Preview of Angel Investment Conference

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JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — Several local companies are competing for a chance at a $200,000 investment.

The 2013 Southern Oregon Angel Investment Network Conference is set to name its finalists this week. 10 local companies are vying for start-up capital at the conference, but one company is already seeing success before the competition even starts.

Michelle Erwin skipped the line entirely.

“It was a done deal very quickly,” said Erwin. Erwin runs Trademom, which helps women learn how to succeed in investing.

“It’s teaching women how to trade the financial futures markets,” she explained. Erwin entered the company as a concept stage company in the 2013 Southern Oregon Angel Investment conference to try to get the company off the ground.

“SOREDI provides such a wonderful platform for coaching people and to crystallize what their vision is, how to write a business plan,” said Erwin.

During the process of learning how to pitch a business plan, she starting networking. Before long, she learned she didn’t even need to win any competition to get a big investment.

“The friend of a friend, the six degrees of separation, presented my package, and I found my partner,” Erwin said. “And I was able to withdraw from the competition.”

Now she says the experience is helping her grow her company one connection at a time.

“When you find someone who believes in what you’re doing and what you’re trying to build, that’s the beginning of your army,” Erwin.

This Wednesday, SOREDI will hold its Jefferson Grapevine Event at the Bigham Knoll Campus in Jacksonville, that’s where the finalists will be selected for a chance to win a $200,000 investment at the Angel Investment Network Conference.