Month: June 2016

LeadMethod Founder on Entrepreneurship, Empathy and 9 p.m. Coffee #Julieselfie

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 is a series of selfies + blogs about the amazing people she’s met in the last couple of years.  Full disclosure: LeadMethod is a Cascade Angels portfolio company. #julieselfie

I first met Justin when I started Cascade Angels. I’ve had many interesting conversations with him about building companies, Bend’s ecosystem and strategies around growth and livability.

What do you think it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?

This is a fun one. I could go on for a while on this topic, but here are a few things that I think are important:

Privacy Startup Hueya Raises $260k, Brings on First Users

Since we last talked to Hueya in March, founder Lewis Howell has been hard at work. The former VP of IT at G5 has raised $260,000, hired a small team and is steadily rolling out the first features of the startup’s personal privacy scan product.

Hueya (Who-Ya) aims to help people secure their online privacy through proactive and preventive monitoring. In the current version of the product, you connect your social media accounts, Hueya analyzes the size and contents of your digital footprint and hands you a privacy score.

The startup has developed a range of 0 to 500 and the higher your score, the less information you have out there floating around, waiting for yahoos to steal it and use it for some nefarious purpose. (My privacy score fell into At Risk this weekend. But I want it to be Awesome).

Cloud Robotics Startup Tend.ai Makes TechCrunch Debut

Bend-based Tend.ai made a big splash in TechCrunch Wednesday, introducing the world to its new software, which lets you train robots to run and monitor machines such as 3-D printers without human intervention. The company is the newest venture for serial entrepreneur Mark Silliman, who sold his most recent company, Smartwaiver, late last year.

He’s joined by co-founders James Gentes, founder of Startupcommunity.org and the Social Business, which was also acquired last year, as well as co-founder of this very blog; and Robert Kieffer, a well-known Bend developer and tech community supporter who was part of Zenbe, which sold to Facebook in 2010. They’re currently working out of BendTECH — it’s the office with the giant robot. For reals.

Best Combo Ever? Food + Tech at Thursday’s PubTalk (6/23)

In addition to raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, the June PubTalk is all about some of other favorite things — food and tech.

On the food front, Jennifer Moore, of Jem Raw Organics, will be talking about her company, which makes delicious, raw nut butters. Chell Williams will pitch Red Plate Foods, maker of gluten free goodies and other allergen-free products. Both will be offering samples. So bring a big purse (Just kidding … kind of …).

Then we have the tech. Tim Sabat, one of the co-founders of CodePen, will be talking about how his startup has created a vibrant community for front-end web developers that is 1 million-plus strong.

Preston Callicott, CEO of FiveTalent, is the keynote speaker. Preston is highly involved with the local tech community, and responsible for rallying up support for the recent Bend Livability Project among other things. So if you haven’t bought your ticket, now’s the time.

The Robert Axle Project: How a Clever Fix for Bike Trailers Created a New Product Market

As avid mountain bikers, Chris Kratsch and Katy Bryce have spent years bike touring and trail building. They’ve long used BOB trailers to carry their stuff. However, when they bought new mountain bikes in 2012, they realized they had a problem: They couldn’t attach the BOBs. Their new carbon bikes had 12 mm thru axles that attached to the wheel of the bike frame, unlike the older, quick release skewers.

“The solution was to make a different axle,” Katy says. Chris was working in a machine shop at the time and had a few made up. They asked around to see if their friends would want the new axles (they did). In short order, the couple launched a small website to sell them, thinking that others likely faced the same issue.

The pair named their endeavor The Robert Axle Project, a play on the connection to the BOB trailers. They now sell axles in 35 countries, and are planning for some big growth this year.

Meet Another New-to-Bend Tech Company: Welcome Craft CMS!

There’s a new company in the BendTECH coworking space this month. I’m excited to introduce you to Craft CMS. Founded by Brandon Kelly, the company debuted a content management system in 2013 that is now used by the likes of Salesforce, Oakley, The Associated Press and Netflix.

Kelly, as well as Brad Bell, Craft’s CTO, and have relocated to Bend from San Jose, joining Leslie Camacho, the company’s chief customer officer. We’re excited to learn more about their company and happy to have them here for many reasons, including the fact that they’ve brought a small collection of whiskey with them.

Stay tuned for more on Craft CMS, or if you’re in BendTECH, introduce yourself.

#Julieselfie: Seven Peaks’ Corey Schmid on What to Ask Before You Start Up — and Eating Dirt

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 is the second in a series of selfies + blogs about the amazing people she’s met in the last couple of years. #julieselfie

Corey Schmid is an investment partner with Bend-based Seven Peaks Ventures, a board member on many growth companies and a tireless advisor. I recently caught up with her to discuss what motivates her to work with startups, what it takes to build a company and the best places to “eat dirt” in Oregon.

Why do you like working with and investing in early stage companies?

No one day is EVER the same — I love that! I started my career working in startups and loved the pace, passion, and urgency to make progress and innovate. I then moved on to larger corporations, where I had the opportunity to sit on the other side of the table, and integrate and scale small startups into their acquirers. Philips Healthcare was a tremendous global company to work for, but my heart was tugging to get back into startups and have an impact in my own corner of the world, the Pacific Northwest. I knew I didn’t want to start my own venture at this point, but instead serve as an advisor and investor backing the ideas of brilliant entrepreneurs looking to solve really hard problems. It’s so rewarding (and challenging) to work at the early stage. I am impressed every day with the dedication, talent and passion that exists in our PNW startup community. Keep an eye on Oregon – some amazing companies are being built.

Hydro Flask’s Scott Allan and Cascade Angels Invest in Cairn

Cairn announced today the addition of two local investors: Cascade Angels Fund and Scott Allan, the general manager of Hydro Flask. The new investments bring the startup’s total seed round to $2 million.

“As a brand partner, I have experienced Cairn first hand. The data they provide to brands greatly informs product development, marketing and innovation. At the same time, they are bringing together a unique community of consumers, all with a love of the outdoors,” says Allan, who is also joining Cairn’s board of directors.

Hydro Flask was acquired by Helen of Troy for $210 million in February. Cairn plans to draw on Allan’s experience in creating shareholder value across outdoor products, positioning companies, commercializing technologies, building brands and managing growth.