How excited are we to announce the beginning of our #50startups project? I wish you could see our faces. Each week for the next almost year BendTECH will introduce you to a different Central Oregon startup. It will be like Christmas every Wednesday. Except with more Star Wars decor.

Well hello! How excited are we to announce the beginning of our #50startups project? I wish you could see our faces. They look like this.

Holy startups. This is going to be fun.
Holy startups. This is going to be fun.*

That’s because each week for the next almost year BendTECH will introduce you to a different Central Oregon startup. It will be like Christmas every Wednesday. Except with more Star Wars decor. The fun starts tomorrow.

Our weekly #50startups post will feature a local company, give you the details of the business, how it started and how it’s funded, and even offer some nuggets of wisdom from the founders. We’ll also keep a running tally of cardboard Yodas living in startup office corners.

Our goal is twofold. First, we want to give our readers a more concrete sense of the startup landscape in and around Bend. What types of startups are here? Who is starting them? What do they do? Do their employees ride Segways? Stick with us for the next 50 weeks and you’ll get a pretty solid lay of the land.

Next: We want the entrepreneurs and others involved in startups here to know about their neighbors. It’s nice to be able to support local business. However, it’s not all trust falls and kumbaya.

Recruiting and retaining employees is an issue for big and small Central Oregon companies. It’s a layered problem. Employers here report that recruits are often hesitant to move to a place that they perceive has limited back-up opportunities in their field. Spouses of potential hires need jobs. And with the rise of many and different businesses, some employers here aren’t even sure where to direct them.

More information helps. Our #50startups project — and the Living Register of Economic Activity it will create — is our small stab at addressing those concerns.

Now for a few commonly asked questions ..

Will all #50startups be tech companies? 

Not necessarily. But we are looking for startups that have some sort of scalable business model. And while we do like tech, we’re not ones to put all our economic eggs into one basket. So we’ll dive into bioscience and outdoor gear and other areas that are ripe for startup growth here in high desert.

What do you consider startup?

Well first: You need to have started. Something beyond a scrap of an idea. We’ll be looking at startups in the concept stage, with founders still working on the prototype of their first product or technology. But we’ll also introduce you to more mature companies including startups that have raised one, two or more rounds of capital and perhaps even have more than a handful of real, live employees.

Will you profile my startup? 

Yes! Maybe! Send me an email and we’ll talk about whether your business is a good fit.

So you think there are #50startups #inbend?

Some people think that number seems big. Some people think small. Lots of people think this is a good place to start a business. Our best estimate suggests there’s at least that and more. More relevant: That just seems like a hell of a lot of writing. So we’ll re-evaluate at 50. Who knows, maybe we’ll have just covered the tip of the iceberg.

* When in doubt, a Ron Swanson gif is always the right choice.

 

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