BEND, Ore. - Over the last month, a core group of investors in the Bend Venture Conference have met, challenged and vetted 37 Launch Stage applicants. That total field of submissions was narrowed to the top eight startups and now, the final five.
Announced late in the day on October 18, one finalist will earn an investment from the BVC investor group.
The Launch Stage investment is targeted to reach $250K. In addition to investor funding, the Oregon Growth Account contributes $50K and the Oregon Community Foundation contributes $20K. In total, 65 company applications were received for the Bend Venture Conference—37 at the Launch Stage and 28 at the Concept Stage – a BVC record!
Launch Stage companies typically have some revenue traction, have worked out most of their technology solution, and have a solid business model.
"The quality of Launch Stage companies this year was very strong," said Jim Coonan, EDCO Venture Catalyst. "BVC is fortunate to have a solid group of veteran investors involved in the selection and screening process and new investors brought fresh perspectives."
For each of the top eight companies, teams of investors dug into company claims and produced a summary of pros and cons.
"Our investors this year have been very active in driving the due diligence process," said Steve Westberg, Manager of the BVC, LLC fund. "For BVC, our five finalists are now prepared to address why an investor would want to put money into their business."
At the Bend Venture Conference, each finalist has ten minutes to pitch and another ten minutes to respond to questions from a panel of experts and the audience.
"We expect competition at BVC to be informative, entertaining, and—as always—fast-paced fun," added Jim Coonan.
The selected five finalists in the Launch Stage category are:
Droplr (Ryan Andrews; Bend, OR; http://droplr.com/hello)
Droplr is a service that enables businesses to share files internally in an extremely intuitive and user-friendly interface, and externally with their customers in a secure and white-labeled solution where the company's clients' brand is the hero. Customers can also receive files securely from external parties (clients, vendors, consultants) with an interface so simple even completely unsophisticated third parties can use it without creating an account.
The Flybook llc (Craig Langer; Bend, OR; http://hello.theflybook.com)
The Flybook is a web-based reservation and business management solution designed specifically for the outdoor industry. Outdoor businesses are often small, locally run organizations that have very unique structures which are severely underserved by technology. With The Flybook, they run more efficiently, have powerful tools to operate and grow their business, and provide outdoor enthusiasts (end customers) to access real-time information online.
MedRock (Michael Tippie; Portland, OR; http://www.medrock.com)
MedRock develops and markets medical devices for the physical therapy market. Its first product is HipTrac, a Class I Device needing no further FDA approval and targeted at hip osteoarthritis (OA) patients. Hip OA is common and afflicts about 15-24 million people. HipTrac relieves pain and delays surgery and is used by the patient at home as an adjunct to physical therapy. Physical therapists recommend the product, physicians then write a prescription based on the physical therapist's recommendation.
Nouvola (Paolo Moretto; Portland, OR; http://www.nouvola.com)
Nouvola offers a scalable performance testing suite to help companies deploy their applications to the cloud scale successfully. Performance, scale and availability are hard problems affecting web companies today. Nouvola's solution includes stress testing, performance analytics, remediation and benchmarking. Its customers are small /medium companies who want to deliver a great user experience, protect their brand and optimize their software investment.
Syndical (Dan Mendell; Portland,OR; http://syndical.com)
Syndical is a simple, easy-to-use events publishing system. With just one-click, Syndical enables public events to be easily shared on websites and blogs, social and traditional media, and across a targeted network of community and industry related websites. Syndical allows a user to update its public event once and it changed everywhere. Businesses love Syndical because it saves time and money by broadcasting and updating their events to all the right places, automatically.
BVC is the largest angel conference in the state and is known for its friendly, accessible atmosphere in a scenic setting. On October 18th, the Bend Venture Conference will feature Concept Stage and Launch Stage finalists pitching their business ideas to a packed audience at the Tower Theatre in Bend, Oregon.
To attend the conference, register online.