Category Archives: Startups

Hip, Luxury Lipstick That’s Also Vegan? Yep, Meet Axiology 

As a long-time vegan, Ericka Rodriguez wasn’t pleased with her makeup options, especially when it came to lipstick. “There was no brand out there that represented what I wanted,” she says. “Nothing that was vegan was also hip or luxe and every time I put on a vegan, organic lipstick I didn’t get the result I wanted.”

Ericka began making her own lipstick in 2012, researching how to make lip balm and then adding color. “It became an obsession pretty quickly,” she says. “I was working at a juice bar in New York City and making lipstick before work and after work.”

She landed on a winning formula—and ultimately launched Axiology, a luxury vegan, organic lipstick company based here in Bend. The growing brand is now found in 90 boutiques, including Free People shops, around the country.

Is Public Speaking at the Tower Theater in Your Future? There’s a Class For That!

There’s a lot of reasons that Bend business and startup types might find themselves speaking at the town’s iconic Tower Theater, say pitching at the Venture Out conference, being part of the Bend Venture Conference or telling your story at Ignite Bend.

Now you can really prepare via a public speaking course that uses the Tower Theater stage. The course is offered by Diane Allen, a Bend public speaking coach who has previously worked with main stage speakers for TEDxBend and the BVC. She is also the former concertmaster of the Central Oregon Symphony.

She says:

This course was a request by people who felt that if they could get some stage time at the Tower, that they could be free to speak anytime, anywhere, no matter how high the pressure. I really wanted to honor their request because when you can ROCK in front of an audience, it opens up enormous doors of opportunity.

Tech People: Learn How to Improve Your Soft Skills at the Tech Talent Development Summit

You know what’s nice? Not having to leave town for great, informative, industry-related events. And it seems like there’s more of them here everyday. One of the most recent postings to the StartupBend events calendar — a Tech Talent Development Summit — is something that every local tech professional should check out.

Scheduled for Feb. 22, this summit is focused on helping tech employees develop their soft skills, which are just as crucial as your technical skills and frankly, can often mean the difference between getting hired or promoted — or not.

From the event information:

While your technical skills may get your foot in the door, long-term your soft skills help you stay relevant and create opportunities for advancement. Developing those soft skills begins with an awareness and understanding of who you are as an employee—what you already offer, how you’d like to grow and how you’re connected to your work. With that understanding, you can better develop and apply essential networking and communication skills that are authentic to you and most impactful to your professional growth and success.

G5 Hosts Young Professionals Networking Event on Wednesday

G5 is hosting a Young Professionals Network event this Wednesday, Feb. 8. It’s a great chance to meet other professionals working in town, plus you can learn more about G5 from the company’s Chief Technology Officer Chris Eckert. There’s also beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages.

More info from our events page:

G5 is the leading digital marketing provider in the real estate sector delivering higher marketing ROI. This mission has led to a business built on making customers happy with an average 98% customer retention rate, 240 employees, and five consecutive years on Deloitte’s list of North America’s fastest growing technology companies. G5 was also named to OUTSIDE’s “Best Places to Work” 2016 edition, for the third consecutive year and also awarded the Bend Chamber’s SAGE Business Award “Healthy Workplace of the Year” in 2016. Additionally, G5 has been recognized as one of Oregon’s best 100 Companies to work for, ranked on the Inc. 500 list, and one of the top 10 healthiest employers of Oregon.

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:

Event Alert! Cascade Angels Fund Manager Shares Networking Secrets

Everyone can benefit from a strong network, but very few people actually love networking. Next week, you can join Julie Harrelson, Cascade Angels fund manager, and Pam Stevenson, startup strategist and pitch coach, for an interactive workshop that will show you how to make your networking more effective and even … fun. At this workshop, you will learn:
  • The three types of connections you need to build, grow and sustain a network.
  • Julie’s best practices networking toolkit and tips for networking mastery.
  • How to make networking easy and fun.

Here are the event details…

Workshop: Networking 2.0

Date: January 25th, 4-6pm

Location: Summit Saloon, 125 NW Oregon St., Bend (No host bar)

Fee: $25 if you pre-register, $30 at the door

Register at:

A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to Awesome Bend, whose mission is to inspire and support creative ideas that make Bend a more awesome place to live, work and play.  

Make Money, Share Your Local Bend Knowledge: Travel Tech Startup Locals Compass Hosts Info Sessions

Locals Compass, a Bend-based travel tech startup, is looking for locals who love Bend and love sharing all that it has to offer. The site plans to connect travelers with locals who can provide personalized travel itineraries that reflect their travel style, preferences and provides an authentic travel experience. And Bend is the startup’s first market. 

“We want to provide an authentic travel experience that helps people experience a place from a locals perspective,” says founder Zilaida Salgueiro. The local experts will be compensated for their knowledge and expertise. To clarify: The locals don’t guide travelers around or meet them in person, but instead offer itineraries to help visitors navigate their travel destination.

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.”