TechfestNW is fast approaching and Bend startups are ready to make a strong showing. The conference, which runs April 5th and 6th in Portland, includes a pitch competition aptly named PitchfestNW. More than 80 founders will pitch their startups, including at least six from Bend. Who are they? Glad you asked. TechfestNW attendees and the esteemed judging panel will get to hear from:

  • Locals Compass, a marketplace that connects travelers with locals for personalized itineraries.
  • Kidcareshare, an app lets you instantly schedule and trade childcare with friends and family.
  • BladeRunner Energy, a micro-hydro technology based on biomimicry that harnesses renewable energy from the natural flow of water.
  • Olitis, the creator of iiShakers, which are salt and pepper shakers with an integrated, smart lighting technology.
  • Life Exec, a life management resource dedicated to ensuring communication between you and your loved ones in any situation.
  • Investipro, a cloud-based platform that guides HR professionals through workplace investigations.

These Bend-based founders will pitch their startup on Thursday. The judges, which include representatives from many NW venture and angel funds, will then select 5 startups to present to the entire conference on Friday. The winner will receive a package of prizes that has yet to be announced, exposure to investors and general bragging rights for life.

PitchFestNW is just one part of TechFestNW. The two-day conference also includes speakers, workshops and many exhibitors. If that sounds like your jam, then get your tickets and head over the mountain.

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