Month: March 2016

Funding FOMO Alert: Cascade Angels Deadline is April 15

If you’re an Oregon startup looking for funding, then you’ve got two weeks to get your application into Cascade Angels. The Bend-based fund is accepting applications through April 15. Cascade Angels expects to invest in two to six companies this year, in amounts ranging from $50,000 to $250,000.

“We’re seeing lots of diversity in the kinds of companies that are applying as well as an increased interest in the fund as we move into our third year,” says Julie Harrelson, CEO of the Harrelson Group, which manages the fund. There may be other application rounds in the coming months.

Cascade Angels has invested nearly $1 million in nine Oregon startups via two funds (2014 and 2015).

Of those companies:

While the fund has invested primarily in tech, Harrelson says Cascade Angels is exploring investments in all kinds of companies. If you’re interested, you can apply for investment on Gust.com, at least for the next two weeks. So turn in your investment application, file your tax return and you’re golden. Homework done.

Hungry for Some Funding? Attend Financing for Food Startups Wed (March 30)

If you have a food-related startup, then we have an event for you. The bi-monthly meeting of the Central Oregon Food Cluster is talking about financing options for food startups. The meeting will feature a panel of finance experts as well as a local, food business success story.

The latter is Sarah Pool, founder and CEO of Pacific Superfood Snacks, maker of tasty, organic, raw kale chips. You might have heard that Sarah recently won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Bend Chamber of Commerce.

The financing panel is comprised of Dave DeRose, of U.S. Bank; Turner Waskom, with Craft3; and Brian Azure, of Trigen Investments. The meetings are open to food entrepreneurs and other interested sorts.

Here are the details:

Where: Bounce Base Camp / Andy Hannagan’s Office, 1000 NW Wall St. 220

Bend Startups Partner Up: Cairn Box Features Hydaway Bottle

When you talk to startup founders about starting companies in Bend, they’ll often remark on how collaborative the town is — people are frequently generous with their time and the entrepreneurs often support each other. A recent partnership between startups Hydaway and Cairn shows this in action.

Cairn, which recently closed a $1.7 million funding round, offers a monthly subscription box for outdoor enthusiasts. And March’s box features the Hydaway bottle, a collapsible reusable water bottle that raised $263,000 on Kickstarter last year.

“I’m excited to be working with another Central Oregon business, to offer CAIRN’s subscribers an honest solution to wasteful bottled water. I’ve been talking with CAIRN since both our businesses were just concepts on how to make it work, and that day has finally come,” says Niki Singlaub, HYDAWAY’s founder.

D’ya Like Drones? Check out Next Week’s PubTalk

It’s basically drone-o-rama at next week’s EDCO PubTalk. First, the keynote speaker is Jonathan Downey, founder and CEO of Airware, a San Francisco-based company that has developed an operating system for commercial drones, allowing enterprises to take full advantage of aerial data for any commercial application. USA Today named Downey its Innovator of the Year in 2015 for his work in the commercial drone industry.

But wait, there’s more. Three entrepreneurs who also work with drones will make their pitches to the likely packed PubTalk event. (If I’m supposed to be saying UAVs or UAS — unmanned aerial vehicles or unmanned aircraft systems — please tell me.

The entrepreneurs are:

– Ben Berry of AirShip Technologies Group, a company that designs and manufactures long flight endurance clean tech unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) for 1st Responders, Commercial and Military markets, and delivers AirScape UAS services.

CrowdStreet Closes $3.5 Million Series A Funding Round

CrowdStreet announced today that it closed a $3.5 million Series A funding round, which was led by Rally Ventures and included investments from Bend-based Seven Peaks, as well as the Portland Seed Fund and Green Visor Capital.

The startup offers a platform that connects real estate developers in need of capital with investors. The crowdfunding, marketplace model lets investors to browse multiple projects and select the ones that work best for them. The company gained additional traction last May after launching a white-label version of its software, allowing developers to post investment opportunities direct to their own websites and manage the investment process.

CrowdStreet was originally founded in Bend in 2013. The company went through FoundersPad. CEO and co-founder Tore Steen was also on stage at the Bend Venture Conference in 2014, garnering a $100,000 investment from Seven Peaks then as well. Darren Powderly, of Bend, is a co-founder as well as CrowdStreet’s vice president of business development.

What You’ve Always Wanted: A List of Bend Startups

If you’ve always wanted a list of startups that are working and growing right here in Bend, then today is basically your best day ever. Thanks to startupcommunity.org, we have now have a good, initial accounting of the startups here.

Take a look and then note:

  • The list is not exhaustive. Click on the ‘add company’ button to add missing details or email [email protected] (this is the same James who is my partner-in-crime on this blog).
  • Many of the company profiles could use some added info. Once you login, you can edit their profiles.

Hydaway and Red Plate Foods Are Finalists for Pitch Oregon

TiE Oregon announced the finalists for 2016 Pitch Oregon earlier this week, and the list included two Bend companies. Hydaway and Red Plate Foods will compete in the seed/bootstrap category at the event March 16th for a chance to win prizes and an overall award of $2,500 to $10,000.

Hydaway makes a collapsible water bottle that you can put in your pocket and has been featured as one of our #50startups. Red Plate Foods makes allergen-free foods and treats that you may have seen already seen in stores, including Fred Meyer, around Oregon and SW Washington.

These Bend businesses are two of three competitors in their category. The third is Portland-based TripGrid. “We were overwhelmed by the number of outstanding applications we received and it was very difficult to select the finalists,” said Kari Naone, Executive Director of TiE Oregon, in a news release.

Former G5 IT Veep Starts Hueya, Brings Enterprise-Level Info Security to the Masses

As the former vice president of IT for G5, Lewis Howell has long been interested in protecting the data and securing the privacy of companies. Now the founder of Bend-based Hueya (pronounced Who-Ya) has developed product aimed at providing enterprise-level IT security to individuals.

“We’re already vulnerable, we can’t pretend we aren’t,” Howell says. “But we can be proactive about discovering and monitoring what information about us is available .” He started the project 10 months ago, diving deep into how identity thieves are mining social media for the intimate details of people’s lives.

He left G5 last Halloween with an idea for how to stop them — or at least make their jobs harder.

Putting it out there

Howell explains that what we think is locked down is often still available to dirt bags searching inside of social media networks (versus searching Google). They can then use that information to steal your identity and create fake profiles in your name, with all sorts of bad intentions such as scamming people for money. Even more alarming: Howell notes that fake friends — people who have friended you with malicious intentions — are common, and of course, they have access to everything you post.