News & Press: Featured News

Mid-Valley Angel Fund Winners

Monday, August 3, 2020  
Posted by: Michael Miller
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Launch Mid-Valley, a collection of business leaders through the Willamette Valley (Marion, Polk, and Yamhill Counties), has awarded three startup businesses with a total of $50,000 from the first-ever Launch Mid-Valley Angel Fund.

These businesses are Hoss Soss, a local hot sauce producers, and SiliPrin, a 3D silicone printing company.

Erik Andersson, President of the Strategic Economic Development Corporation (SEDCOR) says of the Angel Fund, “It was only by pulling together all of the economic development organizations in the region with an interest in entrepreneurial development that we were able to tackle the goal of starting our own venture program. Launch Mid-Valley was developed as a mechanism to coordinate our resources and activities around entrepreneurial development in the region.”

“For our first attempt at a regional seed fund, we doubled the investment goal and attracted 15 entrepreneurs to pitch their businesses in hopes of attracting some of that investment funding. We have entrepreneurs with exciting ideas around the region, in big cities and small communities, and this helps provide them a boost to get their products or services to market.”

Mike White, Venture Catalyst for the Oregon Entrepreneur’s Network (OEN) organized much of the fundraising and assisted a board to choose the winning candidates. He says of the Angel Fund, “Our fund is different than almost most angel funds around the country. We work with early stage companies and provide a mentorship culture that helps foster growth and a connected network to see success. A lot of funds invest into companies and say 'good luck,' where we set quarterly meetings to be intentional about building relationships.”

Andersson believes with good investments and nurturing an environment for business start-ups and growth, we can strengthen and diversify our region’s economy.

“One way to think about it is who locally is making a product that could turn out to be the next Kettle Chips, and how do we gather the resources to help them thrive and grow?”