdoor recreation and travel.

Winners of Elevate Capital Investment Awards: Hubb was awarded $450,000. A second investment of $250,000 was awarded to RFPIO. A third investment of $125,000 was awarded to Scout Military Discount (Portland, Ore.), an app that allows the military community to receive discounts, offers and special savings. Winner of the Oregon Angel Fund (OAF) Investment Award: Hubb was awarded $1,750,000.

*The investment arm of the conference, BVC, LLC, awarded the Growth Stage investments following considerable due diligence of each of the five presenting finalists. The investment included $25,000 from Oregon Community Foundation and $50,000 from Oregon Growth Account.

Social Impact Competition

The Social Impact Competition, which included for-profit companies with an integrated social or environmental mission, had three different winners.

· Winners of BVC, LLC, Investment Awards:

o Hemex Health (Portland, Ore.), a company that provides new diagnostics for malaria and sickle cell disease, was awarded $50,000.

o A second investment of $50,000 was awarded to OpConnect (Portland, Ore.), a company that sells and operates smart electric vehicle charging stations.

· Winner of a Craft3 Investment Award:

o Sudara (Bend, Ore.), a company that designs and manufactures beautiful products in India, creating jobs for survivors of sex-trafficking, was awarded $250,000.

· Winner of an Elevate Capital Investment Award:

o OpConnect was awarded $50,000.

Early Stage Competition

· Winner of the BendBroadband Business Early Stage Competition:

o CushCore (Bend, Ore.) won the $15,000 BendBroadband Business Early Stage Cash Prize. For this competition, conference attendees voted on the company they believed could benefit the most from the money. CushCore manufactures an Inner-Tire Suspension System for mountain bikes.

· Winner of a Business Oregon Award:

o PubTalk semi-finalist Cascade Wellness Technologies (Sunriver, Ore.) was awarded $100,000. Cascade Wellness Technologies produces an Automated Thermal Contrast device to non-evasively increase blood flow to the body.

A record 10 companies received funding and the conference’s big winner was Hubb, walking away with $2,515,000.

“The goal of the Bend Venture Conference is to bring together investors and investable companies in the hopes that through the process some magic will occur and companies will get discovered and funded,” said Brian Vierra, Venture Catalyst for EDCO.

“This year, due to a high level of collaboration between both angel and venture funds, institutions and the State itself, we succeeded to a level the conference hasn’t seen before. This has resulted in a new record of almost $4 million for investment deployed through an angel conference in the Northwest.”

About the Bend Venture Conference

The Bend Venture Conference (BVC), hosted by Economic Development for Central Oregon, is the largest angel conference in the Pacific Northwest. This year, the conference is divided into three competition categories that consist of Social Impact, Early Stage and Growth Stage companies vying for investment and cash prizes. In 2015, more than 465 attendees, 50 prominent investors and 65 companies joined us for a celebration of entrepreneurship and close to $1 million was awarded to multiple winners. For more information, visit

About Economic Development for Central Oregon

Celebrating its 35 th year, Economic Development for Central Oregon (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 .

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