Finalists chosen to vie for venture capital

Southern Oregon Angel Investment Network has narrowed the field for its $150,000 investment prize to eight local companies.

Each of the finalists will pitch to investors and the public at the network's inaugural regional conference Wednesday, March 9, at the Rogue Valley Country Club.

Ambient Motors/Red Cloud, Cascade Peak Spirits, Folium Partners and YogiTunes will each deliver 10-minute presentations. Another four — Amalagamated Design, Equi-Tee, The French Connection, and Value Ecology — will deliver two-minute pitches, then the audience will select one of them to join the former foursome, giving a 10-minute investment pitch. More than 30 entrepreneurs submitted business plans after the competition was announced last fall.

Fund managers Diane Fraiman, Voyager; Shannon Heim, Capybara Ventures and the Oregon Angel Fund; Jim Huston, founder and managing director of Bridge City Ventures and Portland Seed Fund; and Gregg Semler, Pivotal Investments, will review the presentations.

This initiative is led by Tom Becker, managing member of the Southern Oregon Angel Investment Network, and Steve Vincent, of Avista Utilities Oregon, the regional business manager and founder of the network.

The conference runs from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with Becker announcing the winning company following the keynote speech by Shelley Gunton, founder of Castor & Pollux. Admission, including breakfast and lunch, is $149. To register for the event, go to

— Greg Stiles

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