Yes, it’s one billion degrees outside and all you want to do is put your buns in an inner tube and float down the river. BUT FALL IS AROUND THE CORNER. And for startup founders, that means now is the time to apply for the Bend Venture Conference.

Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is hosting the 15th annual two-day Bend Venture Conference Thursday, October 18 and Friday, October 19, 2018 at the Tower Theatre in downtown Bend. The BVC offers funding opportunities for three categories of startups: growth stage, early state and impact.

The LeadMethod team w/ their BVC awards last year.

From EDCO:

The application period is open now through August 8 and companies across the United States are invited to apply.

  • Growth Stage Competition: This category is open to companies that have a proven concept, have generated initial revenues and are prepared to scale quickly with investment. To apply, click here.
  • Early Stage Competition: This category is open to companies that have a great idea and are close to “proof of concept.” They are pre-revenue (or very early-revenue) and are in the process of testing their product in the market. To apply, click here.
  • Impact Competition: Now in its third year, this category is open to for-profit companies, whose business models are integrated with a mission to have a significant and measurable social or environmental impact. Applicants should be aiming to generate long-term enterprise value and attractive returns on capital. To apply, click here.

Companies in the Impact Competition usually compete for investments ranging from $50,000 to $100,000. This year’s Early Stage Competition has received a commitment from Portland Seed Fund to invest at least $20,000 into the winning company. Growth Stage Competition finalists could collect an investment of $250,000 or more. The 2018 BVC will feature panelists and keynote speakers from across the country representing angel investors, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs.

The 2017 BVC early stage finalists.

“The Bend Venture Conference has become a staple in the Pacific Northwest’s entrepreneurial community. What started as a one-day conference 15 years ago has matured into nearly a week of diverse entrepreneurial activity in Central Oregon. We’re excited to see how BVC grows this year, launching capital into businesses locally and nationally,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst.

Jason Moyer, Fund Manager for the 2018 BVC, LLC said, “It’s great to see so much progress over the years. We’ve gone from attracting stronger applicants, to writing bigger checks, to delivering significant returns for our private investors. This is exactly how venture capital is supposed to work.”

So if you think you’ll be looking funds come this fall, get out of that inner tube and fill out an application. Related: The BendTECH unConference will be Tuesday, Oct. 16 this year, offering yet another opportunity for pitching your startup, and winning cash and other prizes.

Kelly Kearsley

Kelly Kearsley, the co-founder of StartupBend.com, is passionate about startups, entrepreneurship and Bend. In addition to writing this blog, she creates content and manages content projects for global financial companies, tech firms and startups. She began her career as a newspaper journalist and later worked as a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in WSJ.com, Money Magazine, CNNMoney, MSNBC and Runner's World. See her work at kellykearsley.contently.com or kellykearsley.com.

You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].
Kelly Kearsley