In case you missed this SNEWS story, I wanted to post it. Reporter Corey Buhey chronicled Bend’s outdoor retail community and the initiatives aimed at supporting and growing outdoor-related companies (including a few startups FTW Cairn, Gobi Gear, SnoPlanks) here.

The piece calls out the innate entrepreneur-ness that many people in Bend seem to possess. “The mentality ‘We’ll move to Bend and figure it out’ is common in the business community. You end up with savvy enough individuals who can create their own careers,” says Rob Little, Cairn’s CEO and co-founder.

It also touts the formation of the Oregon Outdoor Alliance and the Bend Outdoor Worx, an accelerator program aimed at fostering outdoor startups. And it highlights the collaborative nature of Bend’s outdoor retail community, though I’d argue that ethos extends to most of our startup clusters.

The takeaways: Intentional business and entrepreneurial support and true cooperation between companies, investment partners and mentors can really get whole industries up and running. Even in mountain towns three hours from the nearest big city πŸ™‚

Kelly Kearsley

Kelly Kearsley, the co-founder of, is passionate about startups, entrepreneurship and Bend. In addition to writing this blog, she creates content and manages content projects for global financial companies, tech firms and startups. She began her career as a newspaper journalist and later worked as a freelance writer. Her work has appeared in, Money Magazine, CNNMoney, MSNBC and Runner's World. See her work at or

You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].
Kelly Kearsley