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.
I’ve been wanting to learn more about Kevin Hoffman’s startup, Vector Remote Care, since he moved into BendTECH a few months ago, and I recently had the chance. As it turns out, Kevin comes to Oregon from Los Angeles, and brought his company with him. Even better: He actually started his company so that could move here—but more on that in a minute.
Julie Harrelson, CEO of the Harrelson Group, Fund Manager of Cascade Angels, loves 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
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.”
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.
Ideally, we will grow out of this space and open a bigger one in the future. Our dream is to build a successful makerspace model that can be replicated in other cities too.
Niki Singlaub travels a lot for work and wanted a water bottle that folded to fit into his pocket while going through airport security. Then he could pop it open and fill it up before boarding. But even after diving deep into the depths of Amazon (there’s things you can’t unsee people) Singlaub couldn’t find what he needed. So being a product designer by trade and an entrepreneur at heart, he made one.
Alex Eakin, founder of Party Gorilla, has always traveled a lot for work. He often finds himself in new cities, looking for a restaurant or bar that offers a good vibe and lively crowd in addition to great food and drinks. Sure, there’s apps that review restaurants and others that tell you the nearest happy hour. But Eakin realized he wanted a real-time assessment of the fun being had at any given establishment. That idea was the beginning of Party Gorilla, an app that tells you where everyone is hanging out right now. BendTECH sat down with Eakin last week to learn more about Party Gorilla, what it does and … why a gorilla.