I fear you’d have to know the quirky nature of Eugene, Oregon, my home town, to understand how well the choice of our local angel investor group matches the area. Some people call Eugene “Berkeley North.” We have to have way more health foods stores, organic foods, and natural products per capita than any national average; and more Birkenstock, and more gray ponytails behind bald heads.
So it’s not a complete surprise that the winner of the Willamette Angel Conference angel investment was Good Clean Love, offering all-natural intimacy products in a market that is dominated by petrochemical-based products. This is what people in this town call “Eugenian,” a natural product produced by a company built on values.
This company reminds me of Coconut Bliss, another local success story, which went from founding to successful exit in less than five years, built around the values of natural and organic and healthy. I posted the Coconut Bliss story on my other blog just a few weeks ago.
Good Clean Love won over an impressive field of startups. As one of the investors, I can tell you that the deliberations were very tough because we did in fact have several very strong companies to consider. If you’re curious, take a look at the conference recap here.
The choice may surprise you if you look at those other companies. But for me, the lesson here is being different, building around a story, credibility, and staying local. This is a good story of local investors believing in local companies. And developing the local area without sacrificing investment potential.
(And that brings up an interesting conflict of interest point, since I’m one of the angel investors, that means I now have an investor interest in Good Clean Love. Just so you know.)