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Bend Venture Conference 2023!

One of the region's best startup events for over 2 decades, and one of the GRAYBOX team's most anticipated weeks each year. Bend Venture Conference showcases and supports another fantastic group of entrepreneurs this year.

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For the 5th year in a row, the GRAYBOX team made our way to central Oregon in support of the Bend Venture Conference (BVC). Now in its 20th year, BVC has become a linchpin event showcasing the thriving startup and business community, drawing entrepreneurs, investors, and tech leaders from across the US to celebrate innovation and collaboration. This year's conference highlighted the region's robust entrepreneurial spirit, showcasing the vitality and tight bonds of its business landscape.

Amid this energizing atmosphere, our team was able to support by hosting multiple social events with opportunities for attendees to network, share insights, and build lasting relationships in a more relaxed setting. A notable highlight was GRAYBOX’s sponsorship of the Technology Association of Oregon’s (TAO) closing event at Stoller Winery, where over 40 local business leaders came together to have wine and celebrate another successful year.

Curious what kind of companies receive funding from these events? Below is a list of winners to take home jumbo plastic checks from their time pitching at Tower Theater:

  • ToolBelt, Inc. (Vancouver, WA) – A mobile software program that allows contractors to post projects and directly connect with tradespeople was awarded $165,000 from the BVC LLC.
  • iDentical Inc. (Mountain View, CA) – A dental device company that is disrupting the global dental implant market with personalized, drill-free dental implants was awarded $75,000 from the BVC LLC.
  • Harvest Thermal (Kensington, CA) – Electric heating, cooling and hot water systems for homes to support a strong and renewable electricity grid was awarded $90,000 from the BVC Impact LLC.
  • OpConnect Inc. (Portland, OR) – A turnkey EV charging solution provider that offers smart charging hardware and software for fleet operators and multi-family properties was awarded $25,000 from the BVC Impact LLC.
  • Finnegan the Dragon (Hillsboro, OR) - The first preschool curriculum and mobile gaming system that targets language development for better learning outcomes was awarded $25,000.
  • Polaris (Bend, OR) - An AI-powered site reliability tool that detects outages and incidents in web applications in real time was awarded $25,000.
  • Symphony Markets (Bend, OR) - A streamlined, SEC compliant exchange for IP owners to list shares of their music while providing investors exposure to a stable, culturally relevant asset class was awarded $25,000.

*Source -

The involvement of GRAYBOX at the BVC and the accompanying events reflects a broader narrative about the vital role of community engagement and support in nurturing business ecosystems. Initiatives from the organizing team at EDCO not only create pride in our region but also reinforce Oregon's standing as a hub of entrepreneurial dynamism. As the ecosystem continues to grow as a center for innovation, the collective efforts of organizations in our business community and cornerstone events like the BVC are indispensable in shaping its future.

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