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:
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.
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.
You might have seen Bend’s Matthew Gregory pitch his idea for a blockchain-based startup that creates a registry for IoT devices during the runup to the Bend Venture Conference. Well, while the rest of us have been reading Buzzfeed and eating Christmas cookies (OK just me), Matt has been readying to launch his startup, Ockam.
If you plan on job hunting in 2018, it looks like there will be a slew of tech openings. The Technology Association of Oregon put out a survey last month to area tech employers, asking about their hiring plans. Twenty-nine companies responded, noting that they planned to hire a cumulative 280+ people into tech-related positions, says Teri Hockett, VP of TAO and head of the Central Oregon TAO office.
Bend’s own Rita Hansen, head of OnBoard Dynamics, has been selected to be part of a delegation of U.S. entrepreneurs, investors and more headed to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at the end of this month. The eighth annual summit with take place in Hyderabad, India, and highlight the theme Women First, Prosperity for All–focusing on supporting women entrepreneurs and economic growth.
If you attended last week’s OEN awards, then you likely saw Bend’s own Chris Vlessis win the organization’s Wyatt Starnes award, which honors the region’s most promising young entrepreneur. Vlessis is CTO of Shape Integrated Software, a Bend startup that offers PPC management software, and he’s also finishing up his CS degree at OSU-Cascades.