Willamette Angels Conference Celebrates a Decade of Entrepreneurship, Next Week in Eugene
Pitches, Investments, and CEO Power Talks to Highlight 10th Annual Conference
Eugene, Ore. — The 10th annual Willamette Angels Conference, May 16 & 17 at the Downtown Athletic Club in Eugene, will celebrate a decade of entrepreneurship in the Southern Willamette Valley. The Conference will feature pitches from Oregon’s top startups, investment announcements, pre- and post-conference receptions, and – new for this year – CEO Power Talks (nine TED-style presentations from regional CEOs).
“The Southern Willamette Valley’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has changed dramatically over the past decade, and the Willamette Angels Conference was the catalyst for a lot of that progress. At this year’s Conference we will celebrate the individuals and organizations who have helped build the WAC and this great ecosystem into what they are today,” said Brittany Quick-Warner, President & CEO of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce — which is providing event leadership with Oregon RAIN.
To help tell this story, nine regional entrepreneurs will deliver a CEO Power Talk — a 10-minute TED-style presentation on educational and inspiring content. These individuals have been active participants and contributors to the Southern Willamette Valley’s entrepreneurial ecosystem over the past decade. The CEO Power Talk lineup includes:
- Chad Barczak, CEO of IDX, LLC.: 5 things to consider before acquiring a company
- Rich Carter, PH.D., CEO and Co-founder of Valliscor: From cockroach startup to global leader
- Greta Geankoplis, President and Co-founder of Stratus Digital Systems Inc.: How emerging technologies are changing the way we start and grow companies
- Mark Frohnmayer, President and Founder of Arcimoto: Getting listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market via Reg A+ IPO route
- Matt Beaudet, Co-founder and CEO of NemaMetrix Inc.: Growing from 3 to 30 employees in 3 years
- Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software: Building a values-based organization through culture
- Jeff Gish, Research Director and Investor at Willamette Valley Capital (WVC), Money never sleeps, but an entrepreneur should
- Don Tucker, CEO and Senior Scientist of The Brain Electrophysiology Laboratory Company (BEL Co): How the entrepreneurs’ brain is wired for risk-taking & success
- Jake Weatherly, Co-founder and CEO of SheerID: Excellent product, proven market, & loyal customers – the real path to VC funding
Willamette Valley Capital and the Willamette Angels will also announce investments in one or more startup companies. At the conclusion of an exhaustive due diligence process, the WAC investors chose four companies to deliver Finalist Pitches at the Conference, including:
- Dune Sciences (Eugene) uses science and green chemistry to create Defunkify®, a premium line of cleaning and deodorizing products that are high performance and eco-friendly.
- eChemion Inc. (Corvallis) designs and builds specialty products for use in energy storage solutions.
- Handful (Tigard) makes simple, versatile daily activewear for women.
- Onboard Dynamics (Bend) is commercializing novel natural gas compression capability integrated into automotive engines enabling natural gas vehicle refueling from the existing low-pressure natural gas grid infrastructure.
As in past years, the 2018 WAC will include a Speed Pitch competition for early stage companies. The audience will vote for the Speed Pitch winner. Winner will receive a $2500 grant from Palo Alto Software. These companies include:
- Improper Goods (Portland)makes all-natural, small-batch cocktail ingredients.
- INTEA Kombucha (Corvallis) is focused on making a well-balanced, flavorful drink using high-quality ingredients for the rapidly growing kombucha market.
- Planet Verde (Eugene) Planet Verde is a regional, independent food distributor serving western Oregon and Southern Washington.
- Sohr Performance + Nutrition (Eugene) manufactures and markets SOHR Protein, the only dairy-free protein shake made with Oregon organic hazelnut milk and plant-based protein.
- Wisedoc (Corvallis) aims to make publishing academic articles seamless through their word processing app.
“I can’t believe ten years have passed since a small group of us first started the Willamette Angels Conference in Corvallis. It’s exciting to see how the WAC has affected the startup ecosystem in our region. It’s also been great to see more women stepping up to invest in both the WAC LLC and the newly formed Willamette Valley Capital fund. As an entrepreneur and investor, I know how important it is to have women investing in startups. Research shows that when more women invest, more women founders get funded. Fifty percent of our Finalist pitches will be delivered by women founders, “ stated Caroline Cummings, Interim Executive Director of Oregon RAIN and investor in Willamette Valley Capital.
Tickets for the two-day conference are still available at: willametteconference.com/attend-the-event/
For $25 off, enter promo code: WAC25 (Student rate is $75).
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.
The 2018 WAC is May 16-17 at the Downtown Athletic Club in Eugene, Oregon