Announcing Early Stage Bend Venture Conference Semifinalists

A candid picture of David Burchfield explaining his plan. He is reaching out with his right hand and holding his left to his chest in a passionate and personal way.

EDCO – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the 10 semifinalist companies advancing in the Early Stage competition for the 20th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC), which will take place at the Tower Theatre in Bend on Thursday, October 19 – Friday, October 20, 2023.

In the next round of competition, the following Early Stage semifinalists will pitch against each other at the September 28th Central Oregon PubTalk: Road to BVC. This high-energy entrepreneurial event showcases the semifinalists as they deliver fast-paced, three-minute pitches to a live crowd. The audience, along with an expert panel of judges, will vote to decide which companies advance to present at BVC next month. In addition to influencing which companies advance to the BVC stage, the audience vote will determine which Early Stage company receives a $3,000 cash award, courtesy of Washington Trust Bank.

At BVC, Early Stage finalists will compete for a minimum investment of $25,000 from Portland Seed Fund (PSF).

Speaking for PSF, Managing Director Angela Jackson said, “The Portland Seed Fund team has sponsored the Early Stage track investment since 2018. Remarkably, BVC attracts more applications each year from talented entrepreneurs, making our decision even tougher. Congratulations to all who applied, and to those who are advancing to the PubTalk live pitches. We look forward to seeing the finalists onstage in Bend in October.” 

In alphabetical order, the BVC Early Stage semifinalists that will compete at the September 28th Central Oregon PubTalk are:

  1. BuildingLens Inc. (Portland, OR) – A software platform for small and medium-sized buildings that integrates with existing Building Automation Systems, thermostats and IoT devices to offer owners and operators a new level of oversight and occupant-centered data.
  2. CaseMark AI (Portland, OR) – A suite of tools that streamline workflows, generate summaries and accelerate discovery work all with secure, scalable and privacy-first AI solutions for legal industries.
  3. Finnegan the Dragon (Hillsboro, OR) – The first preschool curriculum and mobile gaming system that targets language development for better learning outcomes.
  4. FiOR Innovations (Bend, OR) – A robust construction management software for the architecture, engineering and construction industries.
  5. ILLA Inc. (Jackson, WY) – An AI-powered adventure platform that is making space for women in the outdoors.
  6. NeonMob (Seattle, WA) – A digital art trading card game where independent artists can share their work for others to collect with the ability to prove ownership without using blockchain or NFTs.
  7. Polaris (Bend, OR) – An AI-powered site reliability tool that detects outages and incidents in web applications in real-time.
  8. Revino Inc. (Newberg, OR) – A wine bottle reclamation and sanitation service that collects, washes and refills wine bottles in Oregon and beyond.
  9. Spotlight  (Solana Beach, CA) – A community-driven platform connecting people, conscious brands and creators for social giving and advocacy.
  10. Symphony Markets (Bend, OR) – A streamlined, SEC compliant exchange for IP owners to list shares of their music while providing investors exposure to a stable, culturally relevant asset class.

Central Oregon PubTalk on September 28th will feature these Early Stage semifinalists as they deliver fast-paced, three minute pitches to the audience at Worthy Brewing. Registration is available here.

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PubTalk Agenda 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm – Networking, drinks and appetizers 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Early Stage Company Pitches, Audience Vote, Winner Announcement

PubTalk Cost and Registration Register through Eventbrite. Ticket price is $26 for EDCO and OEN Members (become an EDCO member here); $36 for Non-Members. Attendance includes appetizers and a free beverage (choice of beer, wine or soda).

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.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC) The annual BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past 20 years, BVC has served to evolve and grow the startup ecosystem throughout Central Oregon and across the Pacific Northwest. Since its inception, more than $12 million has been invested in 52 companies as a result of the conference. This year’s conference will gather entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders, and students at the Tower Theatre in Bend, Oregon on October 19-20, 2023.


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