Nearly two dozen entrepreneurs showed up at today's unConference to pitch their business ideas with the hope of winning the wild card concept stage spot at Friday's Bend Venture Conference. Molly Scofield, of Bend, emerged the clear victor with her pitch for The Handsel, an app that aims to improve and streamline the experience of buying stuff via Facebook groups.<br />

Nearly two dozen entrepreneurs showed up at today’s unConference to pitch their business ideas with the hope of winning the wild card concept stage spot at Friday’s Bend Venture Conference. Molly Scofield, of Bend, emerged the clear victor with her pitch for The Handsel, an app that aims to improve and streamline the experience of buying stuff via Facebook groups.

Molly Scofield of The Handsel.
Molly Scofield of The Handsel.

Scofield, an SVP of global consulting with Global Strategies International (an Olgivy Company), told the crowd that Craigslist is essentially broken. People don’t think it’s safe or even all that convenient. So they’ve moved to Facebook groups to sell, buy and swap things. But the thing is: FB groups aren’t really set up to do that.

Scofield joins five other concept stage companies competing for the $10,000 BendBroadband prize.

The unConference is an annual casual, free beer affair that precedes the BVC. This year it was held in the building, now being renovated, that will house new BendTECH co-working space.

Enrapt crowd and exposed duct work.
Full house and exposed duct work.

The pitches showcased a variety of ideas in all stages of development. Coffee for a cause. Kiosks in grocery stores that rent/store your reusable bags. Wooden sunglasses. Digital scratch-its (like scratching off a lottery card, but on your computer or phone). An online community for learning how to code, pitched by a 14-year-old. Software for architects designing green buildings. A mental health technology platform.

A whole lot of pitches.
A whole lot of pitches.

That’s not even half of them. We love seeing the passion these entrepreneurs have for their ideas, and the guts it takes to pitch them in front of a few hundred people. Congrats to all who participated.

The fun continues tomorrow …

 

 

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