Month: February 2016

Knowledge Dropped at First-Ever Demos & Drinks

We were happy to see a lot of familiar and new faces at StartupBend’s first Demo & Drinks. The event featured the founders of CodePen and PulsedLight/Garmin sharing insights about their products as well as their own startup stories. More than 50 people turned out.

Sabat entertained with an exploration of CodePen’s free and Pro code editor for front-end web developers. The product is massively popular with nearly 500,000 users, who have created more than 6.5 million pens — or code snippets. It’s used by teachers and students, as well as groups within several, very large companies.

He talked about the founders’ philosophy of creating a product that serves all their customers, instead of trying to satisfy individual users. It sounds simple, but it’s crucial to survival for a business whose largest subscription comes in at about $400/month.

Meet DohJe, a Gratitude Platform That Helps Patients Thank Caregivers

If you’ve ever had a loved one in the hospital, then you know the overwhelming gratitude you feel toward the doctors and nurses that cared for them. And you may have also experienced the frustration of finding the right way to thank them. Amanda Krantz — a Bay Area startup veteran and new Bend resident — has devised a solution in DohJe, a gratitude platform that provides an easy way to say thanks to health care providers. We recently talked with Krantz about how DohJe (pronounced Doe-Jay) is actually a retention tool, her personal experience that inspired it and … that one time she was a drummer in a touring band. 

Startup: DohJe
Founded: 2013
Founders: Amanda Krantz, Dawn Cheairs, and Francis Li
Located: Bend

Was DohJe prompted by a personal experience?  Yes, I had a nurse who helped me deliver my first son and I wanted to thank her and could never figure out how. Then three years later, I had another amazing nurse with my second child. I was determined to thank her. I ended up going up to the hospital to find her and had a fascinating conversation. I met with one of my former startup co-workers, Francis Li, later that same day to sketch out the first idea for DohJe.  

You call DohJe a gratitude platform. Can you explain? The word literally means “thank you” in Cantonese. DohJe provides an easy way for patients and their families to thank health care professionals and for health care professionals to thank each other. Often after they leave the hospital, patients and their families really do want to express their gratitude. This lets them do that from any phone or computer.

How Do You Start? Learn from Startup Women at Muse Salon

Is there a thing that you want to do — that you dream of doing — and yet you don’t know how to start? Then you’re going to want to join us for the Muse Women’s Conference Salon Series Startups conversation, featuring four inspiring women from Bend’s startup community, on March 4th.

For 90 minutes we’re going to talk — and listen and dig and question — about what it truly means to start something: how you turn an idea into something real, how you wrap your brain around the risk, how you stay motivated, how you conquer self doubt and how get up when you’ve been knocked down.

As successful entrepreneurs, the women on this panel have experienced all of this and more. They’ve graciously agreed to share their stories, offer their wisdom and take your questions. The panelists are:

Cairn Raises $1.7 Million to Expand Team, Tech and More

The founders of Cairn announced today that they raised $1.7 million to further the growth of the startup, which is innovating how outdoor gear companies introduce products to consumers and receive feedback.

Started in March 2014, the company offers monthly subscription boxes to outdoor enthusiasts. But the vision of its founders, Rob Little and new, full-time CTO and Apple alum Jared Peterson, extends beyond the box and into creating an engaged community and gathering invaluable data for brands.

It’s that notion that caught the attention of Cairn’s first investors, who include Brian Spaly, founder of Bonobos and founder and CEO of Trunk Club; Rick Dalzell, former Amazon SVP and CIO and board member of Intuit; and Jim Collis, private equity partner at Seaport Capital and HydroFlask board member.

Hey Slackers! Droplr Debuts Screenbot App for Slack

If you’ve ever tried to send a screenshot via Slack, you’re gonna like this next development. Droplr, based in Bend and one of our #50startups, announced that it’s launching a new app today that “gives Slack super powers.”

Called Screenbot, this official Slack integration allows users to send screenshots, screencasts and annotations via Slack with a simple slash command, eliminating the previously required, multi-step process.

“ … Screenbot eliminates confusion and enables users to get their point across efficiently while increasing productivity,” says Levi Nunnink, CTO and founder of Droplr.

According to the company’s news release, the Droplr folks got the idea for Screenbot after they realized how many times a day they were sharing screenshots and annotations on Slack. So in total startup fashion, they decided to build a solution.

#50startups: AirFit Aims to Open First of Many Airport Gyms

The founding team of AirFit has gotten a lot done since presenting as an early stage finalist at the Bend Venture Conference just three months ago. The startup, which aims to operate gyms inside of airports, opened its prototype facility here in Bend, is planning for a first location in New York’s JFK airport and began raising a Series A round of $2 million. We caught up with AirFit’s Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Jenna Dodge recently to learn more about the company, what travelers want from airport gyms and AirFit’s plans for the future.

Startup: AirFit
Founded: 2015
Co-founders: CEO Ty Manegold, CMO Cynthia Sandall and COO Jenna Dodge
Employees: 4
Locations: Bend, with plans to expand to New York and beyond

I guess I’m wondering, why aren’t there gyms in airports already? It’s been tried before, but it was executed poorly. Companies before had located their gyms pre-security, which is inconvenient for travelers. There was one in the Las Vegas airport, but that wasn’t the ideal spot for an airport gym, given that it is a tourist destination airport and most people coming through aren’t looking to workout.

Check Out the High Desert Maker Mill at Grand Opening Tonight

If you or your company likes to make things, then you’ll be pumped to know that the High Desert Makers are debuting the new High Desert Maker Mill tonight.

Both founding members and the public are invited to come learn about the tools, technologies and workshops the Maker Mill offers. The 15,000-square-foot facility is located 213 SW Columbia Street in Bend.

“We’re excited to open the doors to the community and show you why ‘Community Enables Everything,'” according to the Maker Mill news release. Here are the details:

5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. is exclusive attendance for existing founder-level members and key contributors.

6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. is for general attendance.

Attendance is free, no RSVP necessary.

In addition, all attendees can receive a free full-body 3D scan in the Shapify booth brought to you by our partner Digital Scan 3D/Shapify My Life. You’ll receive a unique link to your 3D scan, which you can share via social networks, with exclusive discounts that you can use to download the 3D model or order figurines.

Join Us for Our First-Ever Demos and Drinks Night!

You may be familiar with many of Bend’s tech startups, but have you ever wanted to see how their products actually work? Then join us for StartupBend’s first-ever Demos and Drinks night, sponsored by BendBroadband Business, starting at 7 p.m. Feb. 24.

The idea is to give you an insiders’ look at the software and hardware being created by some of our most interesting tech startups. We’ll dig into the technology and offer the chance to ask questions. We’ll also hang out and drink beer and give away a few presents. Best night ever? Probably.

This month we’re featuring the founders of CodePen and Garmin/Pulsed Light (Garmin acquired this Bend startup last month).

CodePen

Co-founder Tim Sabat will show off the benefits of the robust online community and code editor that CodePen provides to hundreds of thousands front-end developers all over the world. More from their site: