Bend’s startup community worked hard in 2016 and we have a lot to show for it. We watched several founders hustle and hire, with many companies adding employees to their ranks, not to mention customers. Others saw 2016 as the year to launch.

Our local funds continued to support and invest in Oregon companies, pumping in the working capital that fuels startup growth. And the support system around Central Oregon entrepreneurs became even more robust. That’s the tiniest of tiny recaps, but all in all — good work team!

However, before we forge ahead, here’s a quick look back at the most popular StartupBend stories of 2016, as deemed by reader visitors. As always, thanks for reading and more importantly, for participating in this unique community. It’s a good one.

Want to Work in Tech in Bend? G5 Hiring … Apparently a lot of people do want to work in tech in Bend, because this was our most read post of 2016. G5 has hired for a quite a few positions over the year. You can find local openings in tech and startups of all kinds at startupbend.com/jobs.

BVC 2016: $3.76M in Investments, Women Slay and Oregon Wins Remember October? That was fun. Also I’m still tired. We laughed, we cried, and the region’s largest angel conference (I think that’s still the case) funneled millions into promising Oregon startups. Let’s do it again!

Julie Harrelson, of Cascade Angels, surrounded by giant checks.

Why Droplr Hires Athletes and the Company’s New Enterprise Focus Do not get into any sort of foot or bike race with the Droplr team. Do check out this post to discover why CEO Gray Skinner likes to employ athletes, and learn about the company’s progress over 2016. The Bend startup also raised another $400,000 this year for hires and expansion.

Craft CMS Finds Web Dev Sweet Spot It’s been fun to learn more about this talented team and their much-adored CMS over the course of the year. The company’s founder and CTO joined their CCO in Bend 2016, landing at BendTECH before moving into a larger office space.

The Craft CMS team: Founder Brandon Kelly, CTO Brad Bell and CCO Leslie Camacho.

Seven Peaks More than Doubled Portfolio Companies in 2015 This post was a recap of all the work done by the Bend-based VC the previous year. We’re looking forward to catching up with the partners again and learning what 2017 holds.

RIP Radventure: Founders Share Lessons Learned I love anytime founders can get real about the challenges and trials of this whole startup thing. And apparently our readers do too. The Radventure co-founders generously and honestly debriefed about what went wrong with their startup, and doled out some lessons learned in the process that every entrepreneur can learn from.

Kollective CEO: Locating in Bend Was a Vision, a Year Later It’s a Success I circled back with CEO Dan Vetras to see how his big Bend plan turned out. The company has been not only been great addition to our tech and startup community, but they’ve been growing great jobs here as well. Win-win!

AirFit Aims to Open First of Many Airport Gyms This startup, which plans to build gyms in airports, was the brainchild of University of Oregon MBA students and a finalist in the 2015 BVC Early Stage competition. Its since changed its name to ROAMFitness.

AirFit’s prototype facility in Bend. The startup is now called ROAMFitness.

Former G5 IT VP Starts Hueya Lewis Howell drew on his years of IT experience to launch his cyber security startup in 2016. As part of its service, Hueya provides users with a personal privacy score — and then advice for improving it.

Lewis Howell, founder of Hueya. Looks nice, but he’s a NINJA when it comes to online privacy.

Cairn Raises $1.7 Million to Expand Team, Tech and More More progress from the subscription box company that could. Cairn chugged through 2016, raising money to grow and expand its team, and also moving into a cool new space.

These stories were great, and there were so many more! Bend’s startup community continues to get stronger, with more founders, more funding, more resources, and more talent popping up everyday. Here’s to an exciting 2017. Happy New Year!

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