BEND, Ore. -

Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) will again host the annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) at the iconic Tower Theatre on Oct. 17th with warm-up activities on Thursday, Oct. 16th including seminars, the UnConference, and the Broken Top Networking reception.

This year’s event will feature keynote speaker Steve Sliwa, co-founder and former CEO of leading Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) firm, Insitu. Steve grew the company from four employees to over 800, raised venture capital through five separate rounds, and successfully exited with an equity event, selling to Boeing for over $400 million in 2008. In addition to lessons learned, his remarks will address building a successful company in a rural location and how he turned what some might see as challenges into advantages. An engaging and entertaining speaker, Steve will also talk about his current venture relating to big data. 

The conference is divided into two categories that consist of five launch and five concept stage companies vying for investment and cash prizes.

The concept stage finalists compete for a $10,000 cash prize from BendBroadband while the launch finalist could collect a $250,000+ investment.

The 2014 conference will also feature impressive panelists from across the Pacific Northwest representing angel investors, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs will screen the finalists for both stages. 

Companies interested in applying to present at the 2014 BVC are urged to complete required materials prior to the August 15th deadline.  For more information on applying, please visit the BVC website. Ticket sales for attendance to the conference are now open.  Secure early bird pricing by visiting www.bendvc.eventbrite.com.

“We expect the BVC to sell out again this year, with the Tower Theatre being filled to capacity,” noted Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst.  “We also anticipate that the 2014 BVC LLC will set new records in terms of participating investors and total funds invested. The class of companies applying to the conference this year is incredibly strong and represents a broad spectrum of exciting new products and technologies.”

BVC is open to all scalable early stage companies to apply regardless of industry or sector.

Jason Moyer, Fund Manager for the 2014 BVC LLC, states “BVC continues to raise the bar in terms of applicant quality and investor sophistication – 2014 should be an exciting and compelling year.”

About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)

Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is a private non-profit, membership based organization founded over 30 years ago and dedicated to building a vibrant and thriving regional economy by attracting new investment and traded-sector jobs (manufacturing, professional, headquarters, and high technology businesses) through marketing, recruitment, and substantive assistance to existing companies. This is the fifth year EDCO has managed BVC. Learn more about EDCO at www.edcoinfo.com and the Bend Venture Conference at www.bendvc.com.