OEN has concluded the second OEN Angel Oregon Fall Program and selected premium US cookware maker, FINEX Cast Iron Cookware Co., as the winning company. A total of 38 companies competed for funding and FINEX was chosen for a $60,000 investment after three rounds of reviews by accredited members of the investment group.
“FINEX Cookware is an excellent choice for OEN’s 2014 Fall Program investment because of its terrific progress to date with limited resources and aggressive plan for the future,” says Dan Ellis, OEN’s Angel Oregon Fall Program Chair. Investor David Scott adds, “With a successful Kickstarter campaign and initial sales of their fine cast iron cookware, the FINEX team has brought it to an inflection point where OEN capital can have a significant impact in increasing sales and introducing new products.”
FINEX plans to use the funds to broaden their sales channels and support a growing network of specialty stores integral to reaching local customers. Earlier this year, the growing company moved to a new 4,000 square foot factory in NW Portland.
FINEX CEO Ron Khormaei says, “We are very thankful for this award and the fantastic critique of our business concept from some of Portland’s most experienced professionals. It is a solid recognition of our progress since company’s founder, Mike Whitehead, started with the vision of casting modern heirloom quality skillets in America again.”
FINEX launched after an overwhelmingly positive response to two very successful Kickstarter campaigns with over $340,000 in orders from more than 2,300 backers. The FINEX team recently increased their production capacity to several thousand pieces of cookware per month. Says Khormaei, “This investment comes at exactly the time for us to expand our retail presence and make FINEX products readily available nationally.”
OEN launched Angel Oregon in the late 1990s and the Spring Investment Program in 2005, which culminates in the annual Angel Oregon Showcase. OEN’s Fall Program was launched in 2013 in response to increasing demand across the state for early-stage capital. Last year’s winning company was Wild Friends Foods, which specializes in unique peanut and almond butters.
The Fall Program is also designed to offer coaching and guidance to beginning investors. Says Fall 2014 investor Andy Miller, “This was a great opportunity to take a deep dive into the local startup and investing ecosystem and learn under the close supervision and guidance of much more experienced investors and entrepreneurs.”
Scott adds, “I was excited to finally make the commitment to join the Fall 2014 program. The investors come from diverse backgrounds, which is invaluable when reviewing potential businesses to invest in. It is a fun and lively group.”
Founded in 2012, FINEX Cast Iron Cookware is a small team of Portland-based perfectionists dedicated to making heirloom quality cast iron cookware in America for the first time in over half a century. The initial products include 12” skillet, lid and 8” skillet which are currently available in over 20 retail outlets nationally and online at www.FINEXUSA.com. To contact the company or for more information on FINEX Cast Iron Cookware Co., please email: cookwithus@FINEXUSA.com. For hi-res sample and product images please visit: http://FINEXUSA.com/press-resources/
About Angel Oregon
OEN’s Angel Oregon is the premier investment program in the Northwest for angel investors and early-stage entrepreneurs. Since 2005, 494 companies have applied to compete for investment. From 2005 until Spring 2014, over $2.9 million has been directly invested through OEN’s Angel Oregon LLC investment award and there have been three favorable exits. Additional investment has been made outside of the LLCs, and more than 700 jobs have been created. Learn more at: http://oen.wpengine.com/angel
Director of Marketing & Communications, OEN