Category Archives: Community

BendPoly Rebrands, Expands as GreenFig University in Multiple Cities

The founders of BendPoly debuted GreenFig University, an expanded version of the two-year-old digital marketing school, today at the Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco. GreenFig University will offer micro degrees in digital marketing related topics and more, including customer success, product, sales and finance.

From the news release:

GreenFig University is the outcome of a highly successful two-year pilot program called BendPoly (www.bendpoly.com), located in Bend, Ore. More than 40 students participated in the BendPoly program with Marketo as a major sponsor and supporter. To date, more than 80 percent of the BendPoly graduates seeking roles in digital marketing have found positions in industry and government.

Bruce Cleveland, founding partner of Wildcat Ventures and co-founder of GreenFig University, says the first two years with BendPoly confirmed the demand from companies wanting qualified people to run Marketo and other digital marketing applications.

Calling Techies, Makers and More: Partner with Students for Central Oregon’s First Make-a-Thon

If you love technology and learning and kids, then you’ll want to check out this awesome event happening next week. High Desert Career Technical Education is partnering with Skyview Middle School to launch Innovate Oregon’s Make-a-Thon program in Central Oregon. And they are seeking community professionals to participate on teams with students to make the event a success.

Make-a-Thon details:

What it is: At the Make-a-thon, teams comprised of a middle school student, an educator, and an industry professional will learn about and collectively create solutions using an electronic circuit board. No experience (or expertise) necessary! All materials will be provided; fun is guaranteed! This video from Yamhill County shows more about what the event will look like.

Entrepreneurs: Opportunity Knocks Launches Online Directory of Biz Resources

If I had a quarter for every time someone said, “We need a directory of all the business resources in town,” then I could definitely buy you a few beers. Fortunately Opportunity Knocks has now officially launched this very thing. The new Business Resources of Central Oregon is an online directory of everything entrepreneurs need to start, grow and support their business.

From the news release:

The BRCO directory outlines the breadth and depth of Central Oregon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem along with contact information. The number of resources available provides Central Oregon’s regional business community with one of the most – if not the most – extensive ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest.

The site — BizresourceCO.org — offers visitors a comprehensive listing of resources available in the following categories:

E::SPACE and COCC Offering Intro to Linux Course, Starts Next Week

As part of their ongoing tech training partnership, E::SPACE Labs and COCC are offering a Linux course that begins April 6.

According to E::SPACE, the course will help you get more from technology “and remove the mystery of the operating system that powers everything from Internet services to Android devices to Raspberry Pi.”

This comprehensive class includes how to install programs, networking, scripting and lots more. Experience the freedom user-friendly Linux provides with instruction from an expert in Linux embedded systems. Learn how you can develop an embedded Linux device and get familiar with Linux behind-the-scenes. A combination of classroom and hands-on experience will give you an understanding of the functions, advantages and uses of the Linux Terminal, as well as the Graphical User Interface.

Tech Alliance of Central Oregon Rebrands, Refocuses as BendTECH

The Tech Alliance of Central Oregon, the nonprofit charged with developing and supporting Bend’s early-stage entrepreneurial ecosystem, has rebranded as Bend Technology Entrepreneurial and Coworking Hub (BendTECH). The name matches the noprofit’s flagship coworking space, BendTECH, and better reflects its mission.

“There’s a real need for support, resources, connection and events that help entrepreneurs go from idea to launch,” says BendTECH board president Taylor Mahony. “We wanted to deepen our focus and efforts in those areas, which seamlessly dovetail with our coworking initiative.”

Full disclosure: As a member of the BendTECH board and the coworking community, I find this news particularly exciting. At the least, it eliminates confusion around who/what the organization does. BUT beyond a name change, the BendTECH organization is now dedicated — and fired up about — being a resource for budding entrepreneurs via events, information, connections and flexible, affordable work space.

New Portland-Based Fund Invests in Women-Led Startups

There was some very cool news out of Portland this week, and I wanted to be sure that all of you StartupBend readers saw it. A group of women entrepreneurs, investors and lenders debuted the XXcelerate Fund on Tuesday. The fund is designed to fill the capital gap that many women entrepreneurs face.

From the XXcelerate news release:

“There is a crisis in access to capital and entrepreneurial support for women in the state of Oregon and nationwide,” said Robin Klemm, PH.D., Board Member and Executive Director, XXcelerate Fund. “And this gap is happening at a time when we see continuing proof points of the effectiveness of women business leaders.”

The fund’s founders surveyed women entrepreneurs in Portland and discovered that they faced distinct challenges in obtaining capital, despite their entrepreneurial chops. The survey revealed that:

Biz and Education Leaders Pursuing Entrepreneurship and Innovation High School for Bend

Sometimes the timing for things seems to be just right. That may be the case for a proposed magnet high school in Bend focused on entrepreneurship and innovation, aiming to open in the Fall 2018.

The concept is being developed jointly by Bend business leaders, local nonprofits Looking Forward and Opportunity Knocks, the High Desert Education Service District and the Bend-La Pine School District.

“What we’re excited about is that this is a partnership with our larger business community, and we’re really engaging with them in the design and concept of the school,” Jay Mathisen, deputy superintendent of Bend-La Pine Schools, said this morning.

Back to that timing. Jay says that the district was already in the process of considering how to accommodate its growing student body at the high school level. At the same time, Preston Callicott, Five Talent CEO (and resident community doer) and the folks at Looking Forward (a whole group of doers) had been discussing the potential for an innovation and entrepreneurship-themed high school.

Bend-based DubsLabs KickStarts On-Ear, Flat Headphones, Which Allow You to Hear Your Surroundings and Music While Skiing, Biking and More

The best thing about working in a co-working space is getting to meet people doing really interesting things. Today, that person was Eric Dubs, creator of Versafit, wireless, on-ear headphones. He launched a Kickstarter for the product a few hours ago, aiming to raise $35,000, to fund the headphone production.

I couldn’t help but walk over to his desk to learn more, after hearing his team’s excitement about their first backers. I’m glad I did, and you will be too. Versafit headphones are flat, bendable headphones that rest on top of your ears.

As Eric explains, this not only makes them more comfortable than traditional ear buds, but it also allows you to still hear noise from the outside. This makes them a great, safe option for people listening to music, who also need to be aware of their surroundings, such as mt. biker, skiers, snowboarders, or people just walking down the street.