Author Archives: Edcoevents





BEND, OR (April 5, 2017) – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) just announced the speakers for the next PubTalk to be held Thursday, April 27, 5pm at McMenamins in Downtown Bend. Tickets are on sale now and available via Eventbrite here.

EDCO’s Central Oregon PubTalk, held the fourth Thursday of the month, is a happy hour aimed at bringing together different facets of the business community in one place to network, share ideas and further local businesses. Where Beers and Business Collide!

Keynote Speaker:                                                                                 
Arve Capital LLC Managing Partner, Former Kadix Systems Founder & President Doug Layman

Doug Layman is a serial entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in strategic consulting, technology, entrepreneurship, and investment in both Fortune 500 companies and startups. Layman was founder and President of Kadix Systems, an information technology and security company serving the Intelligence Community with clients including the NSA, DHS, FBI, and Department of Defense. Layman’s keynote will explain how starting with an initial investment of $100, over the course of seven years, Kadix Systems grew to four locations, 350+ employees, and over $50 million in annual revenue.

Layman currently manages an investment portfolio of early stage companies through Arve Capital LLC and supports philanthropic interests including OSU-Cascades and the Bethlehem Inn through the Layman Foundation. He is an avid rock climber, biker and skier, who splits his time between Bend, Oregon; Los Barriles, Mexico; and Chamonix, France.

Company Pitches:
Founder Ashley Phelps is an artist turned entrepreneur. ColorKitchen developed out of her first business, which was creating natural children’s paints made from plant colors. Stores eager for natural color baking solutions prompted Phelps to pivot her craft business into a line of natural food coloring products, now selling in over 900 stores nationwide, from Whole Foods to Target.

CEVA Bike Fit Systems
David Garcia, Founder & CEO of CEVA Bike Fit Systems, is a Bend resident and longtime recreational cyclist whose new software aims to solve a major chasm between the service that bike shops provide and what recreational bikers need: professional assistance to determine what bike is right for them. The software brings the expertise of skilled bike fitters into the ordinary sales process, by putting professional fitting skills into the hands of every bike sales person.

Company Update:
Peter Ozolin, Co-Founder, CEO & Chairman of Manzama, will give an update on the subscription-based, Software-as-a-Service platform that aggregates news, corporate press releases, industry and trade publications, and social media from the public domain. Using proprietary search functionality and algorithms, Manzama then filters, ranks and classifies the aggregated information and automatically delivers its results to subscribers either via email, web portal or RSS. In addition, Manzama provides a powerful research engine for its subscribers, allowing them to search and create alerts, newsletters and other content.

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Networking – Drinks and appetizers
6:00 pm to 6:45 pm Company Presentations
6:45 pm to 7:30 pm Keynote Speaker Presentation

Cost and Registration 
$25 EDCO & OEN Members
$35 Non-Members
Cost includes appetizers and a free beverage (choice of beer, wine, or soda)


Three Bend Companies In The Running For $200,000 Investment

7Even Dynamics, ColorKitchen, Ripclear in the running to win over $200,000 in funding
as part of OEN’s Angel Oregon Program

Bend, OR – February 10, 2017 – Oregon Entrepreneurs Network recently announced the 18 early-stage companies to make the quarterfinals of their 2017 Angel Oregon Program, with three of the hopefuls based locally in Bend, Oregon. The below companies will compete for a spot in the semifinals, with the next round of cuts to be announced February 22nd. A wide range of sectors are represented in the program, including: consumer products, food & beverage, education, biotech, software, cleantech, marketing, retail, medical devices, real estate, media, and healthcare.

The winner of the investment (which has historically ranged between $200,000 to $300,000) will be awarded April 27th during OEN’s Angel Oregon Showcase.

The three competing Bend companies are:

  • 7Even Dynamics, Inc. — “We re-invent the shoe.”
  • ColorKitchen — “Naturally vibrant food colors and artificial dye-free, plant-based, and non-GMO decorative kits for the health-conscious home-baker and bakeries.”
  • Ripclear — “Ripclear lens protectors are a patented thin film technology that protects eyewear lenses & meets ANSI Z87 military rated clarity. Screen protectors for lenses.”

The remaining companies in the running are:

  • BG Reynolds LLC — “BG Reynolds is the trusted brand for an incredible cocktail experience, and adventure in every glass!”
  • CMS Global — “We provide Global access to quality education for everyone!”
  • Costanoan Biotechnologies — “Costanoan Biotechnologies lets life science researchers find the right needle in a stack of needles, making drug discovery and production faster and cheaper.”
  • EcoPro Polymers — “Provides formaldehyde-free, safe and sustainable adhesives for interior wood products by removing toxic formaldehyde from interior air.”
  • Gift 2 Grow — “Beautifully simple SaaS marketing automation platform designed specifically for independent professionals and local businesses.”
  • Happy Smiles For Kids — “Unique hand-crafted Stuffed dolls for hospital and military children/teens/adults- for sale individually or in large quantities.”
  • Madorra — “Madorra has the first non-hormonal, non-invasive medical device to treat vaginal atrophy in post-menopausal women.”
  • — “We revolutionize apartment hunting by instantly matching renters to homes they qualify for so they can move in today!”
  • OmniAlly Digital Solutions — “Your Partner in Complete Visual Communication Solutions.”
  • OpConnect — “OpConnect operates a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that manages electric car chargers made by a number of manufacturers to help charger owners maximize revenue.”
  • Outdoor Project — “With 5.5 MILLION users and 700% year-over-year growth, the fastest growing website in the U.S. for outdoor recreation and travel.”
  • Pixameter — “PixaMed is an intelligent imaging platform that delivers skin lesion measurement, analysis, tracking, and documentation using a mobile device.”
  • Prefeye — “Retailer B2B preference recommendation platform.  Preference matching people to products based on individual preferences of taste, style, fit, look and feel.”
  • Rooted Recovery — “Rooted Recovery is uprooting the barriers that keep people sick by reinventing the ways people access and receive treatment.”
  • Zembula — “Zembula is a SaaS company that empowers brands to easily create fun and engaging experiences that drive 7x the click through rates and 7x the time spent.”


Application Period Open February 6-March 6, 2017 via

BEND, Ore. – February 1, 2017 – Entrepreneurs seeking investment capital have an opportunity to present their early stage businesses for growth to Cascade Angels. Cascade Angels Fund 2017, LLC (“Cascade Angels Fund 2017” or the “Fund”) has opened up its first application period for entrepreneurs to apply for investment on from February 6 through March 6, 2017.

The Fund anticipates additional application rounds in the coming months and investing in 4-7 companies in 2017. Typical investments are made in early stage, Oregon-based companies from any industry. Investments are anticipated to range from $100,000 to $250,000.

Cascade Angels Fund 2017, LLC is the fourth year-round fund based in Central Oregon managed by Harrelson Group. The Fund’s mission is to create opportunities for investors and businesses in and with connections to Central Oregon to drive economic growth and fuel prosperity in Oregon. The Fund’s profile on includes additional information regarding its purpose, mission and goals. Since 2014, Cascade Angels Fund has committed almost $2M in 13 companies, all of which are still in operation and cumulatively employ over 100 people.

“The continued focus of Cascade Angels is to generate returns for investors, while also generating a return for the community through the impact of job creation and economic diversity,” said Julie Harrelson, Fund Manager for Cascade Angels.

Julie Harrelson, CEO, Harrelson Group, Fund Manager, Cascade Angels is an entrepreneur, investor and leader in Oregon’s startup community. She has navigated multiple executive roles in design, technology and angel investing. In 2013, Julie co-founded Cascade Angels Fund in Bend with a group of entrepreneurs and investors.

Cascade Angels Fund is sponsored by Jones & Roth, Karnopp Petersen LLP, US Bank, and Harrelson Group.

*Membership in the Cascade Angels Fund 2017 is by referral and invitation only. Angel and venture investments involve a high degree of risk. Participation in the Cascade Angels Fund 2017 is limited to “accredited investors,” as defined by the general rules and regulations of the Securities Act of 1933 of the Securities and Exchange Commission AND to investors who have such knowledge and experience in financial and business matters that they are capable of evaluating the merits and risks of prospective investments.

This release is not an offer to sell or solicit investment in the Cascade Angels Fund 2017, its portfolio companies, or applying companies. The Cascade Angels Fund 2017 does not operate as a broker-dealer or investment adviser and is not registered as such with any federal or state securities regulator.

About Cascade Angels Fund

Founded in 2013, Cascade Angels is a professionally managed, investor driven venture fund that creates opportunities for investors and businesses with connections to Central Oregon to drive economic growth and fuel prosperity. The Fund’s investors include prominent business leaders, exited entrepreneurs and institutional investors who are committed to contributing to a sustainable economy and building Oregon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Since 2014, Cascade Angels Fund has committed almost $2M in 13 early stage companies that cumulatively employ over 100 people. For more information, visit or


Natalie Dent, Consultant
Investor and Entrepreneur Relations
Cascade Angels

MOVE: Q&A with Terry Buchholz, PE, CWRE, principal and owner of Integrated Water Solutions

BEND, Ore. – January 3, 2016 – Ever wonder how the water flow of the Columbia River is managed? Big agencies like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) do it, but they don’t do it alone. They are assisted by people like Terry Buchholz, owner of Integrated Water Solutions (IWS) in Sisters, who along with a council of many other interest groups collaborate to develop the long-term strategic plans for the river’s water. EDCO recently sat down with Terry and realized how lucky we are to have this expertize right in our backyard.

EDCO: What inspired you to start Integrated Water Solutions?

TB: For over 30 years I worked as a Water Resources Engineer and Planner for big firms like HDR Engineering and David Evans and Associates. I rose to Vice President at both companies and managed complex environmental and water resource projects across the Pacific Northwest. I wanted to use my experience to build a company that was focused on delivering a tailor made solution for each individual project, so I started Integrated Water Solutions in Beaverton, Oregon in 2009. We’ve built a small team that collaborates with other companies to find the best resources for a particular job.

EDCO: Tell us more about Integrated Water Solutions.

TB: IWS’s mission is to assist clients in developing their long-term strategic direction for addressing water needs, while improving the natural function of the watershed. We assist in four key areas – comprehensive water management planning, facilitation and process management, program and project management, and compliance strategy. What makes us different is our collaborative, strategic, adaptive approach and client-focused process.

EDCO: Can you tell us more about the projects you are currently working on?

TB: Many of our projects are confidential, but a big one that we’ve been working on for eight years is the Columbia River Treaty. This project is a massive collaboration between the United States and Canada, focused on the management of the Columbia River. Although most of the river runs through the USA, two-thirds of the water volume comes from Canada. The Treaty was originally signed in 1964 after the city of Vanport, OR, flooded. Now, the federal agencies that oversees the Treaty are focused on water flow and the hydropower created by the Columbia River. With 15 tribes, 10 federal agencies and 4 states directly affected by the treaty and the river, it’s a very complex situation. Over the years, we’ve assisted in many ways including policy development, technical recommendations, program planning, and management support. In Central Oregon we have projects with the Tumalo Irrigation District, Central Oregon Irrigation District, The City of Prineville, and Crook County.

EDCO: Why did you choose Sisters?

TB: My husband was ready to retire and Central Oregon seemed to be a great place to live. So, just over two years ago we expanded our company to Sisters. At first I was traveling back and forth (between Beaverton and Sisters), but it didn’t take long for me to realize I wanted to be in Sisters full time. Sisters has a small town feel where everybody looks out for each other. My daughter Lauren oversees our Beaverton operations, while I focus on the projects in Central Oregon and beyond.

EDCO: How has EDCO helped you grow your business?

TB: With many years of experience in this industry, I felt confident that I could build my own company and we had been running it successfully for a few years before moving to Sisters. EDCO, and specifically Caprielle Lewis (EDCO’s Sisters Area Manager), were instrumental in getting us connected to the local business ecosystem and helping us find office space in the Sisters Tech Center.

EDCO: What are your plans for future growth?

TB: Because our business model is focused on strategic collaboration with other companies, we plan to grow slowly. We just hired a new intern (Jordan Clymens, a Sisters High School graduate) who we hope will grow into a full-time staff member. Eventually, we’d like to get up to five employees, but we’ll take the time to grow organically. We hope that our collaborative approach will help create job opportunities with many of our strategic partners as well.

For more information on how EDCO can help you move your business to Central Oregon, please call (541) 388-3236.

Bend Ranks #5 on SmartAsset’s List of “The Top 10 Boomtowns of 2016”

BEND, Ore. – December 22, 2016 – The U.S. economy isn’t exactly booming. While the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since 2007, the economy is still growing at a relatively slow pace. Some places, however, are better off than others. For the third year in a row, SmartAsset took a look at the places experiencing rapid population and economic growth. Read on to find out which cities rank at the top of our list.

Read the full story here.

Bend-Redmond Ranked #1 Best-Performing Small City for 2016 by Milken Institute

BEND, Ore. – December 14, 2016 – Bend-Redmond, Oregon, tops the U.S. Best-Performing Small Cities index, rising from eighth the previous year. The metro improves in seven of the nine indicators. The health-care system provides economic stability. The central Oregon economy is vibrant and has been able to diversity its economic base through the new waves of innovation.

Read the full story here.

Ruffwear is one of Outside’s Best Places to Work

BEND, Ore. – December 13, 2016 –  Each year, Outside magazine releases a list of 100 companies that go beyond work-life balance by making employee health and happiness a point of pride. Ruffwear is honored and humbled to be included among Outside’s 100 Best Places to Work for 2016.

To be considered for this list, companies from across the country enter a two-part survey process. The first part evaluates each company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems, and demographics. The second part consists of an employee survey to measure personal experience. The combined score determines the top companies and the final ranking.

Read the full story here.

MOVE: Q&A with George Pierce, Owner, Pierce Footwear

BEND, Ore. – December 6th, 2016 – Former champion duathlete (run-bike-run) George Pierce was inspired to make a comeback to racing after a near-death bike-truck accident in 2010. While rehabilitating fractured vertebrae in his back and neck, Pierce developed a new type of footwear that addressed the problem of getting in and out of shoes, both for multi-sport athletes and those with limited mobility. Six years later, Pierce Footwear is helping all types of athletes put their best feet forward.

EDCO: What inspired you to start Pierce Footwear?

GP: Prior to the accident, I’d been retired from the sport for about seven years. Afterward, I realized I was lucky to be alive and decided to make a comeback with the goal of making the U.S. Duathlon Team. I trained every day and made the team in 2011. I went to World’s in Spain and placed 7th that year.

During my training, I knew there had to be a way to improve transition speed when changing shoes (twice in duathlons). I asked a friend to build the first prototype out of an old pair of Sauconys…and they worked! I raced in them two weeks later and immediately cut 5% off my T1 (first transition) and T2 (second transition) times. I filed patents right after that race in 2012. Since then, I’ve gone back and forth to a Korean shoe factory five times in the last three years to refine the product.


The first six prototypes, including v.1 (Saucony shoe, far left)

EDCO: Why did you choose to move your business to Central Oregon?

GP: We moved here from Palo Alto, Calif., in August 2016 for several reasons – there’s more visibility for the product, more people who use the product, greater workforce potential, tremendous community support, and compelling tax breaks.

Jay Dicharry PT, SCS, from Rebound Physical Therapy was actually an inspiration for the shoe. He wrote an article on foot dynamics and how footwear should allow the foot to perform. I didn’t realize he was from Bend when I first read the article – it was just a happy coincidence.

EDCO: How did EDCO help with your move?

GP: I first talked to EDCO back in the summer/fall of 2015 during the Outside Games after a local resident suggested I connect with you. Since then, EDCO has provided a lot of friendly help – making introductions (including to the Bend High Cross Country coach), finding housing, storing product, and getting us involved with Oregon Outdoor Alliance (OOA), the Bend Venture Conference and Opportunity Knocks (OK).

EDCO: What’s next for Pierce Footwear?

GP: Well, Pierce Footwear and Special Olympics have a history of empowering athletes through sport, spirit and courage. It all started in 2014 when I met someone from the Special Olympics Committee who thought the shoes could work for their athletes. We’ve sponsored teams in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and have had several athletes on the podium wearing Pierce Footwear. I’m now a global ambassador for Special Olympics triathlons and in March 2017, we’re sponsoring 2,000 athletes as part of the first-ever shoe program for the Special Olympic, followed by pilot projects in Latin America, Europe and China.  We’re currently raising funds to help support our donation of 2,000 pairs of shoes. (EDCO note: To find out more or to donate, click here.)

2016 Special Olympics Triathlon Team for Nations Triathlon Sept. 11

EDCO: Any advice for companies moving to the area?

GP: Call EDCO and work with Tom (Rowley, EDCO’s Bend Manager). Talk to people. Network. It’s easy to get to know the community here. Everyone is so friendly. I would also recommend joining an OK group. I didn’t even know this existed before I moved here and it is fantastic. I’m actually in two groups now (one for the outdoor industry and one for manufacturing) and they offer so much guidance and support.

For outdoor companies, I recommend getting plugged into OOA. I applied to their Venture Out Conference and made it to the semi-finals. I will definitely do that again next year.

For more information on how EDCO can help you move your business to Central Oregon, please call (541) 388-3236.

Forbes: How The Outdoor Industry Is Creating A Huge Boom In Bend

BEND, Ore. – November 28, 2016 – Bend, Oregon is booming. In fact, it had the highest job growth rate in the entire country last  year.

To be totally honest, before my husband’s company Fat Chance Bikes was chosen for the 2016 Bend Outdoor Worx program (the only outdoor industry incubator in the country), the only thing I knew about Bend was that it was three hours north of my new town of Ashland and cold. A couple of visits later and my mind is blown; I’ll tell you why:

For the full story: Here