EDCO names 5 early-stage finalists for Bend Venture Conference

Growth-stage finalists announced earlier

BEND, Ore. - Economic Development for Central Oregon on Friday announced the Top Five Early Stage finalists to present at the 14th Annual Bend Venture Conference Thursday, October 19 - Friday, October 20, on the iconic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend.


The Early Stage competition includes companies from Central Oregon that have a great idea and are close to “proof of concept.” They are pre-revenue (or very early) and are in the process of testing their product in the market. The competition will take place on Friday, October 20th, with the winner receiving a $17,500 cash grant, courtesy of BendBroadband Business.


In alphabetical order, the five Early Stage finalists, all from Central Oregon, are:


  1. BladeRunner Energy – A micro-hydro technology based on biomimicry that harnesses renewable energy from the natural flow of water.
  2. Mission Limelight – Empowers non-profits and commercial enterprises to maximize their marketing, fundraising and social impact.
  3. Tribe Pilot – A social tool to plan outdoor adventure.
  4. Voilà – Specialty instant coffee from top US roasters, delivered monthly.
  5. Wildish – Makers of outdoorsy gear for outsidey people.

“The quality of early stage companies that pitched last night was clear evidence of the explosion in entrepreneurial activity that Bend has witnessed in recent years” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst. “We had broad industry representation as well, which is a sign of a healthy ecosystem. Everything from block chain technology to consumer products startups were on display.”


Since 2011, BendBroadband Business has sponsored the Early Stage Competition Prize, this year increasing the cash prize to an impressive $17,500.


 Economic Development for Central Oregon announced Thursday the Top Five Growth Stage finalists to present at the 14th Annual Bend Venture Conference Thursday, October 19 – Friday, October 20 on the iconic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend.

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 Friday, October 20th. Last year, companies in the Growth Stage category won prizes ranging from $100,000 to $1,750,000.

In alphabetical order, the five Growth Stage finalists are:

  1. Drone Complier (Portland, OR) – Provides government compliance management solutions integrated with field services to companies entering or growing in the Drone Industry.
  2. Handful (Wilsonville, OR) – Lifestyle products for women that are flattering, versatile and feel great no matter what life throws your way.
  3. InvestiPro (Bend, OR) – The first fully-automated application for conducting effective and compliant internal workplace investigations.
  4. LeadMethod Bend, OR – The first Channel Revenue Optimization software to get channel partner engagement and feedback in order to increase revenue.
  5. Tripgrid (Portland, OR) – Travel management simplified. Tripgrid fixes the complexity of travel planning by providing a simple, intuitive workspace.

“Our 2017 Growth Stage finalists have gone through three rounds of cuts, resulting in a compelling group of companies that span both digital and consumer products, covering industries from UAV and HR to Manufacturing and Travel,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst. “Our expectation is that these companies will generate interest from the investment community, with several potentially receiving awards.”

Hosted by Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), this year’s BVC will once again feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Early Stage and Social Impact. Last year, nearly $4 million in funding was awarded to ten companies.

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the 14th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. More than 600 attendees, six funds, 32 prominent investors, and 89 companies participated in 2016’s conference, where nearly $4 million was invested in 10 companies.

About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)
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

By clicking Submit users are agreeing to follow the Terms of Service
comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular Stories