There’s a lot going on in Central Oregon startupland. The StartupBend inbox is brimming with news and the only way out is a news roundup! So buckle up, because it’s about to get crazy. Here’s what’s happening:

Seven Peaks hosts Bonfire. The Bend-based VC firm is bringing together select investors, business leaders and startup CEOs for a conference around the theme Rise of the Rest, the idea championed by Steve Case that successful startups can exist outside of Silicon Valley. You can read more about the exclusive event, which kicked off yesterday, here.

We naturally are big fans of the idea that with the right infrastructure and support, great companies can start and flourish in communities all over the country, including right here in Bend. The New York Times served up a great example in this story about MailChimp this week. is hiring. One of Bend’s newest startups is hiring for four positions. The robotics software company was started by serial entrepreneur Mark Silliman, most recently of SmartWaiver, and his co-founders, James Gentes, of this very blog and founder of and The Social Business, and dev Robert Kieffer, who was part of Zenbe, which sold to Facebook in 2010. was featured in TechCrunch this summer and is entertaining hires either remote or in Bend. Check them out on our jobs board.

SteadyBudget is now Shape. The Bend company, started by G5 alum Jon Davis two years ago, makes integrated software for PPC professionals. The company changed its name to Shape this week, as Davis wrote on Medium, with the name and message better reflecting the company’s product, which goes beyond budgeting. Also check out their new website.

Hydaway is growing. The collapsible beverage container startup that lit up Kickstarter is growing. The company should have three new employees by year’s end. Hydaway hired Brian Vernon as its retail brand coordinator and then promoted him to specialty accounts manager last month. They also plan to hire a new sales director (check out the position on and a marketing manager. During the month of October, Hydaway is supporting two local nonprofits, Sarah’s Project and Saving Grace, by donating one dollar to the organizations for every rose and grape colored bottle sold. Learn more here

Other things …

  • Come to the unConference on 10/12. Presented by the Tech Alliance of Central Oregon (TACO) with help from this blog, this will be a fun, low-key pre-BVC pitch fest. Startups pitch — you sign up day of the event, the audience votes and the winner will get to present on stage at this year’s Bend Venture Conference. Also you know that thing where you plan something and then you wake up in the middle of the night worried that no one is coming and you’ll be at the unConference talking to yourself, just ringing a cowbell all alone. You know? Save me from that thing.
  • Venture Out is coming up. Same day as the unConference, but right after. We are super pumped to see Kevin Pearce speak and watch some awesome Bend and Oregon outdoor startups pitch for investment and prizes.
  • The Social Impact Track debuts at BVC next Thursday. There are four awesome companies pitching, including Bend’s own Sudara. I’m pretty excited to be on the panel, hear more from these inspiring founders and take part in this cool new track aimed at funding for-profit companies that also have a social/environmental mission. Hope to see you there.
  • Tenth Month is here. In addition to everything above, there’s more things. So many things. Check them out at Tenth Month.

That’s it. We’ve wrangled all the news bits. Stay tuned for some interesting Bend startup profiles headed your way, Bend Venture Conference updates and more.

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