Medford, Ore. – March 10, 2011: SOREDI (Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc.) and Southern Oregon Angel Investment Network are proud to announce that Folium Partners has won the $155,000 investment prize from the Southern Oregon Angel Investment Network. Eight companies were selected as the Finalists and Semi-finalists to present at yesterday’s conference at the Rogue Valley County Club. Each company pitched to investors and the public at this inaugural regional venture conference.
The Southern Oregon Angel Investment Network is a natural outgrowth of the Jefferson Grapevine, an initiative formed and managed by SOREDI. These initiatives exist as part of SOREDI’s mission to cultivate entrepreneurs and provide access to capital in order to create high-wage jobs in Southern Oregon.
Other finalists included Ambient Motors/Red Cloud, Cascade Peak Spirits and YogiTunes. Semi-finalists included Amalgamated Design’s READYBOOK, Equi-Tee Manufacturing’s ShakeNRake, The French Connection and Value Ecology. As the result of a live audience vote, READYBOOK became the competition’s fifth finalist. 31 companies applied to the outreach effort for contestants.
A panel of venture capital fund managers reviewed each of the finalists. Fund managers include Diane Fraiman, Voyager, Shannon Heim, Capybara Ventures and the Oregon Angel Fund, Jim Huston, Founder and Managing Director with Bridge City Ventures and the Portland Seed Fund, and Gregg Semler, Pivotal Investments. The conference keynote speech was delivered by Shelley Gunton, founder of Castor & Pollux.
Folium Partners plans to use the investment funds to market its existing products, as well as to extend into digital interactive publishing. The company also plans to expand its staff from nine to 17 during the next year, while developing existing ties with Southern Oregon University’s computer science program. “This allows us to take the next step in our software development,” said Jay Tapp, a founding partner and chief strategy officer. “We’re going to be smart with how we use this money.”
This initiative is being lead by Tom Becker, Managing Member of the Southern Oregon Angel Investment Network and Steve Vincent, Avista Utilities Oregon regional business manager and founder of the Network.
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