Contributed by Jeff Fishburn
Less than a year ago, Prineville-based Ochoco Arms won the Bend Venture Conference Concept Stage Division, taking home the $10,000 prize presented by BendBroadband. We touched base with CEO Sam Lambert to get an update on the company and learn what has transpired in the past year.
When it comes to the outdoors, Central Oregon is overflowing with opportunity. From Mount Bachelor to the high desert, businesses are building up around the area’s recreational bounty to take advantage of what our region has to offer.
Sam Lambert is one of those entrepreneurs who has taken his recreational passion – in his case, hunting and shooting sports — to invent a laser sight to improve shotgun accuracy. That vision spawned Ochoco Arms, the Bend Venture Conference Concept Stage winner in 2013. Competing in last year’s Bend Venture Conference, Lambert thought that he might be able to get experience presenting his business plan, make some connections, and meet investors.
“What I didn’t anticipate was the awareness and recognition that winning would get from the major players in the firearms industry. They discovered Ochoco Arms because of BVC,” said Lambert. “We’ve been discovered by key advisors, engineers and potential partners. BVC has opened the floodgates of interest and that took us by surprise.”
Ochoco Arms is one of many businesses in Central Oregon that form a hub of innovation in the firearms industry, which is seeing great success and draws national and international attention to the region.
“BVC has become such a prestigious event that it brings a lot of attention to the young companies that present there,” says Lambert. However, for Ochoco Arms, the tremendous attention has caused some challenges.
“Ochoco Arms has been approached with a lot of opportunities for strategic partnerships. Not all are a great fit, but the attention is opening doors that will benefit us when we get our product into the market. Entering BVC was the single best decision I have made for my company,” said Lambert. Ochoco Arms is in the final stages of engineering its shotgun laser site and is on schedule to launch in early 2015.
You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].