As someone very involved through what my company does, in helping entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed, I have immersed myself in the start-up world here in Oregon where my company is based. Oregon has five major business plan competitions across the state. Throughout the year (most of them in the Spring) these competitions put together an LLC group made up of individual investors to create business plan competitions where the winner gets an investment (usually a convertible note) of anywhere from $150,000 to $350,000. The first angel competitions in Oregon were theBend Venture Conference in 2003, followed by Angel Oregon in 2005, then the Oregon Angel Fund (OAF) in 2007, the Willamette Angel Conference in 2009, Southern Oregon Angel Investment Conference in 2010, and most recently the Gorge Angel Conference started in 2011. All told in 2012 these conferences and the OAF (not a conference but an Angel group funded by the Oregon Government, with 1.5 million dollars in matching funds every year) will invest just under four million dollars in to 9-10 companies. For the most part, all the companies will be Oregon companies (some conferences have official rules about where companies are located, some don’t).
Here is how the Angel Conferences and business plan competitions work: