What is GIS? 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 it can do much more. Besides being a killer data visualization tool, GIS basically makes the world a complex quilt of data that can be layered, explored, analyzed, and put to good use in decision making and planning. A spectrum of users from students to journalists, firefighters, business leaders, oceanographers, and many more use GIS every day, working towards a better future.
The first question people ask when you arrive in Central Oregon is “what do you do?” because it’s somewhat of a coup to figure out how to live in this singularly beautiful, active, and just urban enough town. Bend is well on it’s way to becoming a mecca for independent workers and startups because many of the people who work here, or chose to start their businesses here, could go anywhere.
Now because of BendTECH, we no longer need to languish at home with the dishes in the sink, in a noisy coffee shop, or isolated in boring executive suites. There’s a small army of successful independent professionals in this town, and coworking is an emerging way to have better work/life boundaries and community. You get all the perks of working with people, with the freedom of working on your terms.
As we blogged here back in July, last year’s BVC concept stage winner and aquaponics startup Volcano Veggies was in the running for the Wells Fargo Works Project. On the line was $26,000 in cash and mentorship from Wells Fargo advisors, catered to the winning company’s business needs.
Volcano Veggies prevailed as one of the five grand-prize winners, out of 4200 entries. “Wells Fargo would like to congratulate Volcano Veggies LLC on being named a grand prize winner,” says Tracy Curtis, Wells Fargo’s Oregon regional president. “We were thrilled to again engage business owners across the country through the contest, and we enjoyed hearing their inspirational stories of entrepreneurship. Working with small business owners is one of the most important things that we do, and we are committed to helping them create a path for long-term financial success through a wide range of tools and resources.”
In your dreams, you’ve designed the NEXT BIG THING, raised more than you ever hoped on Kickstarter, and life is good. Then, those dreams turn quickly into a protracted maze of international commerce, foreign manufacturing pitfalls, taxes, port strikes, and the high cost of fulfillment. Portland entrepreneur Kevin Bates actually moved to China to make Aruboy a success. Central Oregon startups may find help closer to home.
SisTech is a state-of-the-art electronics design and assembly facility right here in Bend off Empire Avenue. Industry veterans Brad and Lorraine Kennedy founded the company in 2009 and have been growing ever since. (Fun fact, they almost named it BendTech, and were the former owners of this domain.)
“We are a total product design realization solution for electronics products, from prototyping to full production,” says Brad Kennedy. SisTech has a 22,000 square foot facility, 16 employees, three production lines, a massive inventory of electronic components in stock for assembly, and a shipping department.
Volcano Veggies – the local, organic, indoor aquaponic startup needs our help for their entry in the Wells Fargo Works Project. The contest is for small business owners and members of non-profits in the United States. Twenty-five finalists will receive $1,000, and five winners will win $25,000 and mentorship tailored to their specific needs.
You don’t need to set up an account, and you can click once a day until the deadline on July 19th. The votes will be used as a tie breaker between finalists. Support our local urban farm of the future!
3D technologies are rapidly democratizing the prototyping process. If you have a new idea that you hope to turn into a real product, check out the next two events at the High Desert Maker Mill.
There always seems to be a de facto standard for software applications that becomes ubiquitous – Photoshop for image editing, Excel for spreadsheets, and now SolidWorks for 3D solid modeling. The company was initially funded by winnings from MIT’s infamous blackjack team, and is now a leading CAD program in the world.
The presentation, on Monday July 20th from 7-8pm, will cover an introduction to the software, and what it can do for single users and larger enterprises. Presenter Mark Christiansen also loaned a massive Gigabot 3D printer to the High Desert Maker Mill.
Thanks to the record investment, awards, and prizes for multiple winners in 2014, the EDCO-hosted Bend Venture Conference is now NW’s largest angel conference. Today, EDCO announced its call for 2015 applications and the deadline is Friday, August 14th.
The BVC will take place Thursday and Friday, October 15th and 16th.
Click here to apply if you think your startup has what it takes! Good luck to all.