Must Reads

Building something crazy in Bend

ben-blogGreg Cole and his growing team at Windward Performance recently sawed a hole in the wall of one of the seven hangars they occupy at Bend Municipal Airport to make room for their newest project: a non-motorized glider designed to soar to 90,000 feet above sea level. That would set a new world record for manned, wing borne, sustained level flight.

Entrepreneurs bloom in the Gorge

ben-blogYesterday’s Gorge Angel Conference 2011 event produced plenty of ideas: a new winch for securing loads on flatbed trucks, a simple cloth wrap to keep babies warm and safe in the neonatal intensive care unit, an electronic product registration system to do away with the annoying rebate’s-in-the-mail ritual and more. Now they need cash.

The recession is finally over in Oregon

ben-blogIntel is building a $2.5 billion factory in Hillsboro. Facebook is pouring millions into Prineville and Google is investing $100 million in Eastern Oregon wind power. Crop and beef prices are up - as are crab and salmon prices. Bank of the Cascades, MBank and others have avoided the wrath of the FDIC. Trucking is up 26 percent year over year, online job ads are up 23 percent, and business and personal bankruptcies are down 3.4 and 8 percent respectively. To me, this adds up to a preponderance of evidence.

On the Scene: Angel Oregon 2011

sceneblogbwThe room was packed to standing room only at Wednesday’s Angel Oregon 2011 event at the Governor Hotel, with equal parts entrepreneurs looking for backing and investors looking for opportunities.

Seaport to fly to Salem

thelatestPortland-based Seaport Airlines plans to begin running daily flights between Portland and Salem this spring for business and political travelers.

Tax measure impact overstated?

ben-blogA year has passed since the passage of Measures 66 and 67, the controversial tax increases targeted at wealthy individuals and businesses in Oregon. These measures were extremely unpopular with many within the business community, and after the vote the predictions of abandonment and downsizing were dire. Have those predictions come to pass?

Jobs Watch: NWEA doubles jobs and revenues under Chapman

ben-blogThe last time I interviewed Matt Chapman was nearly a decade ago, when he was finalist to run the Port of Portland. He didn’t get the job but he did end up getting the office. Chapman and his team at Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) recently moved into the building downtown vacated by the port, bringing new energy and jobs into Old Town, with big potential for expansion.

Something fishy this way cometh

ben-blogJon Thenhaus’s latest business idea grew out of a simple desire to have an infinite supply of fresh basil within easy reach in the kitchen. That wish grew more complicated as he refined his ideas and followed his muse, from herbs to worms and fish. Nine prototypes and several “massive failures” later, the 37-year-old founder of Fishy Farm has developed an ingenious ecosystem for the kitchen or the back yard.

Google comes to Portland - sort of

ben-blogGoogle's head of consumer marketing has nothing but nice things to say about Portland. “We chose Portland because it has the perfect demographic, in terms of entrepreneurs and technology," says Bernardo Hernandez. "It’s dense, it’s fun, it’s lively. There’s a real community dynamic. It’s a younger crowd. And the weather is really good for this time of the year.”

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