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Nouvola was the big winner at Wednesday's Angel Oregon showcase in downtown Portland, earning a $256,000 check from investors supporting the competition.
The competition, put on by the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, featured young companies pitching their products or services to an investment panel. After weeks of interviews and due diligence, the investors picked Portland-based Nouvola, which already has paying customers.
"We are the poster child for leveraging the resources" available to Oregon startups, said company founder and chief executive Paola Moretto, an Intel veteran. "We just love Portland, Bend and the State of Oregon."
The showcase this year separated the investment pitches from the public showcase, in an effort to stay on the right side of emerging crowdfunding rules. Nouvola was chosen in advance of Wednesday's showcase.
Attendees at the event at the Sentinel Hotel picked a Wilsonville company, HoneyComb Corp., as the audience favorite. In that competition, Nouvola finished second. HoneyComb provides data and analytics to agricultural customers, using drone aircraft, among other tools.
The event brought together young firms of all sizes, types and ambition, from Eugene's Red Duck Foods Inc., an organic ketchup maker, to Amorphyx, a Corvallis company that hopes to lead a rebirth in Oregon's display industry by making LCD backpanels more efficiently.
Nouvola, which won the top prize and $250,000 at the 2013 Bend Venture Conference, provides a way for commercial customers to test their products in the company's "DiveCloud" before they launch, using real traffic conditions. As examples of how critical this is, Moretto cited the delays in the rollouts of online health insurance exchanges and last year's collapse of the online platform for Portland's art tax.
Nouvola is a variation on the Italian word for "cloud."