EDCO Announces Social Impact and Growth Stage Finalists for the Bend Venture Conference

Companies Will Compete for Over $900K in Investments

BEND, Ore. – September 30, 2016 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) has just announced the finalists for the Social Impact and Growth Stage Competitions for the 13th Annual Bend Venture Conference.

The Social Impact Competition, which includes for-profit companies whose business models are integrated with a social or environment mission, will take place on the afternoon of Thursday, October 13. The winner could receive an investment between $75,000 and $150,000. Tickets for the Social Impact Competition only are available here.

In alphabetical order, the four Social Impact finalists are:

  1. Hemex Health (Portland, Ore.): Improves millions of lives in underserved countries by providing new diagnostics for malaria and sickle cell disease where there’s currently no viable test available.
  2. OpConnect (Portland, Ore.): Sells and operates smart electric vehicle charging stations.
  3. Sudara (Bend, Ore.): Designs and manufactures beautiful products in India, sold via e-commerce, creating jobs for survivors of sex-trafficking.
  4. TryECO (Portland, Ore.): Develops super absorbent polymers that are soil amendments and seed coatings, which increase crop yields with less water while improving soil tilth and biologics.

The Growth Stage Competition, which includes companies that have a proven concept, have generated initial revenues and are prepared to scale quickly with investment, will take place on the afternoon of Friday, October 14. The winner could collect $250,000 or more.

In alphabetical order, the five Growth Stage finalists are:

  1. Cartogram (Kirkland, Wash.): Provides indoor location services for businesses including line wait times, product search, staff monitoring, and indoor maps built into Google Maps.
  2. Hubb (Vancouver, Wash.): 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.
  3. Outdoor Project (Portland, Ore.): The fastest growing media platform in the U.S. for outdoor recreation and travel.
  4. RFPIO Inc. (Portland, Ore.): SaaS solution that streamlines the RFP response process and increases the win rate through automation, collaboration and Salesforce integration.
  5. Switchboard (Portland, Ore.): Engagement and giving platform that strengthens alumni and affinity communities by helping their members help one another.

“This year’s finalists include a diverse group of companies, industries, founders, demographics, and geographic locations,” said Brian Vierra, Venture Catalyst Manager for EDCO. “They are all solid, investable companies so it will be interesting to see who walks away with the big checks.”

The 13th Annual Bend Venture Conference takes place on Thursday, October 13 and Friday, October 14 with events happening throughout both days. To buy a ticket, visit 2016 Bend Venture Conference.


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 www.bendvc.com.

About Economic Development for Central Oregon

Celebrating its 35th 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 www.edcoinfo.com.


Press Contact

Brian Vierra

Venture Catalyst Manager, EDCO

541.388.3236 x5

[email protected]


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