Category Archives: General News

3 Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs from OSU Cascades Biz Instructor Kim Vierra #julieselfie

Julie Harrelson, CEO of the Harrelson Group, Fund Manager of Cascade Angels, has a beloved penchant for taking selfies with entrepreneurs, investors and people of Oregon who support building a strong Oregon through entrepreneurialism. This blog continues a series of selfies + blogs about the amazing people she’s met in the last couple of years. #julieselfie

Kim Vierra is a world traveler, entrepreneur, instructor at OSU Cascades and a kind and engaged community member. I had the chance to visit Kim and her class in Tykeson Hall. The class had small teams of students, all engaged in creating a company. Having a four-year university in Central Oregon is a great thing and Kim has done a great job encouraging connection between the business community and OSU Cascades.

Have an Event? Want to Go Awesome Startup and Biz Events? Check Out Our Events Page

If you’re looking for something to do — or wanting to get some eyeballs on your upcoming event — then head over to the StartupBend Events page. This calendar is currently filled with events as well as courses that interest entrepreneurs, product people, tech types and more.

Much like our jobs board (For some reason I envision Melissa McCarthy yelling out JOOOOOOBS BOOOOAAARD), it’s free to post on our events board. So by all means, post away events that are of interest to the startup community here in Bend. Simply click the ‘post event’ button at the top of the page.

Lastly, here are some upcoming events that might pique your curiosity:

See you around town startup friends 🙂


Looking for Funding? Cascade Angels is Taking Applications from Startups

If you’re an Oregon-based early-stage startup, then this news is for you. Cascade Angels, the Bend-based angel fund, is accepting applications for investment from startups. Entrepreneurs can apply on beginning Monday through March 6.

The fund expects to invest in four to seven companies in 2017. The typical investments range from $100,000 to $250,000. Now in its fourth year, the fund’s mission is to create opportunities for investors and businesses in and with connections to Central Oregon to drive economic growth and fuel prosperity in Oregon, according to a news release.

Since 2014, Cascade Angels Fund has committed almost $2 million in 13 companies, which employ over 100 people. In Bend, those companies include Amplion, Droplr, Manzama, Zero Transform, LeadMethod and Odysys.

E::SPACE Labs Partners with COCC to Expand Tech Training Courses

Since its opening a year-and-a-half ago, E::SPACE Labs has been working hard to provide technical training opportunities for Central Oregonians. E::SPACE offers engineering design services for startups and established businesses, as well as training courses in electronic hardware development, product development and entrepreneurship. And they’ve recently ramped up their education efforts via a partnership with Central Oregon Community College.

The duo offered five joint courses last fall and another 10 joint courses this winter. Though many are already underway for this quarter, a few don’t begin until next month including Intro to Python, Rasberry Pi 2/3 and a Startup Product Development course. We caught up with E::Space’s co-founders Rick Silver and Dave Robson to learn more about the gaps they see in tech education here, the COCC partnership and their passion for helping entrepreneurs and inventors.

Think Tanky + Sudara Talk Slow Fashion and How Business Can Be a Force For Good

Some blog posts have just one cool thing–this one actually has two, so because bang for your buck. First, meet Think Tanky, a consulting firm started here in Bend by Amy Doherty. Amy is drawing on her deep experience with nonprofits to help for-profit companies integrate their values and social impact intentions with their business.

Second, for her Think Tanky blog, Amy interviewed Shannon Keith, founder of Sudara, about her Bend-based company that sells loungewear made by women who are survivors of India’s sex slave trade. Shannon pitched Sudara during the Bend Venture Conference Social Impact track event, and her passion for her company is contagious.

So take a few minutes to learn more about Sudara, explore Think Tanky and contemplate how for-profit businesses can be a world-changing force for good. Happy Friday!

Hydro Flask GM on his 3 Guiding Principles for Business #julieselfie

Julie Harrelson, CEO of the Harrelson Group, Fund Manager of Cascade Angels, has a beloved penchant for taking selfies with entrepreneurs, investors and people of Oregon who support building a strong Oregon through entrepreneurialism. This blog continues a series of selfies + blogs about the amazing people she’s met in the last couple of years. #julieselfie

Scott Allan is a successful entrepreneur and the General Manager at Hydro Flask. Scott is a Cascade Angels investor and we often cross paths often at community events including the Oregon Outdoor Alliance meetings, the OSU Cascades Opening Ceremony, Bend Venture Conference and other venues that build a great Bend and Central Oregon. I recently caught up with Scott to learn more about Hydro Flask’s worldwide presence and how the company has managed its growth.


2017 is Looking Hot: New Year’s Resolutions from Bend Startups, VCs, Biz Leaders and More

Earlier this week, we looked back on 2016 — and today we’re marching forward. We reached out to startup founders, investors and business leaders in Bend to learn about their business and personal resolutions for this year. In no big surprise, the business goals are big and ambitious, everything from starting a startup to launching products to hiring teams to refining accelerator programs to growing funds.

Thomas Jefferson apparently said, “I’m a great believer in luck; and I find that the harder I work, the more I have of it.” If that’s the case, then 2017 is looking lucky for Bend’s startup community.

Gray Skinner, CEO, Droplr

We’re working on three: Solve the problem of inefficient workplace communication by helping as many teams as possible break down communication barriers; Enable people working from home and remote employees to stay connected by bringing quick visual content into Slack, Skype and email; and to get 10 more companies in Bend to use Droplr.

2016 by the Numbers: Startup Money Raised, Jobs Posted, Funds Launched and More!

The start of a new year is a great time to both reflect on things accomplished, as well as plan for the future. This week we’re doing a bit of both. And first up is 2016 by the numbers. The big takeaway: Y’all worked really hard — and we did too.

Here’s a by-the-numbers review of 2016:

121 StartupBend blog posts. I love looking at things in aggregate, and as it turns out, there’s a lot of stuff on this little blog. Here’s our Top 10 Most popular posts for the year. In addition, we covered all sorts of things including:

$23.3 million in funding raised by Bend Startups in 2016. I love this chart. This updated version includes the $2 million funding announcement from in November. It’s not an exhaustive list. I wish it was because I also love exhaustive lists. But still, nice work.