Bend Featured as Favorite Entrepreneurial Town


FoundersPad Startup Accelerator (formerly VentureBox) Highlighted in Entrepreneur

In a recent announcement, Central Oregon’s startup accelerator, FoundersPad, was featured in the August 2012 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, highlighting Bend as the next big city for entrepreneurship. The article cited growth rate, investment, government perks and lifestyle as factors that led to the magazine’s top choice, and featured Bend entrepreneurs including several mentors and a company that recently completed the last FoundersPad session.

Agere Pharmaceuticals, RES Equine Products, Manzama, 10 Barrel Brewery, G5 and Element 1 were among the companies featured in the Entrepreneur magazine.

Formerly known as VentureBox, FoundersPad has enhanced its offerings, including an investor seed funding guarantee for the best company to complete the program in each session. Relocation support is also a new component for the accelerator, supported by a community and business sponsorship program that will offer housing and office space. The goal? To help promising entrepreneurs turn innovative ideas into market-leading companies in Bend.

FoundersPad seeks out entrepreneurs with the passion and drive to disrupt key markets. The accelerator is an intensive 12-week program that combines Lean Start-Up methodologies and customer development to help startup companies develop and grow their businesses. One of the pillars of the program is the deep involvement of the mentors who work with the founding teams on a daily and weekly basis. The final component of the program is an Investor’s Day event where companies engage with potential investors for the purpose of obtaining seed level funding to launch or grow their businesses. This year, six companies completed the first session and are in stages of continuing development. Of the companies who are actively raising capital, several have received funding and/or commitments and the others are already seeing good traction.

“We’re excited about the new elements that we have incorporated into the program,” said Chris Capdevila, FoundersPad’s board member and mentor. “I’m extremely impressed with the caliber of companies from the last session, and very proud of the success they are experiencing in such a short time.”

FoundersPad is now seeking applications from entrepreneurs for the second session, which begins September 25. Interested entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit the FoundersPad website for additional program information, a link to the application, criteria, key dates and contact information. A limited number of program and housing scholarships are available, courtesy of our generous sponsors and community partners. The deadline to submit materials is September 10.

“Building on the success of our first session, we’re impressed with the number and quality of applicants we’re already seeing for the next session,” said Dan Hobin, FoundersPad’s board member and mentor. “The word is definitely getting out that Bend is a great place to start and grow a business because of its low cost and growing talent pool.”

To learn more about FoundersPad, the programs, alumni companies, involved mentors and more, visit


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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