Category Archives: #50startups

SoCalGas Signs Contract to Demo OnBoard Dynamics Mobile Natural Gas Compressor

Bend startup Onboard Dynamics has signed a contract with SoCalGas, which will fund the demonstration and testing of a new mobile natural gas compressor that can re-fuel compressed natural gas vehicles on the go, according to a recent news release. SoCalGas plans to use the Onboard Dynamics compressors to refuel CNG buses in two California school districts, beginning this summer.

The mobile compressor will allow the CNG buses to refuel without having to drive to a retail refueling station or pay the large upfront cost of building a conventional CNG refueling station onsite, Onboard Dynamics reports.

From the release:

“We are excited to introduce a mobile compressor that effectively provides CNG refueling options without the need for electric power,” says Rita Hansen, chief executive officer, ObDI. “Our technology can potentially reduce CNG production costs, increase efficiency, improve reliability and lower criteria emissions compared to previous engine-driven products.”

New Tech in Bend! Simbaware Targets Medical Device Manufacturers

There are a few tech companies in Bend building enterprise SaaS products for businesses in that mysterious middle: Too big for a simple, off-the-shelf solutions, but not large enough to afford costly, custom software employed by giant brands.

Simbaware is one of the newest in this realm. The startup has created a quality management system (QMS) for small to mid-sized, medical device manufacturers. Now forgive me for a sec while I unleash a flurry of acronyms on you: It’s QMS SaaS for SMBs. To help them meet FDA requirements. FTW!

So many letters. What does it all mean? Settle in for a few minutes because it’s time to learn something. First, the good news for anyone needing a medical device is that the FDA does not let companies just make them willy nilly.

Flybook Introduces New Smart Ticket System for Adventure/Tour Parks

If you love waiting in lines for hours for things, then I’ve got some bad news for you: Bend-based Flybook recently debuted its new Smart Ticket technology, which aims to create more efficient ticketing operations for adventure parks, rock gyms, zip line tours and the like. All that line time? Just gone. Now when are you going to look at Facebook?

CEO Craig Langer says the idea for the product evolved after a customer discovered his company at the American Outdoors Association show last year in Salt Lake. “They were looking for other options when it came to their ticketing process, and they weren’t finding much,” he says.

Creating a Smart Ticket system proved a natural extension of The Flybook’s flagship product, online booking software for tour guides and outfitters. The system releases tickets in batches, allowing customers to buy tickets for a predetermined time, instead of waiting in line. An integration with Smartwaiver (two Bend tech companies working together: I’m crying) wraps all the release waivers into the purchase as well.

New to Bend, Personal Products Startup Zealios Targets Triathletes

Sometimes things just naturally go together, like peanut butter and jelly or puffy coats and shorts. For Zealios, a formerly Berkeley-based startup that recently relocated to Bend, it’s their line of personal products and triathletes. “The second we dipped our toe into the triathlete community, we started growing,” says Austin Britts, Zealios co-founder.

Britts and his co-founder, Kevin Fuller, started Zealios in 2009 in a quest to develop a better zinc-based sunscreen — one that  was water and sweat proof, lasted through workouts and didn’t turn your face white.

The pair were coworkers at a chemical trading company in Seattle, and they were intimately familiar with all the ingredients that go into skincare products, the good and the bad. “We wanted to create a product that performed really well and was really safe,” Britts says.

Bend-Based KidRunner on Shark Tank This Friday

KidRunner, a Bend-based startup that makes a pull-behind-you kid jogger, will be on ABC’s Shark Tank this Friday at 9 p.m. Founder Will Warne wasn’t able to divulge the result of the show, but says he and local long-distance superstar Max King, an athlete-ambassador for the company, appeared before the sharks.

“Appearing on Shark Tank is an amazing opportunity made possible by our dedicated team and all the parent-runners out there who have participated in our story,” Warne says in a news release. “Since day one, our commitment has been to design, develop and manufacture the most innovative, high-performing kid jogger on the market and we’re excited to share our efforts with millions of viewers across the country.”

#50startups Update: LeadMethod Hiring Away, Growing Bend-based Core Team

When LeadMethod founder Justin Johnson moved the Bend-based software company into new offices last fall, there was room to spare. But the startup’s recent spate of hires has helped fill the company’s downtown digs and primed the business to grow.

The company has hired four people in the past couple months, bringing the staff count to 10. “I’m excited about the expertise, experience and skills that our new people bring to the table,” Johnson says. “They’re all great additions to our core team, which is based in our Bend office, and they’ll help lead the company through this next stage of growth.”

LeadMethod’s recent hires — all from Bend — include:

  • Lindy Callahan, Client Associate A graduate of OSU-Cascades, Callahan comes back to Bend after working as a copywriter at Zillow. She’s also worked at Altrec.com and for the Bend Bulletin.
  • Reid Simonton, Lead Frontend Developer Simonton has spent the past five years working from Bend as developer for an NYC-based tech company. He was also co-founder and CTO of Resort Business Opportunities.
  • Jay Wright, Lead Backend Developer Wright comes to LeadMethod after running his own mobile development business for six years. He’s also worked in senior developer roles for national insurance and health care companies.
  • Kayja Buhmann, Account Development Rep Buhmann was previously the marketing director for a real estate firm in Sunriver, and has more than 10 years of sales and marketing experience.

“I love the energy our team has right now,” Johnson says. “Everyone is working hard to build the best product, serve our fast-growing client base and support our sales team.”

Former G5 IT Veep Starts Hueya, Brings Enterprise-Level Info Security to the Masses

As the former vice president of IT for G5, Lewis Howell has long been interested in protecting the data and securing the privacy of companies. Now the founder of Bend-based Hueya (pronounced Who-Ya) has developed product aimed at providing enterprise-level IT security to individuals.

“We’re already vulnerable, we can’t pretend we aren’t,” Howell says. “But we can be proactive about discovering and monitoring what information about us is available .” He started the project 10 months ago, diving deep into how identity thieves are mining social media for the intimate details of people’s lives.

He left G5 last Halloween with an idea for how to stop them — or at least make their jobs harder.

Putting it out there

Howell explains that what we think is locked down is often still available to dirt bags searching inside of social media networks (versus searching Google). They can then use that information to steal your identity and create fake profiles in your name, with all sorts of bad intentions such as scamming people for money. Even more alarming: Howell notes that fake friends — people who have friended you with malicious intentions — are common, and of course, they have access to everything you post.

Meet DohJe, a Gratitude Platform That Helps Patients Thank Caregivers

If you’ve ever had a loved one in the hospital, then you know the overwhelming gratitude you feel toward the doctors and nurses that cared for them. And you may have also experienced the frustration of finding the right way to thank them. Amanda Krantz — a Bay Area startup veteran and new Bend resident — has devised a solution in DohJe, a gratitude platform that provides an easy way to say thanks to health care providers. We recently talked with Krantz about how DohJe (pronounced Doe-Jay) is actually a retention tool, her personal experience that inspired it and … that one time she was a drummer in a touring band. 

Startup: DohJe
Founded: 2013
Founders: Amanda Krantz, Dawn Cheairs, and Francis Li
Located: Bend

Was DohJe prompted by a personal experience?  Yes, I had a nurse who helped me deliver my first son and I wanted to thank her and could never figure out how. Then three years later, I had another amazing nurse with my second child. I was determined to thank her. I ended up going up to the hospital to find her and had a fascinating conversation. I met with one of my former startup co-workers, Francis Li, later that same day to sketch out the first idea for DohJe.  

You call DohJe a gratitude platform. Can you explain? The word literally means “thank you” in Cantonese. DohJe provides an easy way for patients and their families to thank health care professionals and for health care professionals to thank each other. Often after they leave the hospital, patients and their families really do want to express their gratitude. This lets them do that from any phone or computer.