By Rachael Rees

The Bulletin

FoundersPad, the Bend business accelerator, has launched a new program that focuses on growth-stage companies and provides them with funding.

Started in 2012, FoundersPad offers a six-week launch-track program that brings together entrepreneurs from several concept and early-stage technology companies.

But after running several sessions, Chris Capdevila, co-founder of FoundersPad, said he saw a need for a program that could address the obstacles faced by companies that had moved beyond the concept stage. So Growth Track was developed.

“A lot of companies here in Central Oregon have done a good job of getting those early paying customers and validating the business model,” he said. “Now they are looking at: What do we need to do to really scale this business and take it to the next level?”

Bend-based Amplion Research, a medical-tech company, is the first company to participate in the Growth Track program, Capdevila said.

“They needed help scaling their company but thought they were beyond the accelerator model of FoundersPad,” he said.

Amplion has been in business for about a year and has a first-generation product on the market, along with multiple customers, said John Audette, CEO and co-founder.

“I have a lot of startup experience myself. It’s the third one I’ve been involved in,” he said. “We were really looking to raise capital and form a team.”

He said the program was specifically tailored to Amplion’s needs, so he and co-founder Adam Carroll have gotten a lot out of it.

“We now have a plan that ensures our product development maps really closely to our customers’ needs,” he said.

Gina Miller, director of marketing for FoundersPad and Seven Peaks Ventures — a Bend-based investment fund — said Growth Track is unique because it includes customized mentoring.

“It’s a 12-week program that allows the mentors and the company to really dig in and deliver an action plan for the company to move forward,” Miller wrote in an email.

In addition to the mentoring, she said, Seven Peaks Ventures will invest a minimum of $25,000 in companies that go through the program. Growth Track has no fee, but Seven Peaks and FoundersPad both receive a percentage of ownership.

“You have to apply and be accepted into the program, but if you are accepted you are guaranteed an investment for Seven Peaks,” she said.

— Reporter: 541-617-7818,