Cascadian Group came in at #5.
Read more here.
"The first annual Central Oregon Fastest 20 Awards, presented by Cascade Business News (CBN), celebrated the most rapidly rising stars of the increasingly diverse local business scene..."
Cascadian Group came in at #5.
Read more here.
THE BEND VENTURE CONFERENCE AWARDS OVER $7,600,000 IN LAST FOUR YEARS, WITH $1,650,000 IN FUNDING FOR 2017
Eight Companies Across Three Competition Categories Take Home Investments and Cash Prizes
BEND, OR – October 20, 2017 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) hosted the 14th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) to a sold-out crowd at the Tower Theatre in Downtown Bend. Over the past two days, 14 companies presented their ideas to over 600 attendees in hopes of gaining investments from prominent funds. Of those 14 finalists, eight companies walked away with funding totaling $1,650,000 in both investments and cash prizes. Side investment deals are still being finalized.
Over the past four years, the Bend Venture Conference has awarded more than $7,600,000 million to 30 companies, completely reinventing Oregon’s angel and venture investor landscape. This year’s award breakdown is as follows:
Growth Stage Competition
The Growth Stage competition, which included companies that have a proven concept and initial revenues, had five different winners.
*The investment arm of the conference, BVC, LLC, awarded the Growth Stage investments following considerable due diligence of each of the five presenting finalists. The investment included $10,000 from Oregon Community Foundation and $25,000 from Oregon Growth Account. Investments are still being finalized, with the final amounts to be announced in the coming months.
Social Impact Competition
The Social Impact competition, which included for-profit companies with an integrated social or environmental mission, had one winner awarded by the Social Impact LLC. This is the third award given by the Social Impact LLC in two years.
*The social impact investment arm of the conference awarded an investment following considerable due diligence of each of the four presenting finalists. This investment included $25,000 from Oregon Growth Account and $15,000 from Craft3. Investments are still being finalized, with the final amount to be announced in the coming months.
Early Stage Competition
Over half of the BVC’s presenting companies received funding. The event’s two big winners receiving the most in funding are LeadMethod, walking away with over $485,000, and Handful receiving $400,000.
“The Bend Venture Conference continues to evolve and advance Central Oregon as a great place for startups and entrepreneurs. The quality of companies that continue to apply and present at BVC is overwhelming,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst. “Over the past four years, we’ve announced numerous winners – almost all our finalists are ending up with some type of funding or mentoring as a result of the conference. Our goal is to move all these companies towards the next step in their lifecycle.”
About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. More than 600 attendees, six funds, 32 prominent investors, and 89 companies participated in 2016’s conference, where nearly $4 million was invested in 10 companies.
Cascadian Group, LLC has selected Stephen King as Director of Corporate Development to augment the firm’s diverse capabilities in executive management. Stephen will join venture development, executive consulting, and M&A engagements across the Western US, with particular emphasis on strategic leadership and corporate growth.
Stephen is a veteran CEO who has produced $5B+ in shareholder value, leading organizations to exceptional performance by engaging teams, transforming cultures, and implementing creative organizational solutions. He served as CMO and head of Europe for a $2B multinational; grew a company from $90M to $300M ($8B market cap on NASDAQ); nurtured a startup to $20M, exiting for $100M; turned around a public company, selling for $400M; and acquired multiple businesses along the way. A strategic visionary, he is nonetheless willing to get his hands dirty, driving rapid expansion through sales and marketing.
Stephen graduated from the London School of Economics, attended Wharton’s executive development program, and embarked on a PhD in Mythology and Depth Psychology.
The Bend Venture Conference, hosted by EDCO, is the largest Angel Conference in the Pacific Northwest. Last year, over 600 attendees, 50 prominent investors, and 89 companies joined us for a celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation. Investments, awards, and prizes of nearly $4 million opened the opportunity for multiple winners at the 2016 conference!
Cascadian Group has sponsored and otherwise supported BVC since 2007, and principal Jason M. Moyer has managed the annual growth-stage fund(s) since 2014. Organizers just announced this year's top ten companies, outlined here.
I have recently observed a number of social media posts where certain sales reps lament the lack of effort and “courtesy” exhibited by various prospects…
So, essentially, some “sales” person sent email spam, or cold called, or lied about “reconnecting” to hijack a prospect’s calendar, and the half-assed attempt wasn’t warmly welcomed (or *gasp* not acknowledged at all)? Then, they had sufficient time left over to whine on social media. This tells me they must not be very good at selling.
Sales is a statistical process, and those statistics are influenced by the competence of the salesperson.
I’ve worked with real salespeople. Real salespeople take time to thoroughly research their prospects, and their interests, and determine how those interests most likely align with the product or service being offered. This accomplishes two things: (1) it greatly increases the conversion ratio in sales, and (2) it wastes far less of everyone’s time.
You want a respectful response? Put in the work. Don’t tell me you thought that I, along with 20 million other random people, would be interested in a premium subscription to Facebook for Ferrets when I don’t even own a ferret. Don’t tell me you’re planning to reconnect when we haven’t ever met, and you have no idea who I am, or what might interest me. Don’t call incessantly to pitch fleet fueling services when I don’t even operate a fleet. In other words, don’t be a lazy moron – then maybe you’ll get my attention, perhaps earn a bit of professional courtesy, and actually sell something.
Many would assume that successful entrepreneurial outcomes are largely attributable to skill. Of course, we'd all like to think so - where's the equity in dumb luck? However, getting struck by lightning does not necessarily make one an expert on electricity. I've seen "successful" people fail miserably on subsequent attempts, and raging flakes hit highly publicized home runs (occasionally more than once). It's tiresome when somebody points to their sole metaphorical lottery win as evidence of superior skill and ability, versus demonstrating a track record that regularly defies the odds...
Don't be "that guy".
When did the definition of entrepreneurial "success" change to include (1) massive operating losses, funded by (2) excessive capitalizations, closing at (3) irrecoverable valuations? The unicorn groupies might assert that we 40-somethings just don't understand their "new" business models... (Well, one thing is certain - somebody doesn't understand business models.)
Sophisticated investors come across hundreds of doe-eyed dreamers every year, and, per brutal statistics, most of them are destined to fail. Yet, many of these dreamers behave as if it is their God-given right to be taken on faith.
One casual acquaintance habitually laments, voicing great frustration, that prospective investors just “don’t get” his business. (Years later, without much progress made, I might deduce that he doesn’t really understand his business either.) These arm-wavers and PowerPoint flippers are a dime a dozen; persistently shoving half-baked ideas into venture circles despite any real evidence that their “big idea” extends beyond a mediocre concept sketched on a napkin…
When their vague presentation craters within the first few slides, and the meeting degenerates into a lopsided Q&A (consisting mostly of Q’s without A’s), such entrepreneurs invariably get uncomfortable and annoyed. Rather than acknowledging their own lack of preparation, many of these entrepreneurs will defensively conclude that sophisticated investors are dream-killing assholes. They will then proceed to approach a number of other assholes, with the same sloppy pitch, and get essentially the same result.
Here’s the thing – it is not an investor’s job to believe you. In fact, healthy skepticism is the only thing standing between you, them, and some shared version of failure. It is your job to convince them, using facts and data, versus expecting them to choke down platitudes and jargon. If you go into pitches ill-prepared, you are not doing your job; and any investor relying on faith would not be doing theirs.
Cascadian Group has sponsored and otherwise supported the Bend Venture Conference since 2007. This year, BVC affirmed its status as one of the premier early-stage venture events in the United States, deploying roughly $4M in capital among a dozen of the region's most promising companies. Jason M. Moyer led the growth-stage investment process; Jay Riker engaged with early-stage candidates; Tim Riefke assisted with pitch coaching; and, our friends at EDCO once again highlighted Bend's progress and potential.
Read more local coverage here: Funding records smashed at Bend Venture Conference
We all think about business a lot. Sometimes, late at night, we even write a few things down...