If you haven’t yet heard of the town of Bend in Oregon, you probably will soon enough. It’s one of the fastest growing towns in the United States, seemingly untouched by threat of recession (well, relatively at least) and a kind of mecca for those of us in rainy western Oregon looking for mountains and sunshine and skiing and mountain biking, river rafting, hiking, and so on.
From Drake Park, overlooking a wide pond-like bend in the Deschutes River, you can usually see the snow-capped top of Mt. Bachelor, a world-class ski resort, about half an hour away.
Bend also has a lively wealthy-ex-Silicon-Valley demographic, which is very good for the annual venture competition event, and for local entrepreneurs.
I’m off to Bend, again today, second time in a week, after posting about one of my two favorite Bend startups earlier today on my Up and Running blog over at Entrepreneur.com. I called today’s post Sticking to The Roast because it’s about Dave Beach staying focused on coffee roasting since he took my class on starting a business at the University of Oregon several years ago.
That becomes a companion piece to another post on that same blog last fall, Startup Success Story: The Trunk Club, about another Bend company that started up right and is doing very well, by another former student who did an early plan for it while in my class.
I have to say that one of the real pleasures of teaching the occasional class — I teach one 3-credit course per year, on starting a business, for undergrads, meaning 10 weeks of two classes per week, two hours each — is seeing these businesses actually happen. In these two cases, by coincidence both in Bend, they didn’t just get started, they’re thriving.