The first company to take up residence in BendTECH’s first-ever Startup Founder’s Office is Rupie, a platform that connects game developer talent with game studios. CEO Austin Anderson, previously a lead software engineer at LinkedIn, founded the company in late 2017 as a way to help small to mid-sized game studios find and engage developer talent.
“We’re creating a better way for studios and top industry creators to find and work with one another,” Anderson says. “Studios often still rely on their existing channels to find truly usable, vetted talent while creators still struggle to find new gigs and manage existing ones. Rupie is here to bridge this gap.”
Rupie designed its platform from the ground up to flex to the needs of studios of all sizes. It currently comprises tools that allows studios to match projects to the right talent, oversee live projects transparently, and garner expert feedback to drive development forward.
To date, Rupie has garnered support and $500,000 in funding from former Twitch, Guitar Hero, and Riot executives as part of its still-open pre-seed round. The founding team includes, in addition to Anderson, Lead UI Engineer Lisa Manresa, Director of UX David Panzarella, and Director of BD Jonathan Tzou.
“The founder’s office comes at an opportune time,” Anderson says. “With backing from experienced game industry vets and a strong initial response to our alpha release in January, we look forward to working more closely with local game studios and investors who want to be part of this exciting journey.”
BendTECH offers the SFO office to selected founders in three-month rotations. The founders benefit from office hours and related programming from the Startup Founders Office sponsors, which include St. Charles Health System, Seven Peaks Ventures, Cascade Angels, Portland Seed Fund, First Republic Bank, Price Fronk, Economic Development of Central Oregon, NowCFO, Founders Pad, OSU-Cascades Innovation CoLab, and the Technology Association of Oregon.
Less formally, founders get to engage with the coworking community and work in an environment that has served as the launchpad for several local startups. Upon completing their residency, Startup Founder’s Office participants receive a “startup” discount on coworking membership as they continue to build their companies.