The third round of the Southern Oregon Angel Investment Network competition is under way with an estimated $200,000 in seed capital for entrepreneurs and startup companies up for grabs.
Angel investors will announce the outcome of the competition on April 11, 2013, at the Southern Oregon Angel Conference.
The first two years of the competition drew 31 entrants, but Angel Network founder Steve Vincent expects to see more entrepreneurs throw their ideas and plans into the ring this year.
"I'd like to see more than 30, and the investors would as well," Vincent said. "It's not just about finding the right investment, but also the exposure for the startups and entrepreneurs at the conference itself. Even the ones that may not make it to the cash prize get a lot of exposure."
The competition was formally announced Wednesday at the Sustainable Valley Technology Group venture forum.
The initial Angel Network investment grew to $300,000 in Folium Partners in 2011, and Montrue Technology attracted $160,000 in 2012.
"This has provided an avenue for them to attain the growth and enabled them to materialize their vision," said Linda Ganim, owner of CFO Solutions, who is heading this year's effort. "Without the money neither one would be able to continue down the path they are on. The whole process is fascinating and energetic for our community as well as companies," Ganim said. "We hope we can grow and evolve our community into an entrepreneurial-spirited community."
The goal for this round is $200,000 — $150,000 from private investors and $50,000 from the state of Oregon, acting as a nonvoting institutional investor. Should the investors choose an out-of-state company, the award would be reduced by that amount.
"I'm pretty confident we are going to get there," Vincent said of the goal. "We have had a lot of high-net-worth individuals across the region looking at this. I've issued nearly 100 investment packets. From 2011 and 2012, I've got 40 lined up and almost 60 people contacted me or other investors so far. A lot of people are paying attention."
The Sustainable Valley Business Incubator also has pledged one year of incubation, valued at $5,000, to a local winner. Investors are also considering concept-stage companies for a growth grant.
The grant opportunity includes $2,500 cash and mentorship through the Sustainable Valley Business Incubator. The total value of the grant is $7,500. Applications will be reviewed in February and March with five launch-stage and five concept-stage companies advancing to the finals at Bigham Knoll in Jacksonville.
The Angel Network is accepting business plans from Oregon and Northern California companies until Jan. 31.
Applicants can find more information, including directions for submitting through a standard Angel investor platform known as Gust, at www.soredi.org.
Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.