Month: February 2015

OSU Cascades Searching For Comp Sci Prof

The computer science program at OSU Cascades is looking for a second, full-time teaching professor. Marc Rubin, the Computer Science Program Lead, says the position requires someone with extensive industry experience and at least a Master’s Degree in Computer Science.

So if you know of/had a stellar CS teacher who might also be looking to live right here in sunny Central Oregon, give them a heads up. Here’s the job description. Related: Local CS program = yay!

#50startups: Goodkid Foods Takes the Sugar Out of Snack Bars

Bart and Ashleigh Mitchell started Goodkid Foods out of sheer necessity: They were tired of feeding their kids crap. Sugary crap to be exact. The parents of two young kids found themselves relying on snack bars that often seemed more than like dessert than a healthy nosh between meals.

So Ashleigh began baking. She developed numerous recipes for healthy snack bars before landing on one that her kids devoured. That was 2011. Now you can find Goodkid bars in Nordstrom eBars, at Mt. Bachelor’s cash registers and even Whole Foods. BendTECH sat down with Bart Mitchell to learn more about the couple’s plans for their snack bar startup and to try a few Goodkid bars ourselves.

Startup: Goodkid Foods
Founders: Bart and Ashleigh Mitchell
Started: 2012
Headquarters: Bend

JuJu is at PubTalk Next Thursday

February’s PubTalk is scheduled for tonight next Thursday (sorry!) — and the lineup features JuJu, founded by Julia Junkin. When we interviewed Junkin for #50startups in December, she described her JuJu app as “emoticons on crack.” The app allows you to remix existing art into your own creative expressions and then instantly send them to your family and friends.

Also pitching at February PubTalk:

  • Lava Love, a Bend company that makes detoxifying soaps from volcanic rocks and minerals.
  • July Nine, an Oregon company that designs and manufacturers bags and other goods in the U.S.

New UX/UI Meetup to Discuss The Internet of Things

The new Bend User Experience Design Meetup, a discussion group for UX/UI professionals and those interested in the field, focuses each month on a topic and idea exchange. They will meet at the just-opened BendTech on February 25 at 6:30pm. The topic will be The Internet of Things, which could be really cool or the start of SkyNet.

The organizers suggest everyone study-up on the topic a bit ahead of time. Here’s a simple explanation from Forbes, and a heady deep-dive with prolific futurist Bruce Sterling.

To sign up, click here to possibly learn how to keep your self-aware Roomba and FitBit from turning against mankind, and also real things that might actually happen.

Navis Hiring for 25 Tech/Dev Positions in Bend

Want a tech job in Bend? Navis is aiming to hire more than two dozen tech positions — including 9 developers — by the end of May. The company makes reservation and marketing automation software for the hospitality industry, and they’re growing.

Navis currently employs 280 people, with about 200 of those positions right here in sunny Central Oregon. The software company also has offices in Tempe, Ariz. and Orlando, Fla.

Doug Spencer, Navis’ new CTO, says Navis is expanding into new, international markets as well as developing new products. “That’s why we’re staffing up,” says Spencer, who recently moved to Bend from Los Angeles, where he was previously the CTO of the International Logistics Division of G4S.

Navis’ clients are mostly independent hotels and resorts and vacation rentals. While independents comprise about one-third of the U.S. market, they account for the majority of the international hospitality markets.

Cairn Gets New Brand Expert and Nears New Digs

Cairn, the Bend-based subscription box company for outdoor lovers, is nearing its first birthday — and it’s full-speed ahead. In the past few months the startup has hired brand expert Bill Inman, previously with ExOfficio, Merrell and Nike, and set up new nonprofit partnerships. Along the way, the company has also garnered a few thousand box subscribers.

Thanks to the latter, the operation has officially outgrown CEO and founder Rob Little’s garage.

Here’s the skinny:

— Inman, most recently the director of design and product development at ExOfficio in Seattle, is now helping Cairn build relationships with brands and curate products. He’s also an official Bendite, having moved here last fall. “Coming from the brand side, I can see the value (Cairn’s) model has for businesses,” he says.

#50Startups: Better Firefighting Through Technology with Firewhat

On average more than 100,000 wildland fires burn 4 to 5 million acres a year in the United States. But FireWhat, a new startup in town, aims to limit some of that destruction by mapping fires, developing technologies to track responders, and ultimately make the fire fighting process more efficient.     Unless you are kicking it old school with a handwritten dead-tree map, most of the maps we use today on smartphones, computers, and even printed, are a result of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). We can use a GIS like Google Maps to find our way around, but there’s an advanced level of the field that can do much more. GIS basically makes the world a complex quilt of data that can be analyzed and put to good use in decision making and planning. BendTECH sat down with FireWhat CEO Sam Lanier to learn how they are applying GIS and expert-sourced information to improve fire fighting and why they’re expanding in Bend.   Startup: Firewhat Started: Jan 4th, 2011. =&0=&Sondra Suazo, Jeremy Orozco, Ryan Avila, and Sam Lanier =&1=&6 Fulltime Employees, and 4 Seasonal Staff. Preparing to add a few developers and administrative staff in the coming months. =&2=&Dunsmuir, CA, and a desk at the BendTech coworking space. We’re looking to expand operations in the coming months. =&3=& We’re a technology company that provides custom tools to map and track assets in and out of the field. We aim to correct the antiquated delivery of information to our nation’s first responders. =&4=&FireWhat came about after several road trips around the world. We all worked in different areas of Emergency Response throughout the Western United States and realized there had to be a better way to share information so the same mistakes weren’t repeated amongst responders. In 2011, the company made a major shift in development, and focused it’s attention on the need to provide better wildfire information to the public. We launched our first mobile application, a Google and WeatherUnderground-based app fed by our information. Then in 2013, we acquired the rights to Wildlandfire.com, the largest database for expert-sourced wildfire info, and started our relationship with Esri. Our main goal is to geospatially enable wildfire data on the web so it can be used by anyone. Can you talk about your Esri partnership? Shortly after the purchase Wildlandfire.com, we were fortunate to be selected as an Esri Startup Partner and began the rapid revamp with a full integration of Esri’s ArcGIS Online GIS platform. The online mapping platform provides measurable success in the wildfire community. =&5=&We garner revenue from a several places including ad space on Wildlandfire.com, mobile application development, and contracts with the government for our GIS mobile labs for emergency response to natural disasters. We’re also contracting wildfire data distribution to other types of companies including media, weather and timber businesses. =&6=& Yes, FireWhat is in the process of starting its next round of financing. =&7=& Being based in Dunsmuir has been a godsend for the team. We are able to keep our costs way down. But to the contrary, we are limited on finding local tech developers. This is a big reason we are expanding our reach into Bend. How you making use of Unmanned Aerial Systems? We worked closely with our city to apply to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for permission to test unmanned aerial systems for wildland firefighting and search and rescue. Our request was approved last August. Now we’re working to partner with a UAS platform that flies at high elevation, for long periods, and has extended range. This is extremely important for our industry and will be an evolutionary change in wildfire management. =&8=& We are in a rapid growth phase. With growth comes increased demands on the team, and the need to raise additional capital to meet contract requirements. We’re working on technologies that speed the process of mapping emergency incidents with the use of GIS and looking forward expanding to Bend.