A few hundred thousand dollars will be awarded to two Northwest entrepreneurs Wednesday. The winners are announced at the annual Angel Oregon conference.
The money is intended for companies in an early development stage. Every year, accredited angel investors pool a few thousand dollars each and accept applications for the sum. They review the applicants over a few months, then the finalists are up for a vote.
The natural food company Chez Marie won last year. Shelley Gunton, with Chez Marie, says the award allowed the founder to expand her new venture.
Gunton said, “By going into the Angel Oregon process her hope was to be able to then bring in a more significant management team, get some funds for some new branding and packaging that was contemplated, and really as I said bring the company to the next level. And that’s exactly what she’s been able to do.”
Now Gunton says Chez Marie’s sales are projected to double this year. Since Angel Oregon’s start in 2005, $1.5 million has been directly invested into small businesses, and more than 740 jobs have been created.