Month: November 2014

#50startups: Take our Quiz. Win a Prize … and a Hug. A Real Live Hug.

Believe it or not (but really it’s true) we’ve already completed the first 10 of our #50startups project. It seems like we started only yesterday. Sniff. This week we’re seeing who was paying attention with a brain-busting quiz.

So watch out, because things are about to get real. The winner will receive a coffee card probably worth at least $10. Even more exciting: He or she will get their picture posted on our blog, which will likely lead to fame and fortune not seen since the likes of Alex From Target. And I’ll march right over to wherever you are and give you a hug. Because you read my blog.

Now let’s get this party started. First, which Bend startups have we covered? Well thanks for asking! We started with Amplion, the biotech company that has since gone on to win the Bend Venture Conference and the RAIN Conference. Was it because they were featured on this very blog? Probably not. Maybe? It’s hard to say.

A Bend Techie’s Big Dream: More Girls in STEM Careers

By Rane Johnson
Tech Alliance of Central Oregon Board Member
Principal Research Director, Microsoft Research

Being in the technology industry for the past 18 years I have seen lots of changes, but unfortunately one area that hasn’t changed is the number of women pursuing careers in computer science and engineering. Of the approximately 5.5 million engineering and computing professionals employed in the United States, women make up just 26 percent of computing professionals and only 13 percent of engineers, according to the U.S. Census.

There have been a lot of discussions lately about the lack of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields, the lack of women in the technology industry and the lack of women developing tomorrow’s innovations. But if that is all young women hear about, what would motivate a girl to go into a field where she would be considered an outsider?

Help Bluebird Strategies Support Girls Who Code

Need something warm and fuzzy on this icy morning? I’ve got just the thing. Bend-based BlueBird Strategies announced this week that its annual give back campaign will support Girls Who Code, a nonprofit aimed at closing the gender gap in the computing fields.

“By supporting Girls Who Code, we hope to help equip the next generation; our daughters, our friends’ daughters, nieces, grandchildren and future children/grandchildren for success,” says BlueBird Strategies CEO Cari Baldwin. The company’s give back campaign is pretty simple. Here’s how it works:

BueBird Strategies will donate $1 for:

  • Every retweet or mention on Twitter about BBS and its Girls Who Code campaign. Use the hashtag: #BBS4GWC. In fact, you can click here to tweet about it now.
  • Each new Facebook fan on the BBS Facebook page, or reshare mentioning the BBS Girls Who Code campaign. Just tag BlueBird Strategies or use the hashtag above.

That’s not too hard. But wait, there’s more. BBS is also giving away an iPad mini or GoPro 3 to encourage donations. To enter yourself to win, just like the BBS Facebook page, retweet/mention the give back campaign or donate at least $5.

Amplion Wins $150,000 Investment at RAIN Conference

Amplion, the Bend-based biotech startup, continues to swoop up money. The company took home the $150,000 launch stage investment today at the Roseburg Angel Investor Network (RAIN) conference.

Amplion CTO Adam Carroll was competing against some familiar faces including Tore Steen, CEO of Crowdstreet and Kirk Thornby, CEO of Poached Jobs. All three Oregon startups were at the Bend Venture Conference last month.

Amplion is the creator of BioMarkerBase, a knowledge base that helps drug companies identify the most important biomarkers to include in clinical trials, and helps diagnostics companies identify the biomarkers that will power next generation diagnostic tests. 

The RAIN conference wasn’t Carroll’s first rodeo. He also emerged victorious from BVC as well, winning the launch stage competition and garnering Amplion nearly $400,000 in investment. Poached and Crowdstreet walked away with $100,000 and $150,000 in total BVC investments respectively.

#50startups: Odysys Offers Tech Advantage to Indie Hotels

In a travel industry dominated by Internet giants such as Expedia and Travelocity, it can be hard for independent hotels to grab the attention of potential customers. Odysys CEO and co-founder Kent Schnepp wants to change that via a digital marketing platform he’s created especially for them.

BendTECH recently sat down with Schnepp to learn more about his entrepreneurial chops (this is his fourth company) and how he aims to provide a big advantage to small, independent hotels.

Startup: Odysys
Founder: Kent Schnepp
Started: July 2014
Employees: 3 (soon to be 5)
Headquarters: Downtown Bend

What is Odysys? We are a SaaS company that provides a complete digital marketing platform for independent hotels, motels, and destination resorts. We offer a suite of products that includes mobile responsive websites, automated digital marketing campaigns, and private label, commission-free booking technology.

#50startups catch-up: Cairn Partners with Black Diamond

Cairn, the Bend-based subscription box for outdoor enthusiasts, partnered with Black Diamond, a well-known provider of outdoor equipment and apparel, last month to include the company’s Ion headlamp in their October box. (Startup idea #27: A service that delivers me a box of donuts. Right now.) Rob Little, Cairn founder, says the startup first met with Black Diamond at the Outdoor Retailer show in August and they liked the idea of the data Cairn collects about products from its subscribers. He’s pleased Cairn is garnering attention from some big brand names. “Black Diamond* is one of the largest outdoor brands in the industry,” Little says. “Combine this with the relationship with a few other legacy brands we’ve worked with recently such as Stanley and Sea to Summit and it shows we’re getting interest from some of the biggest players in the industry, and changing how they think about marketing.” Started in March 2013, Cairn is set to ship its 2,000th box this month. The company has also been making the rounds at Bend events including FallFest, the ski swap and the Happy Girl Half. *Correction: BT inadvertently misquoted Little. He said Black Diamond is one of the largest brands, not Cairn. Sorry about that! 

#50startups: The Flybook Catches More Customers

The Flybook’s clients provide people with all sorts of fun from guided fly fishing and river rafting trips to walking tours and destination lodges. But for many, managing all those reservations can be a headache. That’s where this Bend-based startup comes in. BendTECH caught up with The Flybook’s co-founder Craig Langer to learn more about the company’s reservation software, the industry it serves and why relaunching their company six years in was smartest move the founders have made.