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A Corvallis startup called eChemion took home $75,000 in investment funding from the 2018 Willamette Angels Conference on Tuesday.

Using wet chemistry technology licensed from Oregon State University, the company has developed a method it claims can improve the performance and longevity of flow batteries, which are capable of storing large amounts of energy but are subject to degradation over time.

It was one of seven early-stage companies that received cash infusions ranging from $45,000 to $100,000 at the 10th annual business competition, according to a news release. About 225 people attended the conference, held at the Downtown Athletic Club in Eugene.

The day’s biggest winners were Portland-based Hemex Health, a provider of rapid diagnostic testing for malaria and sickle cell disease, and Bend-based OnBoard Dynamics, which makes natural gas compression systems for automotive engines. Each firm received $100,000 in investment funding at the conference.

A Eugene company called Dune Sciences, maker of the Defunkify line of cleaning and deodorizing products, got a check for $75,000.

Handful, a women’s activewear company from Tigard, and Moonshadow Mobile, a data visualization firm out of Eugene, got $50,000 apiece, while Bend-based lead-generation software developer Lead Method received $45,000 in investment funding.

And Wisedoc, a Corvallis firm that makes a word processing app for academic articles, pocketed a $2,500 grant from Palo Alto Software for winning the speed pitch competition.

Altogether, the 2018 conference distributed a record $495,000 in investment funding. The money comes from a group of accredited investors in the Willamette Angels Conference and Willamette Valley Capital, a newly formed fund.

“This year represents a new direction for how this group raises and invests capital in the southern Willamette Valley,” said Marc Manley, the fund manager for the Willamette Angels Conference and managing director of Willamette Valley Capital.

“By combining the two investment funds, we were able to make a bigger impact on companies in which we invest.”

An annual event founded in 2009, the Willamette Angels Conference alternates between Corvallis and Eugene. It is sponsored by the Oregon Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, the Eugene Chamber of Commerce and the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce.

Since its inception, the conference has invested more than $4 million in 21 early-stage companies that have generated some $8 million in revenue and created 120 jobs.

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Special Projects Editor

Special Projects Editor, Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald