There are some exciting things happening in Bend, Oregon. Long hailed as a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, Bend is now attracting “indoor enthusiasts” as well. As Bruce Cleveland, general partner at InterWest Partners, puts it:
“Over the past 10 years… Bend has been quietly transforming from its sleepy recreational roots into a burgeoning high-tech community with senior executive Silicon Valley transplants, a tech accelerator, an annual venture conference, data centers from Facebook and Apple located nearby, and more than 40 software companies in and around town.”
Bruce and his colleague Dino Vendetti, General Partner at Seven Peaks Ventures and co-founder of Bend’s FoundersPad Accelerator, saw an opportunity to capitalize on this trend by making a conscious effort to attract more startups and tech talent to the area. They had a theory, the Big Bend Theory: If they let CEOs of promising young tech companies apply for a chance to experience Bend for themselves and get perks for relocating there, entrepreneurs would jump at the opportunity.
We’re happy to report that their theory was proven right. Here are the winners of the inaugural Big Bend Theory competition:
- CEO: Charles Armstrong
- What they do: The leading platform for 360º content. Its technology is backed by 20 pending patents and is reaching the market through partnerships with companies like HomeAway, Sony and Samsung.
- Why we chose them: “Insanely great” 360º video technology.
- CEO: Sahil Jain
- What they do: All-in-one advertising platform for Facebook, Google, Bing, and LinkedIn.
- Why we chose them: Leading edge LinkedIn advertising platform.
- CEO: Tom Dibble
- What they do: Help companies around the globe using its cloud-based, enterprise-class platform for subscription and usage-based billing.
- Why we chose them: Part of the InterWest portfolio. Interested in moving an entire function inside the company to Bend, reducing ability for others to recruit key talent away from the company.
- CEO: Eric Bahn
- What they do: We can’t tell you but trust us, Eric is a pretty cool guy with some great ideas.
- Why we chose them: We could tell you, but then we would have to kill you, which would ruin the whole thing for everyone.
Learn more at Seven Peaks Ventures.