OEN Member NewsEDCO Announces the Five Early Stage Finalists to Present at the 15th Annual Bend Venture Conference


BEND, Ore. – September 28, 2018 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announces the Top Five Early Stage Finalists advancing to the 15th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) on Thursday, October 18 – Friday, October 19, 2018. These companies will present on the historic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend, competing for an investment of at least $20,000, courtesy of Portland Seed Fund.

The Early Stage competition includes companies that have a great idea and are close to “proof of concept.” They are pre-revenue (or very early) and are in the process of testing their product in the market. The competition will take place the morning of Friday, October 19th.

In alphabetical order, the 5 Early Stage finalists presenting at the Bend Venture Conference are:

  1. Ella & Oak (Bend, Ore.) – An online bridal marketplace for plus-size brides bringing the “try and buy” experience home to consumers before making the big purchase.
  2. LuDela (Bend, Ore.) – Bringing smart technology to the scented candle space.
  3. Plover, Inc. (Portland, Ore.) – A carwash machine that utilizes computer vision and modern robotics to clean cars using only steam and water.
  4. Raaft (Bend, Ore.) – Provider of easy-to-use software that helps software as a service (SAAS) companies reduce customer cancellations.
  5. ZibaHub (Portland, Ore.) – A professional social networking platform connecting health and beauty practitioners to jobs, customers, and each other.

“This is the first year that the BVC has opened up the Early Stage competition to companies outside of Central Oregon and it has resulted in more investment dollars and a more mature group of companies than we have ever previously had,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst. “The talent in this category is going to make for a tight competition.”

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the 15th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 15th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past four years, more than $7.8 million has been invested in 34 companies as a result of the conference. This year, over 600 entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders are expected to attend the multi-day conference on October 18-19, in Bend, Oregon. For more information, visit www.bendvc.com.

About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)
EDCO is a non-profit corporation supported by private and public members and stakeholders, whose mission is to create middle-class jobs in Central Oregon by: recruiting new employers to move to the region; helping entrepreneurs start new, scalable businesses; and working with businesses that are already here to grow their operations. For more information, visit www.edcoinfo.com.

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