The room was crackling with excitement at the Jefferson Grapevine on March 20.
Eight Concept Stage Companies gave their best five-minute pitch to a live audience at the Bigham Knoll Event Center. Nearly 100 people were in attendance to encourage these companies and to vote on their single favorite. The top five will continue onto the Southern Oregon Angel Conference on April 11, 2012 to compete for a start-up grant, with a potential value of $11,000. In addition, Linda Ganim, the managing investor of the Southern Oregon Angel Network announced the five companies that will compete for the now $205,000 investment at the conference.
During a live text-to-vote procedure, the audience in attendance chose ThanksVideo, CargoNav, Institute for Sustainable Living and Sarah Evans Creations as clear front runners. As with last year’s competition, three companies were tied for fifth place, each with 5% of the texted votes. After tallying up 35 paper ballots, filled out by those that were unable to text, Joma Films LLC pulled ahead!
SOREDI is proud of all the contenders and a big round of applause was given for all the companies that had bravely taken the podium to pitch at the event. The five finalists will be given five minutes each at the conference. One of these companies will be awarded the Concept Grant, consisting of $2500 cash, provided by Palo Alto Software, a scholarship for OEN’s upcoming Jefferson U, a high-intensity 7-week boot camp for local start-up companies, and a scholarship for RCC’s Avista Center for Entrepreneurship, a new series of courses including everything from finance to marketing for start-ups. The Jefferson U and the Avista Center for Entrepreneurship are currently accepting applications from participating companies.
At the end of the evening, Linda Ganim announced the five finalists still being considered for the $205,000 investment. These companies will each give a 10-minute pitch at the Angel Conference. Once they have seen their final pitches, the investors will meet to determine a final winner to be announced at the conference. The Oregon Community Foundation just announced their $20,000 participation, bringing our total investment over the $200,000 mark. Investors may still be considered for participation until April 10, 2013. Interested investors should contact Steve Vincent, SOREDI board member and Angel Conference Chair.
The Farming Fish, Popdeck, Watch Technologies, JettStream and The Digits (DBA the Funda Organization) were announced on Wednesday night. While the other contenders will not be presenting at the Angel Conference, they will be referred to SOREDI’s TAG Team (Technical Advisory Group), made up of local professionals who are willing to give their time on a volunteer basis to help these companies grow toward success.
SOREDI (Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc) is a membership-funded, private non-profit group dedicated to increasing employment opportunities and economic diversity in Jackson and Josephine Counties. To find out more about becoming a member or volunteer, please visit www.soredi.org.
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