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Droplr Raises Another $400,000 to Fund More Hires; Lands Integration w/ Cisco

Droplr recently raised another $400,000 to grow its team and accelerate its outbound sales efforts, says Gray Skinner, the Bend startup’s CEO. Gray described the round as a bridge between Droplr’s initial seed round (which was about $850,000) and a potential Series A.

“We’re planning to grow our team from 10 to 15, and do more outbound sales to the thousands of companies we haven’t gone after before,” he says.

This recent round was lead by Bend-based Cascade Angels, who invested another $150,000 in the startup. Inspiration Ventures, out of Burlingame, Calif., invested $100,000. Seven Peaks Ventures, also from Bend, and a group of individuals from Nashville filled out the rest.

The company makes sharing screen shots and files easier. Earlier this year, the startup announced an integration with Slack to do just that. Most recently, Gray says the startup has forged a partnership with Cisco. Droplr is building an integration for Cisco’s own communication platform, Spark, and then looking to pursue channel sales via relationships with Cisco’s enterprise clients.

Julie Harrelson and Gary Bracelin are not climbing that tree.

#julieselfie: Why Gary Bracelin Thinks Bend Can Be Outdoor Product Innovation Hub

Julie Harrelson, CEO of the Harrelson Group, Fund Manager of Cascade Angels, has a beloved penchant for taking selfies with entrepreneurs, investors and people of Oregon who support building a strong Oregon through entrepreneurialism. This blog continues a series of selfies + blogs about the amazing people she’s met in the last couple of years. #julieselfie

Gary Bracelin is a creative force behind the outdoor industry in Oregon. He formed one of the first sales rep groups that served the action sports industry, served as the director of global sales for KIALOA Paddles and most recently founded the Bend Outdoor Worx accelerator.

I recently caught up with Gary to celebrate his birthday, check out his 50s cruiser bike and talk about Central Oregon as a hub for outdoor product innovation. Please note: the sign behind us says “Please do not climb on the tree.” I was very surprised we both didn’t immediately try!

Craft CMS Finds Web Dev Sweet Spot: No More Chicken Nuggets for You

I love a good metaphor. So when the team at Craft CMS—a tech company mostly new to Bend—compared one of their primary competitors to a chicken nugget (they’re more of a custom sandwich, made on artisanal bread, with heirloom tomatoes and other delicious things) I had to know more.

Two-thirds of the team at Craft CMS are new arrivals to town. Founder and CEO Brandon Kelly started Craft’s parent company, Pixel & Tonic, a software development agency specializing in ExpressionEngine add-ons, in San Jose in early 2011. But he quickly realized that he wanted to do something more.

“I wanted to do my own CMS,” Brandon says. The company’s CTO Brad jokes that every developer wants to write his or her own CMS— “It’s a rite of passage.”

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Adventure Code School Debuts Bend Bootcamp; Learn More at Events in Seattle, PDX and Eugene

Do you know what’s a good idea? This: Adventure Code School. Bend web developer Chris Tsongas has created a code school that combines learning to code with all sorts of outdoor adventure and exercise, including rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking and daily yoga.

The school’s first bootcamp begins in Bend this Sept. and runs 12 weeks. From the school’s website:

Start an awesome new career supported by yoga, meditation and amazing outdoor activities. Adventure Code School’s 12-week Full-Stack JavaScript Bootcamp teaches the most in-demand programming skills, plus Yoga for Coders™, meditation enhanced with binaural beat soundtracks, and expert instruction in mountain biking, slacklining, rock climbing and whitewater kayaking!

Bend Outdoor Worx Counts Zealios, Fat Chance Bikes and Bosky in Next Class

Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW), Central Oregon’s outdoor industry accelerator, just keeps cranking out cohorts of outdoor startups. Their next group starts this September and includes Bosky Optics, Fat Chance Bicycles and Zealios.

This is the fourth group of companies to receive guidance from BOW’s industry founders. The accelerator analyzes the startups’ needs, develops a custom curriculum and then provides guidance to the startups via BOW’s founders and connections with industry experts. BOW also connects startups with legal assistance, financial planning, marketing, logistics, sales, marketing and product development.

This little-accelerator-that-could claims several very cool Central Oregon startups as alum including Cairn, The Robert Axle Project, Homeschool Apparel, Freerange Equipment and SnoPlanks. The next cohort seems like a great addition.

Cool Startup Event: Traversing the Traction Gap w/ Bruce Cleveland

As you may know, Bend has a brain trust of experienced entrepreneurs and investors, who are often more than willing to share their knowledge with startup founders. And a cool event slated for next Tuesday (8/16) offers a prime example.

Join Seven Peaks Ventures and Bruce Cleveland, a relatively new Bendite and founding partner of Menlo Park-based Wildcat Ventures, for a discussion on Traversing the Traction Gap — that is the span between a startup’s Initial Product Release (IPR) to Minimum Viable Traction (MVT). There’s only about two dozen spots left, so sign up soon.

For early stage companies, successfully navigating the traction gap can lead to better outcomes for founders and investors. From Wildcat Ventures:

In our decades of venture experience, we have seen thousands of successful startups go from an idea to product (the go-to-product phase), from product to traction (the go-to-market phase), and from traction to scale (the go-to-scale phase).

Protect Your Biz: COCC Hosts Cybersecurity Forum Aug. 12

If you’re interested in cybersecurity, and concerned about how it might affect your business, then you’ll want to check out this event. Central Oregon Community College is hosting a cybersecurity forum from 9 a.m. to noon on Aug. 12 in Hitchcock Auditorium on the Bend Campus.

The forum will feature panelists from the FBI, Tripwire, local law enforcement and Hueya, a Bend-based startup focused on online privacy. The panelists will share information and answer questions about the latest threats and what you can do to protect your business.

According to the COCC news release, PricewaterhouseCoopers quantified the cybersecurity problem: in 2014 companies and government agencies detected almost 43 million hacks, or roughly 117,000 a day. In addition, a recent Microsoft study reports that consumer computers encounter twice the number of threats as compared to business computers, according to 2016 Trends in Cybersecurity. Microsoft reiterates that keeping all software up to date and installing all security patches are most important. Having antivirus software is not enough.

BVC Announced Two Keynote Speakers; Application Deadline is Aug. 12

The Bend Venture Conference will feature two keynote speakers this year, one from Zillow and one from Adobe, EDCO announced today. The BVC is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 13 and Friday, Oct. 14.

From EDCO:

The new Social Impact Competition, taking place on Thursday afternoon of the conference, will feature keynote speaker Rebekah Bastian, Vice President of Product at Zillow. Bastian was one of Zillow’s first employees, coming over from Microsoft in 2005, and has led the development of several areas of the site since its launch. She currently drives the strategy and execution of product teams focusing on advertising, financial systems and connecting real estate buyers with agents. Always searching for ways to connect her personal values to her technology career, Bastian launched the Community Pillar program to help connect low income renters with affordable housing. She also serves on several local boards related to rising housing costs and homelessness.