Remember how much fun the Bend Venture Conference was last year? Remember when they rolled out the social impact track? Or when they just kept handing out giant checks for a total of $4 million and everyone was just crying and cheering? That was fun. Guess what? It’s happening again and if you’re a startup founder who wants to be on the stage, then the time to apply is now.

Big check convention. Big checks come and hang out.

From our friends at EDCO:

This year’s conference will once again feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Early Stage and Social Impact. The application period is open now through August 11th.

  • 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. Applicants can be located anywhere in the U.S. 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. Applicants must be located in Central Oregon. To apply, click here.
  • Social Impact Competition: Now in its second 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.Applicants must be located in Oregon. To apply, click here.

“Bend Venture Conference truly elevated venture and angel investing in Oregon last year by deploying nearly $4 million to ten companies. It was a banner year with over 90 impressive applicants. We continue to attract some of the most innovative companies in the west to compete for these investments. And at the same time, there’s room for companies of all stages to compete within our three categories,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst.

Companies in the Social Impact Competition historically compete for investments ranging from $50,000-$100,000. BendBroadband Business returns to sponsor the Early Stage Competition with a $17,500 cash grant, while Growth Stage Competition finalists could collect an investment of $250,000 or more. The 2017 BVC will feature impressive panelists and keynote speakers from across the country representing angel investors, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, to be announced at a later date.

Jason Moyer, Fund Manager for the 2017 BVC, LLC said, “During the past several years, BVC has matured from a local angel event, to one of the more valuable conferences in the country.  We’re attracting some of the region’s most promising early-stage ventures, along with numerous professionally managed investment funds.”

“The inaugural year of the Social Impact Fund was wildly successful and exceeded all expectations,” noted Ryan Andrews, Fund Manager for the 2017 BVC Social Impact Fund. “We were the very first fund to invest in two companies, OpConnect and Hemex Health, which have both gone on to raise significant additional investment and find market traction. This is a huge accomplishment for any fund and our goal for this year is to continue on that path.”

Want to do it? Do it. How? See the click here next to each track above and good luck. Here’s some inspiration from my second favorite green thing (Kermit is no. 1).


Kelly Kearsley

Kelly Kearsley, the co-founder of, 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, Money Magazine, CNNMoney, MSNBC and Runner's World. See her work at or

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