TechfestNW is fast approaching and Bend startups are ready to make a strong showing. The conference, which runs April 5th and 6th in Portland, includes a pitch competition aptly named PitchfestNW. More than 80 founders will pitch their startups, including at least six from Bend. Who are they? Glad you asked. TechfestNW attendees and the esteemed judging panel will get to hear from:
Our startup community keeps on growing, and that’s especially exciting when that growth translates to more resources for early stage entrepreneurs. OSU-Cascades launched its Innovation Co-Lab incubator last week. The Co-Lab will provide coworking space and coaching for startups.
One of Bend’s own will be part of Project Entrepreneur’s 2018 Class in New York. If you see Jen Ortado, founder of Kidcareshare, tell her congrats. She recently discovered she’ll be one of 200 female founders taking part in the April event.
Cascade Angels, Bend’s own organized angel fund, has been growing since its inception in 2014, both in the dollars it has to invest and the number of companies in its portfolio. To date the organization has invested $2.7 million into 17 Oregon companies. Most recently, the fund expanded its leadership team to include Robert Pease, who will join the organization’s co-founder Julie Harrelson. They will serve as fund co-managers.
The Bend Chamber is kicking off a monthly spotlight on women and entrepreneurship with a panel of Central Oregon women business leaders Tuesday night. But make no mistake–this event is not just for women, it’s for everyone. More on that in a minute.
We didn’t want the week to end without acknowledging the cool work that OSU Cascades CS Instructor Yong Bakos and his band of creative-thinking CS students did last weekend. Yong organized a hackathon Saturday aimed at finding a way to help the nonprofit Guardian Group more efficiently fight online sex trafficking.
This year is off to a good start for Amanda Krantz, CEO and founder of DohJe. Amanda learned last week that DohJe was one of seven winners of the Gratitude in the Workplace Challenge, sponsored by OpenIDEO and the Greater Good Science Center.
We can safely say that 2017 was the Year of the Entrepreneur in Bend. According to a report from EagerLaw PC, there was one new business registration in Bend for every 28 residents last year. That gave Bend more registered businesses per capita (for cities larger than 30,000) than anywhere else in the state.