Category Archives: Events

Calling Techies, Makers and More: Partner with Students for Central Oregon’s First Make-a-Thon

If you love technology and learning and kids, then you’ll want to check out this awesome event happening next week. High Desert Career Technical Education is partnering with Skyview Middle School to launch Innovate Oregon’s Make-a-Thon program in Central Oregon. And they are seeking community professionals to participate on teams with students to make the event a success.

Make-a-Thon details:

What it is: At the Make-a-thon, teams comprised of a middle school student, an educator, and an industry professional will learn about and collectively create solutions using an electronic circuit board. No experience (or expertise) necessary! All materials will be provided; fun is guaranteed! This video from Yamhill County shows more about what the event will look like.

It is Time to Improve Your Pitch? Check Out This Upcoming Workshop

If you’re planning on pitching your startup to investors, then this post is for you. Pam Stevenson, a pitch coach and startup strategist whose advised more than 200 companies, is hosting a pitch workshop on Monday, April 17th.

The workshop aims to prepare entrepreneurs for pitching to Cascade Angels, Seven Peaks Ventures, Bend Venture Conference, Pub Talk or other angel or venture capital funds or conferences. Pam is a long-time BVC coach — and not necessarily related, but still very interesting, also helped design shoes for Michael Johnson’s Olympic races when she worked for Nike.

As part of the workshop, you’ll learn:

  • The SMART Framework-assess and optimize your underlying business opportunity.
  • The Anatomy of an Angel- know your audience.
  • The Power Pitch Canvas- the key elements of a winning investor pitch.
  • How to add Wow! Factor to any presentation.
  • The Fundability Formula for an investor-ready entrepreneur

Pam also says that the workshop will include hands-on exercises and real-life pitches. The workshop costs $100 and only has room for 12 entrepreneurs. So sign up soon.

Locals Compass Celebrates Launch w/ Bend Party, Discount Codes for Itineraries

Founder Zilaida Salgueiro first publicly pitched her startup idea, an online marketplace for personalized travel itineraries, at the unConference last October. That event was at The Capitol in downtown Bend, and Zilaida was back at the same place last night, hosting a launch party for her company, Locals Compass. What can we say? She moves fast.

The party was a great celebration of bringing an idea to life, and Zilaida took the chance to thank many people, note the joy of launching and take a quick pause before the work ahead.

If you’ve ever had the experience of asking locals for recommendations for restaurants, outings and more while you’re traveling, then you’ll get Locals Compass. The startup aims to tap into the knowledge of locals, who will offer personalized itineraries that meet travelers needs. You can read profiles of locals and their interests, and then request a one or multi-day itinerary based on your preferences and their insider tips. Locals Compass is already offering the service for people traveling to Bend. If you have guests headed this way or want to try it out, enter the discount code LAUNCH and you’ll receive 50% off.

Upcoming Tech Talk Features Bend City Manager Eric King

As a former newspaper reporter, I’m a total geek for local government. As it turns out, the actions of your city and county and parks department often have a much larger impact on your daily life than say, what’s happening in Washington, D.C. And next week, you can geek out on local government too, as part of the upcoming TAO Tech Talk featuring Eric King, Bend’s city manager.

Eric will offer his insights into city government, transportation and even taxes. The talk is interactive, and a great chance to ask questions, voice concerns and generally learn more about how our fair city functions. His discussion will highlight:

  • Governance
  • City Services
  • Council Goals
  • Finances

Be sure to register in advance. Your admission fee includes a Thump drink ticket (beer, wine, coffee, whatever) and of course, a chance to say hi to all your tech friends.

Hey Mt Bikers! BVC Winner CushCore to Demo Its Inner Tire Suspension System Saturday at Maston

The team at CushCore certainly caught a lot of people’s attention with their startup pitch last fall for an innovative inner-tire suspension system for mountain bikes. The perks: Better traction, improved stability and ultimately fewer flats. It was an easy sell to a town that spends a lot of time on singletrack trails.

The company won the Bend Venture Conference $15,000 BendBroadband Business Early Stage Cash Prize last October and officially launched their product last month. Even more exciting: You can try out CushCore’s patent-pending inner-tire system this Saturday. Head to the Maston Trailhead — details below — and they’ll have wheels fitted with the system that you can put on your bike. Then just, you know, ride like a bat out of hell. See what happens.

EDCO PubTalk Features Tom Gonser, Founder of DocuSign and Partner w/ Seven Peaks

This month’s EDCO PubTalk, scheduled for Thursday evening, should be a good one. The keynote speaker is Tom Gonser, the founder of Seattle-based DocuSign, and new partner with Seven Peaks Ventures. He will be interviewed by his Seven Peaks colleague Corey Schmid. Gonser knows a thing or two about growing startups; he helmed DocuSign through its explosive growth and raised hundreds of millions in funding for the industry-leading electronic signature tech company.

The evening will also include pitches and updates from:

The Water Kefir People
Jacinda Swan, CEO and Co-Founder of The Water Kefir People, has been brewing and fermenting Water Kefir in Hawaii since 2015. She and her partner created a handcrafted dairy-free probiotic beverage line. Recently relocated from the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Swan is excited about the business climate and potential to expand the business in Bend.

Friday Morning Muse: Come Meet 4 Social Entrepreneurs From Bend Who Are Changing the World!

If you have some time Friday morning, then head to the Muse Salon Series at the Liberty Theater downtown for what promises to be an engaging 90 minutes of conversation with four inspiring entrepreneurs, whose businesses make a distinct social impact.

The first panel discussion features Shannon Keith, CEO of Sudara; Sarah Pool, former CEO of Pacific Superfood Snacks and current CEO of Besso; Amy Doherty, founder of Think Tanky; and Ericka Rodriguez, founder of Axiology.

I’m really looking forward to moderating the discussion, which will focus on how these women have integrated their desire to have a social or environmental impact with the founding of their company. For example:

  • Rodriguez, with Bend-based Axiology, has created beautiful cosmetics from ingredients that are vegan and cruelty free.
  • Doherty draws on her experience working with nonprofits to help for-profit businesses find ways to deepen their own social impact.
  • Pool’s latest venture, Besso, partners with breweries across the globe to up-cycle spent barley grain into plant-based superfood smoothies.
  • Keith, with Sudara, offers living wage jobs and resources to women in India who have escaped sex slavery.

We’ll discuss the experience of these entrepreneurs as well as how more of us can integrate our own values and causes more closely with our work, even if we don’t plan on starting a company or changing careers.

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.