Present: Early Stage Competition



How the BVC Competition Works

At BVC, there are three competition categories – Growth Stage, Early Stage, and Impact, with three to five finalists (companies) selected in each category. Applicant companies for all categories can be located anywhere in the United States.

EARLY STAGE: Companies applying in the early stage competition typically:

  • Have a great idea, and are close to “proof of concept;”
  • Are pre, or very early, revenue;
  • Are in the process of testing their product in the market.

All applicants, regardless of whether or not they are a finalist, have the opportunity to receive feedback from the investor group. The winner of this category could be awarded a minimum $30,000* investment, courtesy of Portland Seed Fund.


 Early Stage Application Process

  • 2021 Company Applications will be accepted from Wednesday, July 7 through Friday, August 13, 2021. 
  • Applications need to be submitted through GUST here.
  • Upstart Day. Upstart Day, Friday, September 10, 2021, is a fast-paced review of Early Stage company contenders, with feedback provided from a professional panel. The strongest Early Stage Companies will become eligible to present at the September PubTalk.
  • PubTalk Competition. On Thursday, September 23, 2021, Central Oregon PubTalk hosts a pitch competition to narrow down the Early Stage companies selected from Upstart Day. From that field, five Early Stage companies are chosen to advance to BVC by the PubTalk attendees and judges. At the conference, the finalists have three minutes to pitch, followed by Q&A.

Early Stage Competition Timeline

July 7, 2021

Applications open to present at BVC

August 13, 2021

Last day for applying companies to submit their application

September 10, 2021

Upstart Day – all Early Stage companies make their pitch, receive feedback, and are screened for Central Oregon PubTalk.

September 23, 2021

At EDCO’s Central Oregon PubTalk, judges and a sold-out crowd will vote for the five Early Stage companies advancing to BVC. PubTalk is held at McMenamins in downtown Bend.

October 1 – 2, 2021

BVC finalists participate in a 30-minute pitch coaching session.

October 21 – 22, 2021

BVC rehearsal, seminars, reception, and competition. The BVC will be held at the Tower Theatre in downtown Bend.