By Joseph Ditzler

The Bulletin

The 20 growth stage semifinalists for the Bend Venture Conference:

• Allumia, Seattle

• DealPoint, Portland

• DesignMedix, Portland

• Drone Complier, Portland

• Falcon Pursuit, Portland

• Gathrly, Portland

• Halo Automotive, Portland

• Handful, Wilsonville

• Heritage Laboratories, Eugene

• HobbyDB, Boulder, Colorado

InvestiPro, Bend

LeadMethod, Bend

• LEVRUM, Corvallis

• Mogol Inc. Portland

• Tali, Portland

• Tellagence Portland

• Trailermade, Los Angeles

• Tripgrid, Portland

• UbiquiOS Technology, Dublin, California

• VR Motion Corp., Hillsboro

Two Bend companies were among 20 that advanced to the semifinal round of the growth stage competition of the upcoming Bend Venture Conference, Economic Development for Central Oregon announced Thursday.

InvestiPro and LeadMethod were named to the list, which will be trimmed further next week, according to an EDCO news release. The remaining 18 companies hail mostly from Oregon, with two from California and one each from Colorado and Washington.

InvestiPro, creator of a cloud-based platform that automates investigations of workplace discrimination, theft and bullying complaints, in 2016 made the final stage of BVC in the early-stage competition. The company was not selected for the $15,000 investment prize but secured some minimal, sideline investment, said CEO Dana Barbato on Thursday.

She said the company is ready to work with investors to scale up to a nationwide market, key factors for success at BVC.

“I know that they’re looking for a good, strong team. They like to see that the product is being recognized and purchased,” she said, “and you’re showing that it is growing revenue.”

LeadMethod, founded in 2013 by Justin Johnson, provides software that allows manufacturers to better coordinate with their distributors and sales representatives. Johnson moved the company from Tacoma, Washington, to Bend soon after its creation, he told The Bulletin in November 2015. A LeadMethod representative could not be immediately reached Thursday.

A panel representing 10 different investment funds and individual investors selected the 20 semifinalists Wednesday, according to EDCO. To qualify for the growth stage competition, companies may be located anywhere in the U.S., and they must have a proven concept, initial revenue and be ready to scale up.

The venture conference, a gathering of entrepreneurs and investors, this year is scheduled Oct. 19-20 at the Tower and Liberty theaters on NW Wall Street, Bend. Last year, venture capitalists with the conference awarded nearly $4 million in investments, a record for the 13-year-old conference.

Competition takes place in three categories: early stage, growth stage and social impact. Growth-stage finalists could collect $250,000 or more in new investment, according to EDCO. Semifinalists in the early stage and social impact categories will be announced in coming weeks.

— Reporter: 541-617-7815,