BendTECH Presents the 9th Annual unConference
BendTECH is proud to host the annual unConference, a fun, casual, friendly pitchfest that kicks of the Bend Venture Conference week of startup events. The event started as a grassroots effort to share business ideas. Nine years later, it’s evolved into an awesome resource for early stage founders, and a fun afternoon for everyone involved.
What even is the unConference?
The unConference is pitchfest for early stage founders. How early? We’ve seen companies still in idea form through already launched startups. But basically early enough that a prize pot of a couple thousand dollars makes a material difference in their progress – and the feedback and exposure to a couple hundred people helps further their idea.
What’s it like?
A really fun party with a big heart and a mission to help startups. The event traditionally attracts 200 to 300 people. We serve beer, people cheer on the founder pitching, the crowd is lovely and supportive and offers shouts of encouragement and guidance. There are lots of cowbells. We have students who come to pitch. We hear dozens of interesting ideas. People vote on the winners. Everyone has a good time.
How do founders participate?
We offer between 16 and 18 slots for 3 minute pitches. Per our tradition – and in keeping with the “un” feel – pitch spots are first come, first serve. Part of the festivities include founders lining up early to snag a spot, bringing lawn chairs and meeting other founders in line. Some have suggested that we move to an online application, but we like the ability for people who are inspired to show up to have access to the event. We attract a broad group of entrepreneurs this way, and the format adds a dose of passion that comes through in the event. If you’re camping out for your idea, we want to see you on that stage.
What do they win?
For the second year, the unConference will award cash and prizes to the top three companies. We’re aiming to award $1,500, $1,000 and a membership to BendTECH coworking for first, second and third places respectively. We polled founders and they overwhelmingly noted that given the early stage of unConference startups, these awards help them make progress toward their next milestone – launching a website, funding a prototype, hiring contract labor, etc.
Want to Attend and not Compete?
Make sure to RSVP so you get a free drink ticket!