Semifinalists for 2019 Bend Venture Conference announced

An interested crowd listens to a pitch during the Bend Venture Conference in 2017. (Bulletin file photo)

Six companies were awarded a total of $503,000 in investments and cash at the Bend Venture Conference on Friday.

The companies were chosen from 14 businesses that were among 85 applicants from across the United States seeking investment at the 17th annual conference, which is among the largest in the country. The event was hosted by Economic Development for Central Oregon.

PypeServer, a Seattle company that automates industrial steel pipe cutting, and Pet Hub, a Wenatchee, Washington, company that stores and shares pet data, were the two winners of this year's Growth Stage Competition for companies with a proven concept. PypeServer received $220,000 and Pet Hub received $100,000.

Biomotum was chosen as the winner of the Impact Competition for companies with an integrated social or environmental mission. Based in Portland, Biomotum creates robotic ankle-assist devices for people who have mobility issues. It received $80,000.

Winners of the Early Stage Competition were Portland companies: Cozera, a firm that creates verified digital identities for remote and in-person verification; MustDeliver, a  communications firm linking shippers and drivers; and Masa, an online marketplace for farmers.  

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