Well it’s that time of year again, when you get to reset, start anew and anything seems possible (at least until February). We reached out to Bend’s startup community to hear what types of resolutions, goals and plans people have for 2016. The upshot: I think it’s going to be an exciting year.

Here’s what you had to say …

Jon Davis, CEO and founder SteadyBudget

“Our resolution is pretty simple to continue to find and hire more great people,” says Davis. SteadyBudget has created a budgeting tool for PPC analysts and currently has six employees. You can hear more from Jon at this month’s PubTalk.

Lisa Sipe, co-founder FoodFu

“We’re working to release the FoodFu Cocktails app in the first quarter of 2016. We also want to introduce the hand-crafted, local food and beverage products made in Central Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest to our FoodFu community,” says Sipe. FoodFu makes cooking competition apps that let you host a Chopped-like experience in your own kitchen.

Kent Schnepp, founder Odysys

“Our goals are: To see overall company growth, which we’ll achieve through ongoing innovation of the Odysys platform, and empowering customers; to continue building our talented team of rock stars and keep it fun! And to meaningfully invest in Bend and Central Oregon through a significant community outreach initiative,” says Kent Schnepp, founder of Odysys, which offers a digital marketing platform for independent hotel operators.

James Gentes, co-founder StartupBend and founder StartupCommunity

“I’m planning to host monthly demo day event for StartupBend,” Gentes says. “I’m also planning to launch StartupConnect professional networking service to connect people (starting with BendTech Coworking), and help companies raise funding through the new equity crowdfunding regulation.”

Brian Vierra, EDCO’s venture catalyst

“I want to blow the doors off of the Bend Venture Conference this year and secure our position as the marquee angel conference in the Northwest,” Vierra says.

Rita Hansen, CEO Onboard Dynamics

“This year in particular I am also focusing on becoming a stronger leader and decision maker. A lot of this is learning to trust my gut and instinct, and having the courage to follow through,” Hansen says. Onboard Dynamics is commercializing a technology that makes using natural gas to power vehicles far more convenient. Hansen is also focusing on keeping her family first (over business), getting a good night’s sleep, eating healthy and getting outside often.

Mark Silliman, founder Bold Robotics

“Bring autonomous robots to life in Oregon,” says Silliman, who recently sold his previous company Smartwaiver to a team of California investors. Silliman has long been passionate about robotics as you might recall from this turtlebot project he spearheaded last year. Bold Robotics is his newest company. We’re excited to learn more.

Rob Dumas, founder and CEO of whurk

“In 2015, the market proved our concept of connecting a college whurkforce with brands– both big and small. In 2016, our New Year’s resolution is to expand our concept by leveraging our technology to open new verticals,” Dumas says. The company’s platform helps brands better manage their college rep programs, and gives students an opportunity to earn money by introducing products to their social network. Whurk it!

Diane Allen, pitch coach and speaker

“I want to bridge the gap between startups and investors so that startups can ROCK their pitches and investors can gain the specific information they crave,” Allen says. She has coached BVC finalists, and has some workshops in the works for 2016. Stay tuned.

Justin Johnson, founder and CEO LeadMethod

“Scale, scale, scale. Our clients have seen incredible results, this is our year to open up the conversation to the large market and become the industry standard. We have the right team in place, it is time to move fast,” says Johnson. His software provides lead management software to companies that sell through third-party distributors, and his company has been hiring away.

Kelly Kearsley, co-founder StartupBend

I love goals. I’m planning to organize at least four events to better serve and connect our startup community. I’d like to create an organized way for startup founders and employees to give back to Bend via volunteer efforts (more on that to come). I’d like to finish our #50startups project — just a handful to go. And I’d like to hire someone to help us write more content. That’s right, this lil’ ol’ blog is growing.

Now do you feel inspired? I do. The startup community here is an awesome, hard-working, smart and creative force. And it gets bigger and stronger every year. I really want to make a Star Wars reference here, but I’m not cool enough to think of one. At any rate, welcome to 2016. Let’s kick some ass.


Kelly Kearsley

Kelly Kearsley, the co-founder of StartupBend.com, 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 WSJ.com, Money Magazine, CNNMoney, MSNBC and Runner's World. See her work at kellykearsley.contently.com or kellykearsley.com.

You can reach Kelly by email at [email protected].
Kelly Kearsley