The wind-up to Bend Venture Conference has begun, with EDCO today announcing the top 10 semi-finalists for the growth stage competition. You might have surmised that we’re fans of Bend startups — so we’re pumped to see the list include two companies from right here in smokey Central Oregon.

InvestiPro and LeadMethod are both in the running to make the BVC stage. InvestiPro is an automated app for conducting workplace investigations. You might recognize Dana Barbato, the founder, from last year’s BVC. She was one of the early stage finalists, and now she’s back and already vying for the growth stage. That’s called progress, people.

The second Bend company, LeadMethod, provides channel revenue optimization software that helps companies that sell via distributors and external sales teams. This startup was founded by Justin Johnson in 2015. The company has been on a bit of a hiring spree as of late. It currently employs a dozen people at its downtown Bend office and is hiring for four more positions this month.

The BVC is scheduled for Oct. 19 and 20th. Last year, companies in the Growth Stage category won prizes ranging from $100,000 to $1,750,000. There’s just all sorts of big checks wandering around, looking for a home.

Julie Harrelson, of Cascade Angels, surrounded by giant checks.

“The applicants competing in the Growth Stage category this year are some of the most compelling we’ve had. The vetting process hasn’t been easy,” says Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst.

The top 10 finalists come from all over the West, including Seattle, California and Portland. A group of investors and experts are diligently narrowing down the field, and EDCO will announce the final five finalists at the end of this month.

Here is the full Top Ten list, in alphabetical order. Good luck to all!

  1. Allumia (Seattle, WA) – Provides energy efficiency as a service to commercial and industrial buildings: eliminating risk and capital expense for customers and generating ongoing returns for investors.
  2. DesignMedix (Portland, OR) – Develops drugs to overcome drug resistance in multiple diseases, with a malaria drug ready for human trials, to be sponsored by the NIH.
  3. Drone Complier (Portland, OR) – Provides government compliance management solutions integrated with field services to companies entering or growing in the Drone Industry.
  4. Handful (Wilsonville, OR) – Lifestyle products for women that are flattering, versatile and feel great no matter what life throws your way.
  5. InvestiPro (Bend, OR) – The first fully-automated application for conducting effective and compliant internal workplace investigations.
  6. LeadMethod (Bend, OR) – The first Channel Revenue Optimization software to get channel partner engagement and feedback in order to increase revenue.
  7. Mogol Inc. (Portland, OR) – Connects cities and states to cars so they can control the flow of traffic without expensive roadside equipment.
  8. Tali (Portland, OR) – A voice-driven, hands-free productivity assistant powered by artificial intelligence that helps organizations become more productive and profitable.
  9. Tripgrid (Portland, OR) – Travel management simplified. Tripgrid fixes the complexity of travel planning by providing a simple, intuitive workspace.
  10. UbiquiOS Technology (Dublin, CA) – Provides low cost wireless connectivity software for IoT applications.

Also, you can buy tickets to BVC now. They’re available here. And, not to spill the beans, we have a surprise BVC ticket giveaway contest (Whaaaatttt? I’m sooooo excited!!) sponsored by Cascade Angels that begins next week. So stay tuned.