Putting on my BendTECH hat for a moment — I’ve been on the BendTECH board for a few years, and finding a way to increase access to our awesome coworking community has been on the minds of board members for awhile. That’s why we’re so excited to announce the Startup Founders Office program, which allows us to support more early stage entrepreneurs with free space, awesome expertise, and a supportive community ready to help you get your business off the ground.
The vision is pretty simple: Put founders in a supportive place, connect them with experts in funding, marketing, operations, product development and more. Then let them focus and work, with people who have been-there, done-that an arm’s length away available for questions, venting. Interrupt sometimes with free coffee and beer, for good measure.
The awesome community support that the SFO has received from sponsors who are truly committed to making Bend the best place to launch and grow a business is the icing on the cake. They’re listed below, but if you see them say thanks. Because they rock. OK I’m done. Here’s the details.
From news release:
When is office space more than office space? When it facilitates community and connections that give your startup momentum, expertise and support. BendTECH, Central Oregon’s nonprofit coworking organization, is launching its Startup Founders Office with just this in mind.
The Startup Founder Office is an office inside BendTECH coworking reserved for early stage startups. BendTECH plans to offer the space to selected founders in three-month rotations, providing the free space along with a program of support and guidance from investors, finance and marketing professionals and industry-specific experts.
“This program puts entrepreneurs in the heart of Bend’s startup community, giving them the resources and connections they need to launch and grow their companies,” says Tim Reifke, BendTECH’s executive director.
The entrepreneurs-in-residence will benefit from office hours and related programming from the Startup Founders Office sponsors, which include St. Charles Health System, Cascade Angels, Price Fronk, First Republic Bank, Economic Development of Central Oregon, Portland Seed Fund, NowCFO, Founders Pad, OSU-Cascades Innovation CoLab, and Technology Association of Oregon. Less formally, founders will get to engage daily with the coworking community, which includes many technical and industry experts and seasoned entrepreneurs.
Upon completing their residency, Startup Founders Office participants receive a 25% “startup” discount on coworking membership as they continue to build awesome companies. BendTECH will begin accepting applications for the first round of office residents Feb. 1, and the board plans to move founders into the space by March 1. Applications for the first rotation are due Feb. 22 at 11:59 p.m.
Local, early stage (less than $1M in funding) startup founders who want to be connected to Bend’s startup community.
- Must be creating a scalable company in Bend.
- Must spend time in office each week.
- Upon completion, must be available as a mentor for future program participants
How to Apply
1. Make a video
We want to get to know you, beyond a form or piece of paper. So to apply, we ask you to submit a video — nothing fancy, it can be just you and/or your cofounders talking about your startup and your vision. Please upload the video to YouTube, and we’ll review.
When making your video, please address:
● Who are you and what is your company?
● Tell us about yourself — what drives you?
● How would being a part of BendTECH’s community benefit you?
● How often would you use the coworking space and resources?
● How would your company contribute to the coworking community and Bend entrepreneur ecosystem?
Please keep your videos to 5 minutes or under in length. Otherwise, that’s it for rules.
2. Send us email at firstname.lastname@example.org
● Include your name, Company, and Industry
● Link to YouTube Video
Application process opens February 1 with applications due Feb. 22. Rolling application process with new participants selected every three months.
BendTECH’s mission is to create and sustain a culture of collaboration, networking, and entrepreneurship in support of a thriving, diverse, and inclusive startup and tech community. The nonprofit organization runs the BendTECH coworking space, which provides affordable, flexible office space for startups, tech and more. BendTECH presents the annual Startup Resource Fair in the spring and unConference in the fall.