PubTalk to focus on funding startups

Experts will offer advice, share tips at networking event

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian business editor

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Clark County PubTalk, a popular networking event for entrepreneurs, investors, and small businesses, launches this year's sessions on Wednesday, Sept. 19 with a program that will focus on funding small business startups.

The evening's session is called "From Alpha to Exit: Funding Every Stage of Startup Growth." It will feature a panel of experts who will share tips and personal experiences on finding capital through four states of startup growth. Also, a local serial entrepreneur, yet to be named, will tell a personal success story.

The discussion panel will include Andrew McDonald, chief credit officer and executive vice president of Columbia Bank; Angela Jackson, managing director of the Portland Seed Fund and Portland State University business accelerator; Nathan McDonald, president of venture capital funder Keiretsu Forum Northwest; Michael Reynoldson, vice president of venture capital firm InvestAmerica; and Dave Howell, founder and president of Avatron, a developer of software applications for Apple products. Business development advisers Kathy Sego and Richard Biggs will serve as moderators.

PubTalk sponsors -- the Columbia River Economic Development Council and the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council -- typically produce five events each year, which usually draw more than 120 attendees. In three years, the event has featured and provided assistance to 35 startups and provided some funding to nine companies.

The event's success has prompted the CREDC to commit to investment in entrepreneurship and innovation as part of its five-year capital campaign, said Bonnie Moore, director of business service for both sponsoring groups. The nonprofit jobs promotion organization has set a goal of providing capital to four emerging companies each year, she said.

The CREDC is working to connect entrepreneurs with capital and talent, both in private businesses and at the university level, Moore said. It also is working with Portland State University, the University of Washington, Washington State University, the Technology Association of Oregon, and the Washington Technology Industry Association, among others, she said.

The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Fort Vancouver Artillery Barracks, 600 East Hatheway Road. Cost is $20 and $30 for walk-ins and does not include a drink ticket. Registration is available at https://www.123signup.com/register?id=sccqz.