Big Bend Theory: Competition for Startups in Bend


In a great follow up to the successful Tenth Annual Bend Venture Conference that ended on a high note as Nouvola was named the winner for the $250,000 prize for the Launch Stage companies, another $10,00 going to the Concept Stage competition to Prineville-basedOchoco Arms and a Side Car Deal from another group of investors, The Flybook was awarded a starter fund estimated at $80,000, another start up competition is now in the works.

Dino Vendetti, managing director of Seven Peaks Ventures and a founder of FoundersPad that helps startups succeed, wants to create a competition for startups willing to relocate to Bendby offering a weekend trip to the top three finalists, their co-founders and spouses. “If they choose to relocate we will provide them temp office space and help them with funding,” explains Vendetti who has been joined in his newest venture by Bruce Cleveland of Silicon Valley based Interwest Partners. 

A recent article in by Cleveland tells the story of his own venture to Bend with a new view of the high tech entrepreneurial spirit incubating here. Cleveland visits Bend often as a ‘jump off point for mountain and road biking, fly fishing and hiking.’  He also had an opportunity to judge a startup competition at the 10th annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) this past October.

Cleveland explains the concept on

“Dino and I have been talking a lot about Bend over the past few weeks since BVC, and we’ve decided to make an offer that 10 years ago would have been a dream. We’re calling on all of you startup founders to take a challenge. We’re calling it the Big Bend Theory.

If you have a high-growth startup, or an idea for a startup, send me your pitch. Tell me what you are doing and why Bend is where you should be doing it. We are going to sponsor and host the top three applicants to a weekend up in Bend, so you can see if this is a community for you.

We will pay for the CEO and one other member of the team, as well as their spouses/significant others, to take the commuter flight from SFO up to Bend. We’ll put you up in the really cool Oxford Hotel downtown, pay for all your meals, and introduce you to local startup executives and community leaders as well as all the activities available to you in Bend.

If you choose to relocate to Bend, we will provide you with temporary tech space (at no cost), assistance with getting your team and families settled, and help you with your funding efforts.

To apply, send me an email to the address in my bio below by Dec. 31 at 11:59 p.m. PDT and include the following information: who are you, what does your startup do or what idea do you have for a tech business, are you already funded or do you need funding, and why do you think Bend might be a great place for you to build your company. Keep your pitch simple, but make it compelling.

We will select the top three applications and notify winners by January 24, 2014. Then we will then find a weekend that works for everyone and let you see for yourself why I think Bend is becoming a startup community worth noting.”

Dino Vendetti

Managing Director

Seven Peaks Ventures



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