Eight companies were awarded investments totaling more than $500,000 Friday as the winners of the Bend Venture Conference (BVC) were announced. Three Central Oregon companies are among them.
Poliaris and Symphony Markets, both of Bend, each won $25,000 awards in the Early Stage category from the Portland Seed Fund. BVC says finalists in the Early Stage track typically have proof of concept, early revenue and are in the process of testing their product in the market.
Polaris is described as “an AI-powered site reliability tool that detects outages and incidents in web applications in real-time.”
Symphony Markets is “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.
“For the sixth consecutive year, Portland Seed Fund is thrilled to invest in the most promising Early Stage companies we see at BVC,” said Angela Jackson, PSF Managing Director, in a statement. “Our team was duly impressed with the strength of talent from Central Oregon.”
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Finnegan the Dragon, a preschool curriculum and mobile gaming system that targets language development for better learning outcomes, was also awarded $25,000 in the Early Stage competition. That project is out of Hillsboro, Oregon.
BVC also said Bend-based startup Square Baby was presented a $150,000 check from Business Oregon as debt funding through the Oregon Royalty Loan Program, an alternate financing solution for growing companies that do not yet qualify for traditional financing.
Square Baby makes food for young kids that’s healthy and gets them ready to be an adventurous eater by introducing babies to new flavors, textures and allergens.
Here are the other winners, as announced by the Bend Venture Conference:
The Growth Stage competition is for companies that have a proven concept and initial revenues.
Jenn Lynch, Fund Manager for the BVC Funds, said, “Our team had an exceptionally difficult time choosing just two Growth Stage and two Impact Track companies in which to place investments and I’m delighted to welcome these businesses to the BVC Fund portfolio.”
The finalists that walked away with investment awards this year are:
- ToolBelt Inc. (Vancouver, WA) – A mobile software program that allows contractors to post projects and directly connect with tradespeople was awarded $165,000 from the BVC LLC.
- iDentical Inc. (Mountain View, CA) – A dental device company that is disrupting the global dental implant market with personalized, drill-free dental implants was awarded $75,000 from the BVC LLC.
The Impact competition features for-profit companies with integrated social or environmental missions. The companies that received investments this year are:
- Harvest Thermal (Kensington, CA) – Electric heating, cooling and hot water systems for homes to support a strong and renewable electricity grid was awarded $90,000 from the BVC Impact LLC.
- OpConnect Inc. (Portland, OR) – A turnkey EV charging solution provider that offers smart charging hardware and software for fleet operators and multi-family properties was awarded $25,000 from the BVC Impact LLC.