By Julie Harrelson and Natalie Dent, Cascade Angels

Last week’s BendTECH Startup Resource Fair drew a crowd of nearly 200 enthusiastic entrepreneurs, not to mention more than two dozen well-prepared exhibitors. There was much conversation, lots of energy and — we hope — business ideas that may transform into Central Oregon’s next startups.


The First Annual BendTECH Startup Resource Fair

Our Cascade Angels booth drew a crowd, thanks to virtual reality demos from Zero Transform and samples from the Water Kefir People. We also learned some important lessons as we took time to tour the fair. Here are seven bits of wisdom we gained from exhibitors and attendees:

Julie Harrelson, Cascade Angels; Teri Hockett, TAO; Elise Rossman, EDCO; Caprielle Lewis, EDCO/Sisters Manager. 
  1. There are a lot of people out there with good ideas. If you are just starting a new business and need some direction, contact COCC’s Small Business Resource Center. They can help you build a solid foundation and avoid costly mistakes.
  2. Wear many different hats, not many different job titles.
  3. You are what you tweet. When pitching your business to an investor, be able to explain what you do in as few words as possible.
  4. When it comes to hiring for your company, put an organizational chart together for what you need now, six months from now and three years from now.
  5. Creating a plan that describes the business vision, plus annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly goals that are revisited often can accelerate progress.
  6. Want to know what resources are available to you? Check out Business Resources of Central Oregon, a new directory of our region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  7. Some of the most amazing people in the world live and work in Central Oregon.