The Willamette Angels Conference (WAC), an investment conference of the South Willamette Valley, is comprised of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, Oregon RAIN (Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network) and the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce. The conference switches locations between Eugene or Corvallis each year, and 2018 is the year for Eugene to host the event. This year, the WAC will be held at Eugene’s Downtown Athletic Club from May 16-17. Each year, the conference draws around 200 people.
The conference aims to enhance the startup and entrepreneurial development within the area by allowing startups to pitch their business ideas for evaluation and coaching at WAC. WAC Investor LLC ultimately invests in startups after learning more about their business plans at the conference, and after 9 years, WAC has invested over $3 million in beginning-stage businesses. In 2017 alone, $1 million of funding was announced at the WAC. Investments are bought in $5,000 increments by qualified investors who are members of an LLC exclusively designed for the Willamette Angels Conference. Before the conference, startups can apply online for investment, and the finalists are chosen to pitch at the conference and ultimately announced there, too.
Industries from biotechnology, education, internet, lifestyle, medical devices, mobile, clean technology and more are invited to the conference. This year, the Willamette Angels Conference includes pitches from Oregon’s star startups, investment choices announcements, pre- and post- receptions and newly added CEO Power Talks, which are inspired by TedTalks. Check out the Willamette Angel’s Conference on their site and be sure to register to attend!