For Immediate Release
May 17, 2018
Half a Million Dollars Invested at the 2018 Willamette Angels Conference
Seven Oregon startups receive awards of $45,000-$100,000
Eugene, Ore. — Half a million dollars of funding was announced Thursday at the 10th annual Willamette Angels Conference (WAC). Seven Oregon startups received awards of $45,000-$100,000, including:
- $100,000 for Portland-based Hemex Health, providers of point-of-care diagnostics for malaria and sickle cell disease.
- $100,000 for Bend-based OnBoard Dynamics, which is commercializing novel natural gas compression capability integrated into automotive engines.
- $75,000 for Eugene-based Dune Sciences, makers of Defunkify®, a premium line of cleaning and deodorizing products that are high performance and eco-friendly.
- $75,000 for Corvallis-based eChemion, which designs and builds specialty products for use in energy storage solutions.
- $50,000 for Tigard-based Handful, makers of simple, versatile daily activewear for women.
- $50,000 for Eugene-based Moonshadow Mobile, which provides visual solutions for big datasets.
- $45,000 for Bend-based Lead Method, developers of marketing automation and lead generation software for industrial equipment and engineering service companies.
The total funding — $495,000 — was raised by a collaborative group of accredited investors in the WAC and the newly-formed Willamette Valley Capital (WVC) fund. Members can invest in the formal WAC, or throughout the year as part of WVC.
“This year represents a new direction for how this group raises and invests capital in the Southern Willamette Valley. By combining the two investment funds, we are able to make a bigger impact on companies in which we invest,” said Marc Manley, WAC Fund Manager and Managing Director of WVC.
Half of all the funding announced at this year’s conference ($250,000) was invested in women-led companies (Hemex Health, OnBoard Dynamics, and Handful).
“After 10 years of the Willamette Angels Conference, this is the first time we’ve seen this many women CEOs and investors. Research shows that when more women invest, more women founders get funded. That research was clearly supported by this year’s WAC,” said Caroline Cummings, Interim Executive Director of Oregon RAIN and investor in Willamette Valley Capital.
In addition to the investment awards, Corvallis-based Wisedoc, a word processing app for academic articles, won the Speed Pitch competition and a $2,500 prize from Palo Alto Software. Dune Sciences won the People’s Choice Award by audience vote.
Two hundred and twenty-five (225) people attended the two-day conference held at the Downtown Athletic Club in Eugene. This year’s WAC — the 10th annual — celebrated a decade of entrepreneurship in the Southern Willamette Valley. In addition to the finalist pitches and investment announcements, this year’s conference highlighted many individuals, companies, and organizations that have contributed to the region’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“The longevity of the Willamette Angels Conference is a testament to the quantity and quality of startup companies in our state, as well as the Southern Willamette Valley’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Looking back on 10 years of the WAC, it is amazing to think about the number of people, organizations, and small businesses that have supported this endeavor,” said Brittany Quick-Warner, President & CEO of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce — which provided event leadership along with Oregon RAIN, the Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network.
About the Willamette Angels Conference
Founded in 2009, The Willamette Angels Conference is an investment group that connects early stage and seed startups with angel and venture investors. The WAC investment fund is managed by Willamette Valley Capital. Startup and entrepreneurial applicants receive funding, mentoring, and connections to other advisory resources. WAC is designed to advance the innovation economy in Oregon and the Willamette Valley. The WAC is produced in partnership by: Oregon RAIN (Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network), the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce.
In its ten-year history, the WAC has reviewed 535 startup companies. The WAC has invested over $4 million in 21 early-stage businesses who have collectively generated $8M in revenue and created 120 jobs. The WAC continues to attract around 200 people to the conference each year.