The Bend Venture Conference happened for the 15th year in a row. To be sure, at this point the event happens – it’s a thing – and yet I find myself always somewhat amazed that so many investors, entrepreneurs, and startup supporters come to Bend, millions of dollars are doled out to promising companies, and respected keynote speakers have inspiring conversations on stage.
By Sean Leslie
Founder, Cascade Cadence
Were you dying of suspense? I was. To recap: Earlier this month, Cascade Angels sponsored a fun contest to give away a BVC ticket. The Bend-based angel fund asked applicants to provide short answers to three questions, and the winner gets a ticket to the Bend Venture Conference.
The BendTECH unConference is back for its 9th year, bigger and better than ever. The unConference, scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 16th, is a fun-loving, crowd-pleasing, startup-celebrating pitch fest. Entrepreneurs line up to snag one of the first-come, first-serve pitch spots and then compete on stage to win cash awards. Winners are determined by audience vote.
Bend-based Seven Peaks Ventures announced today that it’s launching its second fund, which aims to funnel $28 million in venture funding toward early stage tech startups in the PNW and rest of the west. The firm launched in 2013 with the goal of helping to fill the regional capital gap facing PNW, and particularly, Oregon-based startups. The first fund, which totaled $7.5 million, invested in multiple Oregon startups, including Bend-based Manzama, and Portland-based CrowdStreet and Bright.md.
Bend Venture Conference winner RFPIO announced a $25M investment from K1 Investment Management today. The announcement was the largest round yet for the young startup, and represented a nice return for BVC investors.
This week, the federal government kicked off an SBIR road tour to promote their ability to invest in small businesses through grants and technology licensing. It started Tuesday in Portland, followed by Seattle, WA Wednesday then wrapping up in Anchorage, AK.
Do you have an outdoor industry related startup? Are you looking for investment? Our friends at Bend Outdoor Worx are now taking applications for the 2018 BreakOut (which was previously known as Venture Out). The event features early and growth stage outdoor startups pitching their ideas and companies for the opportunity to win various awards and investments.