Early Stage semi-finalists were selected Sept. 12 after a full-day of company pitches during the Upstart Day at the Bend Venture Conference (BVC).
The next step for these Early Stage semi-finalists is to make another pitch against each other on Sept. 28, when an audience vote, along with an expert panel, will determine the five companies that advance to BVC Oct. 19-20.
In alphabetical order, the Ten Early Stage semi-finalists (all from Central Oregon) advancing are:
- BladeRunner Energy – BladeRunner uses a small rotor that harnesses renewable energy from water. The generator and power system are housed above the water and allows for installation, use and storage by one person resulting in an “energy when you need it” system.
- kidcareshare – A social network where parents can instantly schedule and trade carpools, play dates and childcare. It uses a points-based currency that allows the members to pay other for services. It’s similar to an online co-op and users must “give to get.”
- Mission Limelight – Provides non-profits a way to exchange auction items with other non-profits across the country. It turns non-profit auctions and fundraisers into an easy, modern system. Members search the Mission Limelight database to find the perfect auction packages for their event demographic.
- Ockam – A blockchain-based platform to solve systemic security and interoperability problems in all IoT (Internet of Things) devices. These could include home appliances, wearable devices and software.
- Snappy Sitters – Matches reliable, capable and background-checked sitters with families who have extremely high standards. Snappy Sitters has 30+ sitters in eight cities around the Central Oregon.
- Tread & Butter – Tread & Butter is launching a line of cork insoles for sport, work and outdoors use.
- Tribe Pilot – Tribe Pilot is an adventure planning tool to plan outdoor trips. It’s a mobile application that acts as a trip dashboard, compiling critical trip details in one location.
- Voilà – Quality instant coffee from the top roasters in the world that is delivered monthly to your home. The coffee is lyophilized (free-dried) into a dry powder and you just add water.
- Wildish – Makers of outdoors gear that is fun and wild for outside people. Products include a hammock, a big beach blankets, hats and t-shirts.
- Wingo – Wingo has developed the first handheld accessory dedicated to comfort. Ergonomic cases for tablets and smartphones to alleviate pain, prevent injury, and increase comfort.
Since 2011, BendBroadband Business has sponsored the Early Stage competition. This year, the cash award has increased to an impressive $17,500 for the BVC Early Stage winner. The BVC is the largest Angel Conference in the West.
Hosted by Economic Development for Central Oregon, this year’s BVC will once again feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Early Stage and Social Impact. Last year, nearly $4 million in funding was awarded to 10 companies. The finalists for all three categories will be announced just prior to the Bend Venture Conference, Oct. 19-20.
Held at the historic Tower Theatre in Bend, BVC will deliver two days’ worth of networking and educational opportunities. Advanced registration is available only online. Space is limited and early registration is encouraged.