Sep 18, 2012
How much can be packed into a three minute pitch? Quite a lot, if you’re a prepared entrepreneur with a unique business proposition looking for exposure and funding. Of course, it helps if you can talk fast.
The Economic Development of Central Oregon PubTalk event on September 27 will be held at McMenamins in downtown Bend, with networking starting at 5pm and the program kicking off at 6pm. The evening features rapid fire presentations followed by tight Q&A from attendees. The audience votes for the final five startups that will vie on October 19 at BVC for the $10,000 grant awarded by BendBroadband. Those interested in attending should register soon as a packed house is anticipated.
The PubTalk was preceded by an event called UpStart Day in September at which experts representing different functional areas such as marketing, finance, logistics, venture capital, and business development interviewed the total pool of Concept Stage applicants for the 2012 Bend Venture Conference (BVC). While the group of eight experts edited the contenders from 20 to 10, a key objective is to provide all companies with useful feedback.
“We always seek scalable businesses that can grow rapidly with the right resources,” said Jim Coonan, Venture Catalyst Manager at Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO). “At UpStart day, we see so many great ideas. Our team weighs a variety of factors, ranging from the entrepreneur’s coachability to how compelling the product or solution is to the competitive environment, to select those companies that go to the next level.”
"The concept stage competition provides a great way for companies to get feedback on their ideas, gain exposure to potential investors, and maybe even win $10,000 in the process," said James Gentes of Good Peeple, one of the concept contenders. "When you're just starting a business, getting exposure to investors is a big plus. The concept stage competition provides that opportunity, as well feedback to the founders on their ideas and the potential to win $10,000, which can really help an early stage company."
The 10 concept contenders are a diverse set, evenly divided between those with tangible products and those in the software business. In alphabetical order, they are:
For the other BVC track, a group of investors in the BVC, LLC have been meeting weekly to narrow 50 submissions to a tighter number for more detailed scrutiny. Launch Stage companies are early stage companies that are typically further developed than Concept Stage companies and are either post revenue or close to sales launch.
In total submissions, this year’s Bend Venture Conference exceeds 2011 by nearly 50 percent. “Last year, we had 48 companies apply to present at BVC,” add Coonan. “This year, we’re looking at a total of 70 startups, with the growth coming in Launch Stage companies. Overall, the quality of the companies is very strong.”
Now in its 9th year, the Bend Venture Conference (BVC) is the premier regional event connecting seed and early stage companies with investment opportunities and attracts more than 300 of the Pacific Northwest's top entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders. Held at the Tower Theatre in downtown Bend, the event includes intimate pre-conference seminar opportunities, a pre-conference networking reception at Broken Top Club, the full day venture conference on October 19 and an opportunity to explore Bend’s lively hotel, restaurant and downtown scene.
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