Author Archives: EDCO

BVC’s Wild card entrant, The Handsel Corporation, advances at OEN’s Angel Oregon Spring 2015 Program

Twenty-five companies have made the first cut in OEN’s Angel Oregon Spring 2015 Program and will proceed to compete in the next round.

Hailing from Albany, Bend, Corvallis, Estacada, Eugene, Portland, Wilsonville, and Vancouver (Wa.), the companies represent a wide range of sectors—including business products/services, clean tech, consumer products, education, electronics, fashion, food & beverage, healthcare services, internet/web services, marketing/advertising, mobile, and software.

From a record 61 applications, these 25 companies have survived the first cut and will be presenting to OEN’s Angel Oregon investors. On March 17, up to 12 companies will be selected to proceed. The winner of the investment award, historically between $200,000 to $300,000, will be announced at OEN’s Angel Oregon Showcase on April 22.

The 25 companies currently in the running for our spring investment award are as follows:

Amorphyx (Corvallis/Electronics) “Redefining the cost and performance of today’s displays through new backplane technology; redefining manufacturing and supply chain for the future of displays.”

BuddyUp (Portland/Mobile) “BuddyUp is a matchmaking site for study buddies.” FUNDA (Portland/Education) “When your kids play, what are they learning? FUNDA can tell you.”

GarageSkins, Inc. (Albany/Consumer Products) “We’ve identified a $14B space in the home improvement markets that is untapped and have developed and patented a DIY product to launch into that market.”

GrowlerWerks, Inc. (Portland/Consumer Products) “We designed the world’s first growler system that works. It keeps beer fresh, cold and carbonated so you can enjoy it wherever and whenever you like.”

HydroStar USA (Estacada/Clean Technology) “Enabling a clean hydrogen industry with low cost systems and safe, clean electrolyte. Targeting green sustainable ammonia for fertilizer and energy storage.”

HygenaMobile (Portland/Business Products) “HygenaMobile is the world’s first patent-pending device that prevents germs from transferring from mobile devices to consumers in any environment.”

iTogos (Portland/Food & Beverage) “iTogos is an app targeting small-scale food vendors and people who have limited time to dine out. It saves 20 mins/meal for the customer and creates a new sales channel for the vendor.”

Language Zen (Portland/Education) “We’re a language learning web app that leverages music, data, and adaptive technology so our users can learn faster and with less frustration.”

LeaseEasy (Portland/Internet & Web Services) “We help landlords and tenants save time, money and risk through pre-qualified online search.”

Lumen Learning (Portland/Education) “Lumen is fixing a broken textbook market with open digital courseware that replaces traditional textbooks.”

MotioSens, Inc. (Portland/Consumer Products) “Smart technology monitoring activity, mobility, and wellbeing of seniors living alone. A growth market.No wearable. Easy to install. $30 a month for peace of mind.”

Outdoor Project (Portland/Consumer Services) “Combining inspiration, resources and social community to create the most dynamic marketplace for outdoor adventure.”

Presspoint CRM (Portland/Business Services) “Presspoint is a CRM and business platform for the 34M organizations that run on WordPress, the world’s number one content management system.”

Red Duck Foods, Inc. (Eugene/Food & Beverage) “Red Duck Foods is perfectly positioned to re-shape the $9.6B condiment industry with five certified organic condiments and national distribution.”

Sadie (Portland/Fashion) “Sell More Products Online. Sadie is Product Photography and eCommerce made simple.”

SavorSearch (Vancouver/Food & Beverage) “SavorSearch changes the game for the world’s $500 billion specialty food & drink trade with automated matchmaking to drive new business for buyers and sellers.”

SightWorks, Inc. (Portland/Marketing & Advertising) “Branded learning experiences for commerce, classrooms and corporate training environments.”

SpaceView, Inc. (Portland/Mobile) “SpaceView provides a streamlined visual approval process. SpaceView enables you to place a virtual object into a real space within seconds.”

SpinRiot, Inc. (Wilsonville/Internet & Web Services) “Our immersive publishing platform (SpinFolio) evolves how you market, sell and educate by delivering a personalized content experience. ”

The Handsel Corporation (Bend/Consumer Services) “A Facebook Canvas & web app that augments “classified advertising” Facebook Groups: We deliver curated content, powerful discovery tools and more to members.”

Third Ocean (Eugene/Software) “ is a digital marketplace that enables Immigrant Investors to receive permanent US visas by making an investment that creates 10 new jobs.”

Ultra Inc (Portland/Consumer Products) “Innovative environmental mobile health solutions that empower people to live ultra healthy.”

VDO Interpreters (Portland/Healthcare Services) “VDO Interpreters is Language company that provides Medical Interpreters for the Healthcare Industry utilizing the latest video conferencing technology.”

Willow Games (Portland/Mobile) “Willow equips mobile games with skill-based competitions that have limitless cash prizes which raise the stakes for gamers and make games more profitable.”

About Angel Oregon: OEN’s Angel Oregon is the premier investment program in the Northwest for angel investors and early-stage entrepreneurs.Since 2005, 612companies have applied to compete at Angel Oregon, and 89 have been selected to present. Three million dollars have been directly invested through OEN’s Angel Oregon LLC investment award and there have been three favorable exits. Additional investment has been made outside of the LLCs, and more than 740 jobs have been created. Learn more.


CrowdStreet Forms Strategic Partnership With FNEX and Applied Capital

PORTLAND, OR–(Marketwired – Feb 12, 2015) –  CrowdStreet, a real estate marketplace solution leader that connects accredited investors with institutional-quality real estate investments, and FNEX, a leading online alternative investment marketplace, today announced entry into a strategic partnership. FNEX and its registered broker dealer, Applied Capital, will be a distribution partner for CrowdStreet clients and their offerings, and will conduct diligence services for deals CrowdStreet posts on the FNEX platform.

CrowdStreet’s clients, commercial real estate operators and developers, can now benefit from the partnership by gaining access to an additional pool of accredited investors, institutional investors and family offices for accelerated capital formation.

“We are committed to providing our investor members the highest quality commercial real estate deals with total transparency,” said Tore Steen, CEO of CrowdStreet. “Partnering with FNEX and Applied Capital is an important step forward for CrowdStreet that allows us to engage Applied Capital’s broker-dealer services and provides us the benefits of distribution through the FNEX platform. FNEX is a fantastic marketplace for the broad universe of alternative investments and we are excited to contribute to their commercial real estate offerings.”

CrowdStreet will provide FNEX with institutional-quality commercial real estate investment opportunities that meet stringent posting criteria. CrowdStreet opportunities are only offered by highly experienced sponsors that can demonstrate a history of success. Sponsors have included Mainstreet, Olympus Property, Windmill Investments and EverWest Real Estate Partners.

“We are excited to partner with CrowdStreet on their expanding pipeline of deal flow,” said Todd Ryden, CEO of FNEX. “CrowdStreet’s vigilant adherence to institutional-quality commercial real estate managed by best-in-class sponsors is in direct alignment with our vision for the FNEX marketplace.”

About CrowdStreet

CrowdStreet provides real estate operators, funds and private equity companies a full-service marketplace solution for presenting investments online, marketing opportunities publicly, managing the offer process and maintaining ongoing investor relationships. The CrowdStreet solution is enriched by services and business partnerships that empower real estate sponsors to modernize their fundraising processes and embrace online capital formation. Accredited investors, institutional investors and family offices access an intuitively-designed platform to find institutional-quality real estate investments, complete an online offer workflow, track investment performance and build a commercial real estate portfolio. Based in Portland, Oregon, CrowdStreet was founded in 2013 by a team with deep experience in commercial real estate, securities and finance, marketing, consumer Internet and software development. For more information, visit

About FNEX

FNEX is “The Private Securities Marketplace” connecting accredited and institutional investors to investment opportunities in private companies, hedge funds and managed futures accounts. FNEX’s mission is to help investors source investment opportunities, and help offering groups connect with investors. FNEX was founded in 2012 by professional investors, entrepreneurs and attorneys. For more information, please go to

Media Contact:

Theresa Maloney
Cogenta Communications
[email protected]


Raising the Stakes

The 2014 Bend Venture Conference set a record for the most cash, investments and prizes awarded at an angel conference in the Pacific Northwest. Investments in the six winning companies exceeded $1 million. The 11th annual conference was hosted by Economic Development of Central Oregon.

Jason Moyer, BVC’s fund manager, tells us how they did it.

How we got so big

We wanted it to be big this year. My personal goal was to create a step function change in perception regarding the sophistication of the conference. And to make clear it really is a venture conference — not an amateur angel conference but an event worth attending. It needed to compete on a national scale.

The five-point plan

Cultivate a well-defined framework for investor discussions.
Significantly increase expert involvement in the process: substantial contributions from venture capitalists, private-equity professionals and accomplished corporate investors.
Revise educational components for participants less experienced in angel investing: talk about fun facts, evaluation concepts, risk and reward profiles.
Put philosophical emphasis on objective-driven efficiency.
Allocating funds: having enough money to do multiple deals, vs. one deal which is what BVC would traditionally do.

Applicant quality

This is the first time since I’ve been involved with the conference that I truly considered all companies onstage to be investable companies. There was a perception that BVC only wanted to do tech companies. That’s not the case. Tech/software companies tend to have profiles that are investor friendly: scalable and capital efficient. That doesn’t mean BVC has a bias.


The BVC serves two purposes from an economic development point of view: to prepare entrepreneurs through coaching and experience and to cultivate capable and active investors. This is not a community service.

Straight talk

A lot of entrepreneurs go into this thinking they are going to raise venture capital. Statistically, they’re not. For early-stage companies looking for money, the angel venues are probably the place to get it. We wanted to up the game, to be on the sophisticated side, but I very much wanted to make it accessible to amateur angels and new entrepreneurs.

Small town, big dreams

Bend is a smaller market. It’s much easier for people to get well connected here. There’s a little inbreeding that happens with Silicon Valley, where beautiful people interact with each other, and there’s not a lot of interaction for newcomers. Some of the alternate markets may not have the volume of Silicon Valley or Boston or New York. But there are opportunities in different forms: the cost of living, the wage comparisons. You still have a chance at influencing the ecosystem in Bend.

Solving the mystery

If you go back a decade or two, starting a company was a black-box mystery nobody understood except venture capitalists themselves. But entrepreneurial activity is becoming more visible. I do think the venture capital model needs to evolve because there are more alternative funding sources for interesting ideas, whether it’s alternative angel investment or crowd funding. The visibility of this whole process seems to be improving.

Hard knocks

The downside to increased notoriety is people remember the exceptions, not the rule. There are people who start a company, get a team of six people, have no revenue and sell it for a billion dollars. Everybody remembers that. What they don’t remember are all the people who drop out of college and don’t sell for a billion dollars — who end up on the wrong side of the roughly half of companies that crash and burn. We help keep people on the right side of those statistics. Entrepreneurship means entrepreneurship done well.

The upshot

BVC concentrates its collection and review of companies within a period behind the scenes that covers several months, but from a public perspective, happens in the course of two days. So for someone who is looking for perspectives on this process, this is a very concentrated opportunity to witness that. Hopefully we’ve helped increase expectations in Central Oregon. If you can compete at BVC, you can compete anywhere.


KidRunner selects Bend-based Composite Approach as 2015 market launch partner

kidRunner has selected Bend-based Composite Approach to bring the world’s first high performance, all-terrain, lightweight, pull-style kid jogger to market in 2015. The two Central Oregon businesses will collaborate on solution engineering to optimize the performance of the current kidRunner prototype as well as execution of initial scale production and manufacturing.

Watch the innovation at work here.

“Composite Approach won our business based on three key factors – their collaborative, creative culture, their composite manufacturing expertise and their commitment to partnership”, said Will Warne, kidRunner partner. “We appreciated their mind-set and their understanding of what it takes to truly innovate in a stale product space like kid joggers.”

“Our team is extremely excited to partner with kidRunner and their incredibly unique and innovative kid jogger,” said Brian Harris, owner of Composite Approach. “With our history in composites and their forward thinking, kidRunner is going to push the envelope and set a new standard for the entire kid jogger industry.”

After kidRunner placed in the Top 5 for Concept Stage companies at the Bend Venture Conference (BVC) in November 2014 and team athlete Max King won a competitive 10K with his daughter in the kidRunner, the team has been laser focused on hitting key milestones, including finding the right partner to join their 2015 market launch team. kidRunner initiated a formal, competitive bid process with several composite experts and evaluated three firms in Oregon and California. In late December, Composite Approach was selected as kidRunner’s 2015 Market Launch Partner.

kidRunner was founded in 2011 by partners, Will Warne, Mauricio Mejia and Andre Caradec. The partners and their wives were avid runners. But after they had their first children, they immediately realized how awkward and difficult it was to run pushing a stroller. They knew it would be far more efficient and less prone to injury to run naturally with their arms and hands free. They drafted concept sketches, built several prototypes and were awarded three patents for their innovative solutions. In 2015, kidRunner will introduce the world to the first-ever high performance, pull-style kid jogger.

“Our partnership with Composite Approach is a great example of what mentoring organizations like Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), BVC and Grow Oregon are catalysts for here in Bend,” said Warne. “To have a company like Composite Approach in our own backyard with expertise in high-tech composite manufacturing is a tremendous advantage. Now, we can combine our collective knowledge of materials, design, functionality, engineering, and the outdoors to create a beautiful, dynamic piece of sports equipment that will change the way people run and explore with kids.”

About Composite Approach

Specializing in product development and small-scale advanced composite production and assembly, Composite Approach is a full service contracting facility with the ability to design, develop and produce a wide variety of composite components and tooling. We service the aviation, transportation, marine utility vehicle and robotics industries.

Our passion is fueled in partnering with our clients to form long-term relationships that encourage both business and personal growth. Our success is measured not in dollars, but in the overall health and vitality of our business and in the value that we offer our customers.

Our past lies heavily in the composite aircraft industry as a sub-contractor building Lancair kit airplanes. This experience allowed us to assist in the development of the Lancair Evolution, an incredible airplane that we take pride in building for clients to this day. Currently, we are embarking on several new projects with incredible clients including kidRunner, Liquid Robotics, EarthCruiser, Samson Motorworks and their Switchblade Flying Car, Stratos Aircraft, Aerotek Aviation, and Nest Caravans. For more information,

About kidRunner

Founded in Bend, Oregon, kidRunner is the world’s first high performance, all-terrain, lightweight, pull-style kid jogger. It is designed to enable runners with kids to run and explore, while retaining the efficiency and form of natural running. It is 50% lighter than traditional joggers. The company has plans to follow their running solution with Nordic ski and bike options. The composite frame and innovative, flexible “bow” that connects to the runner decouples the up and down motion, providing a smooth, safe, high performance ride for both runner and kid. kidRunner will be available for pre-order beginning summer 2015. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.


Media Contact

Natalie Dent

PR for kidRunner

[email protected]

m: (206) 605-1802


CrowdStreet launches $18.4M multifamily investment fund

January 21, 2015: Called Olympus Fund IV, the fund consists of three Class A multifamily assets in Texas and New Mexico with two to three additional multifamily properties expected to be added this year.
By listing on CrowdStreet, Olympus Property aims to raise $18.4 million from accredited investors as part of a joint venture equity investment. Olympus Fund IV has an internal rate of return target of 12 percent to 13 percent and an annual cash distribution target of between 6 percent and 9 percent.

See Also

At $2.7M, latest listing for CrowdStreet is one of its largest

“We are excited to partner with Olympus Property to launch our first multifamily fund to our investor members,” said Tore Steen, CrowdStreet’s CEO. “This demonstrates CrowdStreet’s continued pursuit of high-quality opportunities and our ongoing effort to enable our investor members to diversify their portfolios with commercial real estate.”
Olympus Fund IV provides CrowdStreet investors the opportunity to have direct ownership in a pool of Class A multifamily assets. The combined quality of both the fund assets and the sponsor, offered to CrowdStreet investors at a $25,000 minimum investment, marks the next step in the evolution of online commercial real estate investing.
“Olympus believes in the future of online commercial real estate investing and we are thrilled to team up with CrowdStreet for our first online fundraising experience,” said Chandler Wonderly, principal at Olympus Property.



BEND, Ore. (January 5, 2015) – Cascade Angels Fund 2014, LLC has increased its financial position in the first and second place winners of the Bend Venture Conference (BVC) launch stage competition. This week, the Fund announced an additional $42,000 investment in Poached Jobs and an additional $48,000 investment in Amplion Research, pushing the overall BVC investment to $1,063,300.

“As a major investor in the BVC Fund this year, we were pleased to have such great investment candidates to review,” said Julie Harrelson, CEO at Harrelson Group, manager of the Cascade Angels Fund. “The additional $90K investment will be the final investment by the 2014 Cascade Angels Fund and is a testament to the high quality standard that the BVC is setting, accelerating our efforts to fill in the gap of much needed local patient capital.” Harrelson added that “we are currently in the process of building the 2015 Fund.”

Bend Venture Conference set a record this year with the most cash, investments, and prizes awarded at an angel conference in the Pacific Northwest. Cascade Angels, a nascent year-round angel fund, as announced at BVC in 2013, began investing in the spring of 2014. Along with Amplion Research and Poached Jobs, the company has also put investment money to work with Manzama and Droplr.

“This year’s conference already was record-setting, but this timely close on our top two investments pushes total awards over the million dollar mark,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst. “The BVC and Cascade Angels Funds completed their final due diligence, negotiation, legal review, and funding within approximately 60 days. We are already hard at work planning next year’s BVC and will continue to build a strong entrepreneurial community through these efforts,” Vierra added.

Here is a break-down of the $1,063,300 tally:
• BVC LLC Fund Angels: $148,400
• Cascade Angels Fund: $211,900
• Seven Peaks Ventures: $350,000
• Oregon Growth Account: $50,000
• Oregon Community Foundation: $25,000
• Craft3: $26,500
• Mandala Fire Starter Marketing Program: 2 Awards totaling $65,000
• BendBroadband concept stage cash prize: $10,000
• Palo Alto Live Plan: $1,500
• Additional side investments: commitments currently at $175,000

“In 2013, angels nationwide invested nearly as much money, but did 17 times more deals than venture capitalists,” said Jason Moyer, Fund Manager for the 2014 BVC LLC. “As companies seek larger funding amounts, expectations are simply more rigorous. The BVC is becoming a true venture conference, helping to elevate the game of both applying companies and angel investors. We’re seeing a virtuous cycle of more money attracting better deals, and better deals attracting more money, so I expect the BVC to continue to set new standards.”

About the Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
The Bend Venture Conference is divided into two categories that consist of five launch stage and five concept stage companies vying for investment, cash prizes, and marketing service awards. The concept stage finalists competed for a $10,000 cash prize from BendBroadband, while the launch stage finalists competed for $896,000 in total investments.

About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)
Founded in 1981, 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 our businesses that are already here to grow their operations. This is the fifth year EDCO has managed the BVC. Learn more about the Bend Venture Conference at

About Cascade Angels
Cascade Angels Fund 2014, LLC and Cascade Angels Fund 2015, LLC (Cascade Angels) are based in Central Oregon. Our mission is to create opportunities for investors and businesses in and with connections to Central Oregon to drive economic growth and fuel prosperity. We are committed to building Oregon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. To learn more about Cascade Angels go to:


Media Contacts:

Julie Harrelson
CEO Harrelson Group
Fund Manager for Cascade Angels, 2014, LLC.
[email protected]

Brian Vierra
EDCO Venture Catalyst
541.388.3236 ext. 5
[email protected]



Record Breaking Amount Raised In Bend For Business Start Ups

Bend, Ore. – Cascade Angels Fund 2014, LLC has increased its financial position in the first and second place winners of the Bend Venture Conference (BVC) launch stage competition. This week, the Fund announced an additional $42,000 investment in Poached Jobs and an additional $48,000 investment in Amplion Research, pushing the overall BVC investment to $1,063,300.

See full story on

Or listen to clips of an on air interview with Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst regarding the overall investments in the BVC.

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Already dominant in the Northwest, Bend Venture Conference on track to becoming premier angel conference in US

Now in its eleventh year, Bend Venture Conference set a record for Oregon angel conference investments in 2014, exceeding $1 million invested across companies like Amplion Research,, CrowdStreet, Droplr, Manzama, and Poached Jobs.

“In 2013, angels nationwide invested nearly as much money, but did 17 times more deals than venture capitalists,” said Jason Moyer, Fund Manager for the 2014 BVC LLC. “As companies seek larger funding amounts, expectations are simply more rigorous. The BVC is becoming a true venture conference, helping to elevate the game of both applying companies and angel investors. We’re seeing a virtuous cycle of more money attracting better deals, and better deals attracting more money, so I expect the BVC to continue to set new standards.”

For more information, visit Bend Venture Conference.


Amplion wins big at the Bend Venture Conference with promise to become the Kayak of biomarkers

Amplion Research wants to make finding biological information as easy as searching for a flight on Kayak.

And the 20-month-old maker of the BiomarkerBase data service is well on its way of fulfilling that mission after scoring the top prize at the Bend Venture Conference on Friday, outpacing four other startups to secure $400,000 in investment. (Amplion won the $250,000 Launch Stage prize, as well as $150,000 from venture capital firm Seven Peaks Ventures).

Led by biotech vets John Audette and Adam Carroll, the Bend-based startup is looking to help large pharmaceutical companies and healthcare R&D organizations better collect and mine biomarker data — critical information related to clinical trials and other drug development.

“Biomarker information, like so much information in modern biology, has absolutely exploded since the completion of the human genome project. There is an enormous amount of information, but the tools to make sense of that information are not expanding at the same rate.”

That’s where BiomarkerBase comes in, an online system that Carroll says is organized more intuitively that competing products. Typically, researchers at pharmaceutical companies spend hours or days collecting biomarker data from disparate sources such as or, manually inserting that data into Microsoft Excel.

“It has the chance to be out of date, as soon as it is saved,” noted Carroll, adding that the information can be extremely challenging for researchers across large organizations to find.

“An old collaborator of mine at Pfizer used to say: If only Pfizer knew, what only Pfizer knows.’ It sounds comical, but it is a huge problem when you have all of your companies’ institutional memory stored on a shared drive.”

By organizing the data in one place and making it easy to find, Carroll said that users of BiomarkerBase can save hours of time, which ultimately reduces the cost of drug development.

By the end of this year, Amplion plans to have 18 customers using BiomarkerBase, with an average annual price from renewal customers coming in at about $30,000. Its biggest customer just came on board at $50,000, renewing early and adding 20 additional customers to the license.

“We think our reach inside of these companies is going to be quite large,” Carroll said, noting that the product is being adopter by marketers as well as research directors.
The goal is to reach more than $500,000 in revenue by the end of 2015. The startup competes against ThomsonReuters, Biobase and Gene Logic.

At this point, Carroll said that all of the data that’s put into BiomarkerBase is doing so manually, but they are working hard to automate that process.

Even though competing services like ThomsonReuters index the same data, Carroll said it takes “16 clicks” to find the “one thing you want.”

“We have a user experience differentiation that will competitors like (ThomsonReuters) from doing something similar,” he said.

In addition to Amplion, other winners at the Bend Venture Conference, which allows primary care providers to remote care to patients;CrowdStreet, a crowdfunding platform for commercial real estate projects, andPoachedjobs, an online jobs marketplace for those in the restaurant industry. In total, nearly $1 million in capital was allocated at the conference, making it one of the largest angel investment conferences of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.



BEND, Ore. – October 17, 2014 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), today hosted the annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC), with a sold-out crowd of over 400 attendees, and announced the winners of over $900K in investments and total prizes. Side investment deals, which are still being finalized, are at approximately $175,000, bringing the grand total of investments, awards, and cash prizes at the 2014 BVC to nearly $1 million dollars. The following are a list of winners:

Winner of the Palo Alto Software LivePlan Award:
Concept stage finalist, Volcano Veggies who grows organic vegetables and fish indoors with proprietary aquaponic systems, providing cold-weather communities with fresh, nutritious local food year-round, won Palo Alto Software’s LivePlan competition for a $1,500 cash prize. 2014 is the second year this prize has been offered at the Bend Venture Conference.

Winner of the two Mandala Fire Starter Marketing Program Awards:
Launch stage finalist, CrowdStreet, a crowdfunding platform connecting accredited investors with high quality professionally managed investment real estate, won Mandala’s Fire Starter Marketing Program Award for $50,000 worth of marketing and branding services. An unexpected secondary Fire Starter Award of $15,000 was given to Cairn, who introduces outdoor enthusiasts to new brands and products through a monthly subscription while also collecting market data for the companies they work with. 2014 is the first year the Mandala Fire Starter Award has been offered at the Bend Venture Conference.

Winner of the $10,000 BendBroadband cash prize in the concept stage competition:
Volcano Veggies also won the $10,000 BendBroadband Concept Award. For this competition, conference attendees voted on the company they believe had the greatest potential. Volcano Veggies is a Bend-based company.

Winners of the Seven Peaks Ventures Investment Awards:
Three launch stage finalists received investment awards from Seven Peaks Ventures:
• Amplion Research, which provides business intelligence solutions that give pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies strategic control of the complete clinical biomarkers landscape, won a $150,000 Investment Award from Seven Peaks Ventures.
•, lets primary care providers deliver remarkably efficient remote care, increasing capacity by 30%, efficiency by 80%, and margin by 5%, won a $100,000 Investment Award from Seven Peaks Ventures.
• CrowdStreet, also won a $100,000 Investment Award from Seven Peaks Ventures.
2014 is the first year Seven Peaks has offered this award at the Bend Venture Conference.

Winner of the launch stage competition:
Launch stage finalist, Amplion Research also won the conference’s major prize, a $250,000 investment. A secondary investment of $100,000 was awarded to Poachedjobs, a hiring platform disrupting the jobs market for industries with high turnover rates – starting with the restaurant industry. The investment arm of the conference, BVC LLC, awarded the investment following considerable due diligence of each of the five presenting finalists.

About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)
Founded in 1981, 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 our businesses that are already here to grow their operations. This is the fifth year EDCO has managed the BVC. Learn more about the Bend Venture Conference at