PRESS RELEASE – 2014 RAIN CONFERENCE LAUNCH AND CONCEPT STAGE WINNERS

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

2014 Roseburg Area Investor Network (RAIN) Conference

Roseburg, Oregon  November 24, 2014

 

HIGHLIGHTS

The second annual RAIN conference on November 19 featured pitches from five outstanding Oregon startups (Amplion Research, CrowdStreet, Outdoor Project, Poached Jobs, and Red Duck Foods) and six local, Douglas County entrepreneurs.

 

The winner of the competition was Amplion Research. The RAIN investors also dug deeper to make an additional investment that will likely top $50K in Red Duck Foods.

 

The winner of a $5K prize package was Nola Mix of Douglas County

 

CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

The 2014 Conference was held at the Danny Lang Center at Umpqua Community College on November 19, 2014.

In addition to pitches from each of the competing companies, the audience also saw:

  • A keynote from Angela Jackson, Co-Managing Director of the Portland Seed Fund, in which she told her personal and professional story and challenged the audience to support risk-taking and help build an entrepreneurship movement.

 

  • A panel of professional investors, including Angela Jackson; Kanth Gopalpur, Founder and ex-CEO, Monsoon Commerce; and Michael Coughlin, CEO of Burley Design. These deeply experienced entrepreneurs and angel investors gave tremendous insight into how angel investors consider deals. A common theme in their responses was the importance of investing in people, not just ideas.  

 

  •  A short film, “Experience Entrepreneurship in its Natural State,” produced by Kellom Creative, included interviews from ten Douglas County entrepreneurs and business leaders speaking about both their passion for the area and their excitement about the growing entrepreneurship movement in and around Roseburg. The short video can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/5j7KIOFKl8U  

 

LAUNCH STAGE COMPETITORS

The launch stage pitchers included three of the five finalists of the recent Bend Venture Conference (Amplion, CrowdStreet, and Poached Jobs), Outdoor Project, and Red Duck Foods. The investors were very pleased with the quality of the competition and viewed all five as investment-ready opportunities.

 

The investors saw tremendous potential up-side in Amplion Research, which develops business intelligence solutions that support strategic decision making in health care research about biomarkers. The investor group included approximately twenty individuals, mostly from Douglas County, and the Oregon Growth Account. The “launch stage” investment was $150,000.

 

The investor group was also highly impressed with passion and talent of the management team of Red Duck Foods. More than half of the investors have elected to increase their contribution to allow an additional investment in Red Duck that will very likely total more than $50,000. 

 

CONCEPT STAGE

The Concept Stage competition is for business ideas or very early stage companies seeking assistance to get started. Only Douglas County businesses were eligible. The winner, Nola Mix, won a prize that includes $3,000 in cash, 6 months rent-free residency at the Umpqua Business Center and a package of free and reduced cost business services sponsored by inerseshen creative media. 

Over 15 Douglas-county based companies applied. The finalists that pitched on November 19 were:

  • June Taylor  RoseRent.com
  • William Tucker Charged Concept
  • Michelle Jones Nola Mix
  • Larry Linton  Pyrotech
  • Ty Stubblefield Hunt Gear USA
  • Donna Holm  Holm Made Toffee

The audience voted to select the winner: Nola Mix, a producer of “grain-free granola.” 

 

“The RAIN grant will have a tremendous impact in helping us grow our business. Long after the money is spent, the value of the business experience we gained will continue to serve us well. We are grateful for both.” – Russ Jones, Co-Founder, Nola Mix

 

“The RAIN competition is an excellent tool for local businesses to not only compete for a potential investment but to hone their message. This was my first RAIN conference and the diverse applicants highlighted the amazing entrepreneurs in Douglas County and Oregon; each business gained value by having the opportunity to share their message and get feedback from a panel of experts and the audience.  A terrific experience for all involved.” – Anya Petersen-Frey, Director of UCC Small Business Development Center & Umpqua Business Center

 

SPONSORS

Event sponsors included Palo Alto Software (makers of LivePlan), United Fund Advisors, and YES (young entrepreneur society of umpqua). Concept prize sponsors included Palo Alto Software, inerseshen creative media, Dotty Stapleton of TMS Call Center, Umpqua Business Center, and Watkinson Laird Rubenstein Baldwin & Burgess, P.C. Oregon Entrepreneur Network assisted with pre-conference trainings.

 

BACKGROUND

The Partnership for Economic Development in Douglas County, in cooperation with the Umpqua Business Center, organized the conference and supported the RAIN investor LLC.

 

The Partnership for Economic Development in Douglas County, formerly known as the Umpqua Economic Development Partnership, was established in 2001 to be the lead collaborative economic development organization in the region. The Founding Partners were: the City of Roseburg, Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Douglas County Industrial Development Board, and CCD Business Development Corporation. www.uedpartnership.org 

 

The Umpqua Business Center (UBC) is an integral part of a comprehensive economic development plan for Douglas County, accelerating the development of start-up businesses in a business incubation setting. Developing local, homegrown businesses complements regional efforts to encourage expansion, retention and attraction of companies. The long-range goal is to create new, stable and successful businesses that contribute to the general economic health of the area, increase employment opportunities and add to the variety of products and services available to its citizens. umpquabusiness.com

 

RAIN is an effort to foster a better environment for entrepreneurship in Douglas County. The primary vehicle is a private company (an LLC), through which local investors are coming together to invest in one early stage company. (See: http://www.rainangel.org/ .)

 

 rain logo color-01

 

 The primary goals of RAIN are:

  •  Increase seed capital availability for regional early stage companies.
  •  Build awareness and knowledge of local entrepreneurs and investors about direct equity investment.

For additional information:

Alex Campbell, Executive Director

The Partnership for Economic Development in Douglas County

alexc@uedpartnership.org

 (541) 492-2820 ; (541) 974-8066 (cell)

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