BendPoly is taking its program on the road and heading to George Fox University this summer. The second inaugural class of the digital marketing academy will be held on GFU’s campus and is geared toward GFU students.

“GFU was impressed with the program and they approached us to bring it over there for their students this year,” says Cari Baldwin, BendPoly’s chief instructor. “Due to obligations that we have, we decided to let them take over the recruitment and housing so that we could focus on the curriculum.”

Cari Baldwin, BendPoly chief instructor and CEO of BlueBird Strategies.
Cari Baldwin, BendPoly chief instructor and CEO of BlueBird Strategies.

BendPoly’s inaugural class was held last summer at the 1001 Tech Center. Baldwin, who is also founder and CEO of digital marketing firm BlueBird Strategies, says the program may be in multiple locations in 2017, including back in Bend.

Sixteen students completed the 2015 course, and Baldwin says that 70% of the eligible graduates landed digital marketing jobs shortly after (including a hire here at Kollective). The mission of the program is to provide college students and recent graduates with practical digital marketing skills that augment their degrees and offer them experience that helps them get hired.

Baldwin notes that this summer’s course is longer than last year. It includes five weeks of classroom instruction and three weeks of project-based work. The instructors again hail from notable Oregon and Silicon Valley companies, and include Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing Chasm (a book you find on many startup founders’ bookshelves) as well as digital marketers from the Portland Trailblazers.

This summer’s BendPoly program also covers new topics including agile project management and devotes more days devoted to learning Marketo software. The latter company is a contributor to the program. The 2016 BendPoly course at GFU is already full.

Meanwhile, Baldwin and BendPoly founder Bruce Cleveland, a Bay Area venture capitalist and Bendite, stay in close contact with their first cohort as well. “We’ve heard back from students who are getting hired,” she says. “They’re saying thank you and that they couldn’t have (gotten hired) without what they’ve learned from BendPoly.”

Good luck to this year’s class!


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