The Future of Remote Work


BendTECH Creates Innovative, Collaborative Coworking Space

BendTECH is a nonprofit coworking space that was founded in 2012 to help support Bend’s local tech and startup community. At the time, Bend’s population of remote workers was just starting to grow, and the original founders of BendTECH sought to support this burgeoning community by providing a collaborative and supportive office space where workers could connect with one another.

Over the years, BendTECH helped many successful local businesses get off the ground, including Crabtree Architecture + Design, Vector Remote Care and Lead Method, winner of the Bend Venture Conference. Now, BendTECH attracts startups, freelancers and remote workers of all kinds, including those from larger companies, such as Starbucks, Athleta, Google, Twitter and more. The office space is located behind REI in the Old Mill and currently holds 42 desks and six offices, with plans to add an additional 8 offices.

The current president of the nonprofit is Jason Wiener. His first introduction to BendTECH was using the space to run his own startup, Hyperdrive. He later joined the board of directors and was nominated for the position of president in 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Like with any organization, it wasn’t the easiest,” Wiener said. “Sound business practices allowed us to weather the storm. Our biggest focus was to push on and continue operating in some capacity.”

The pandemic shutdowns were not easy on business, but BendTECH was able to benefit in a unique way. These shutdowns had an effect on the way we work, pushing more people than ever before to explore working from home. Employees of companies big and small were prioritizing remote work, and many still are.

Bend, in recent years, has become a hub of remote work, due to the many natural attractions and amenities that the community has to offer, from skiing Mt. Bachelor to brewery hopping after logging off of Zoom. As a coworking space centrally located in the Old Mill District, BendTECH has become a sought after destination for remote workers, and represents what the future of remote work and coworking can look like.

“We look to give the people of Bend the chance to work remotely in an environment that fosters collaboration and networking,” Wiener said. “Most of the people and companies who come through our space level-up as a result of being part of our community of professionals.”

Collaboration is especially welcome in the Startup Founders Office, a space exclusively reserved for startups to collaborate. “We’ve been able to connect startups with industry professionals, the freelancers they need and even investors,” Wiener said.

Aside from just offering a collaborative workspace, BendTECH goes a step further to help local startups gain traction. “We mentor and provide opportunities to members of our community,” Wiener said. In practice, BendTECH can connect tech startups and experts with funding from the Small Business Innovation Research program, a federal program aimed at supporting small businesses in certain industries with research and development.

BendTECH also works with OSU-Cascades to connect students with internships, and graduates with jobs. Working with the college is important to the mission of BendTECH, in that it helps develop the innovators of the future by smoothly integrating students into the professional world. This is echoed by BendTECH’s children’s programs, including programs that teach Lego robotics, programming, drone technology and more.

To further aid in the development of Bend’s startup community, Bend TECH hosts the Startup Research Fair and the unConference; two annual events that turn ideas into reality through pitching and networking.

“The goal of BendTECH is to put people together in a space where they can elevate their horizons, regardless of their industry or background,” Weiner said. “We do this with a big emphasis on supporting local, and want to give back to our community whenever possible.”


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