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Investors' group to offer new funding.

Byline: Ed Russo The Register-Guard

The Willamette Angel Conference is accepting applications from entrepreneurs in need of investment and advice for their startup firms.

The conference, to be held May 17 in Eugene, is an annual business plan competition. This year's winner is expected to receive a $200,000 to $300,000 investment, according to conference organizers.

In its 10th year, the conference gives new company owners a chance to pitch their plans to southern Willamette Valley investors, mainly from Eugene-Springfield and Corvallis. The investors, through a limited liability corporation, pick companies in which to invest, with hopes of profiting later. In exchange, entrepreneurs receive money and advice from the investors, who are knowledgeable business people.

"Year after year, we see growth in every measurable area: investors, funding, applicants and conference attendance," WAC Fund Manager Marc Manley said. "We are excited about our 10th anniversary conference, and are looking forward to reviewing another great set of applicant companies. Many other funds attend our conferences, providing an opportunity for applicants to receive funding from WAC and other sources."

Last year, five startup firms received investments. Hemex Health of Portland and Diatomix of Beaverton shared last year's WAC's Growth Stage investment, each receiving $115,000.

In addition, Elevate Capital, a Portland venture capital firm, announced two $50,000 investments for Hemex Health and Heritage Laboratories of Eugene, another 2017 WAC finalist. Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency, announced two $250,000 loans from its small business expansion program for Eugene-based Moonshadow Mobile, which won the 2015 WAC, and DulsEnergy of Portland, a 2017 WAC applicant.

Since it started, the WAC has invested more than $3 million in start-up businesses.

WAC is produced by the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce and Oregon RAIN, the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, and supported by the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce, and the Corvallis-Benton Economic Development Office.

The application deadline to participate in the May conference is Feb. 23, although companies that apply by Feb. 12 will get a $50 discount on the $175 application fee.

WAC investors will review all applications and select 10 semi-finalists for further review.

Five finalists will present their business plans at the investor conference, where the winner of the estimated $200,000 to $300,000 Growth Stage investment will be announced.

Companies that aren't selected for the Growth Stage investment might be eligible to participate in the Launch Stage Competition and the chance to win a $2,500 prize package sponsored by founding sponsor Palo Alto Software of Eugene.

Registration is for the May 16 evening reception and the May 17 full-day conference, followed by a cocktail reception.

Companies receive the following benefits by applying to the WAC, even if they do not get an investment:

All applicants will get opinions on their business plan from experienced angel investors.

Chances to talk with investors and other entrepreneurs from around the state.

A free 90-day subscription to LivePlan, a best-selling business plan software by Palo Alto Software.

Invitation to a free pitch clinic taught by an entrepreneur who has helped raise millions of dollars in capital for startups.

For more information, see willametteconference.com.

Follow Ed Russo on Twitter @edwardrusso. Email ed.russo@registerguard.com.
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Title Annotation:Business; Regional entrepreneurs can pitch their business plans at the Willamette Angel Conference event
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jan 12, 2018
Words:534
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