Month: October 2016

Small Town, Big Money: Bend Startups Raise $21 Mil This Year — And More to Come

After the dust the settled from all the big checks flying around the Bend Venture Conference, I found myself thinking that it seems like quite a few Bend startups raised money this year. So I cracked a beer and made a spreadsheet (because I know how to party).

As it turns out, Bend startups have pulled in more than $21 million $19 million in 2016. There are more announcements to come before year’s end. Now granted more than half of this figure is from Kollective’s Series C, which was $12.25 million. However, the rest was seed and Series A funding for Central Oregon’s latest batch of promising startups.

First a few caveats: This is not an exhaustive list. Instead it’s the funding that was publicly announced this year so far, cross checked with Crunchbase data. There are probably some companies I’ve missed — and perhaps some in this list have gone on to raise more.

5 Startup Tips from Bend Founders, VCs and Serial Entrepreneurs #julieselfie

As part of the #julieselfie project, Cascade Angels Fund Manager Julie Harrelson has been interviewing Bend entrepreneurs and others she meets via her work and travels this year. She’s talked with startup founders, veteran entrepreneurs and community leaders who are working hard to make Oregon a great place to start and grow companies.

Here is some of the sage advice on starting up in Bend — and beyond — that she’s gathered from her interviews.

1. First, just do it. 

Sarah Pool, Founder and CEO of Pacific SuperFood Snacks, says to simply begin. “Just do it. Really, the worst that could happen is the business doesn’t work out (which your ego and bank account can recover from). But the rewards on the flip side are innumerable. My favorite, the opportunity to offer a product or service that positively impacts others’ lives,” Pool says.

Tech Jobs on the Blog: G5, Tend.ai and TechSoft 3D Hiring

Happy Friday! If you’re looking to wrap up 2016 with a new job in tech in Bend, then we may just have a little something for you. Time to power up your bespoke computation machine and get ready to send some resumes through the ether tubes.

Here’s who is hiring …

G5 posted four jobs this week, a mix of technical and non-technical positions.

Ya like robots? Tend.ai is a robotics software startup in Bend that is looking to hire three engineers, either here or remote.

TechSoft 3D is a great company, with offices all over the world and headquarters right here in sunny Central Oregon. They need a full stack software engineer.

In related news, Forbes magazine named Bend the top small city in the U.S. for business and careers. At 6.6%, our job growth was top in the country last year.

#julieselfie: Five Talent CEO on What Bend Needs to Grow Smart + Advice to His 25-Year-Old Self

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

I first met Preston Callicott, CEO of Five Talent, a few years ago when I was launching Cascade Angels and he was building the Bend-based web and software development firm. Now several years and a number of substantive conversations later, I caught up with Preston to ask his thoughts on some pressing topics including how Bend can grow sensibly, advice to his younger self and how he recharges.

BVC 2016: $3.76 Million in Investments Sets a Record, Women Slay and Oregon Wins

The 2016 Bend Venture Conference is officially wrapped up and the big headline is $3.76 MILLION in funding was awarded, and Vancouver, Wash.-based Hubb snagged $2.5 million of that. There were big checks flying everywhere, people were crying tears of happiness and the conference set a funding record for angel conferences in the state.

Other big takeaways: The women entrepreneurs, investors and keynotes slayed this conference, the first-ever social impact made a big impression and if you live in this state, then we’re all winners. So let’s dig in.

First, the money.

There were three funding tracks this year, with the BVC debuting the social impact track on Thursday, followed by the usual early and growth stage tracks on Friday. As noted, the conference’s big winner was Hubb, a startup that makes event management software.

Your unConference + BVC + Venture Out Guide: A Record Setting $1.5 Million in Investments and 100 Free Cowbells

This week is chock full of startup energy and events and parties and pitches. Is it fun? Absolutely. But it’s also more. The Bend Venture Conference announced Monday that it has $1.5 million in investment and awards committed to these year’s conference, setting a record for Oregon angel conferences.

At the end these four days, several companies will have additional capital they need to help start, build and continue to grow. Investors will have put their dollars behind promising startups, supported economic development in Central Oregon and the PNW, and in the case of the new social impact track, funded companies that provide a measurable social or environmental benefit. It’s good stuff.

So here’s a quick preview of what’s coming up, where you can find the fun and what to keep an eye out for:

Bend Startups: How InvestiPro Software Streamlines Workplace Investigations

As a self-employed person, I don’t encounter a lot of HR investigations – though I do wonder who ate my Pizza Mondo leftovers (OK, it was me). However, Dana Barbato, founder of InvestiPro has spent nearly 25 years working in HR, with a focus on employee relations and investigations. “I came to be known as the go-to person for sticky employee situations,” says Dana, who was able to transform these challenging circumstances into a workable, repeatable processes.

She created InvestiPro – cloud-based, workplace investigations software – to bring such a process to more companies. Launched in August, her software was selected as one of eight products vying for the title Next Great HR Technology Company last week at the HR Tech Conference in Chicago. Her company finished in the top four.

Startup News Roundup: Bonfire is Happening, Tend.ai is Hiring, SteadyBudget is Now Shape, Hydaway is Growing …

There’s a lot going on in Central Oregon startupland. The StartupBend inbox is brimming with news and the only way out is a news roundup! So buckle up, because it’s about to get crazy. Here’s what’s happening:

Seven Peaks hosts Bonfire. The Bend-based VC firm is bringing together select investors, business leaders and startup CEOs for a conference around the theme Rise of the Rest, the idea championed by Steve Case that successful startups can exist outside of Silicon Valley. You can read more about the exclusive event, which kicked off yesterday, here.

We naturally are big fans of the idea that with the right infrastructure and support, great companies can start and flourish in communities all over the country, including right here in Bend. The New York Times served up a great example in this story about MailChimp this week.