BEND, OR -- Bend's first Innovation Day takes place at OSU-Cascades, Tuesday. It's a chance for entrepreneurs with ideas for improving our lifestyle and culture to meet with business owners and mentors. The event is sponsored by Opportunity Knocks, the Bend Chamber, and Technology Association of Oregon, among others.
Preston Callicott, CEO of Five Talent Software, is also involved. He says advanced innovation will be even more necessary as the city grows, and he wants locals to be on the cutting edge of keeping the area current. "Bend's going to need a lot of this innovation around roads, and housing, and transportation. These are real-world issues, and so it's just trying to instill this idea that ideation, creativity, has a major part to play in our lives and in solving whatever issues are in front of us."
He tells KBND News, "The rest of the world sees us as highly innovative and entrepreneurial; we're on the top lists of virtually every report that seems to come out now. But, there's a feeling that a good part of our population doesn't know that aspect of Bend. This Central Oregon focused 'Innovation Day,' if it plays out the way everyone feels it's going to play out, this could be a defining moment for Bend to really own the landscape of group innovation, group dialog about innovation, on a big scale."
Callicott says the event will be set up in a speed-dating format, allowing attendees to approach any mentor's table and learn strategies for how to proceed with their own ideas. "Imagine a chance to have 15 focus groups that you attend around innovation, and you get to participate in this discussion - this dialog - about it, and have take-aways from it. And then, no one lecturing; just a chance to meet with a whole bunch of people that are going to talk about things that will have an impact. Out of the 15, someone walking away without an 'aha' moment would shock me." Mentoring with area business heads, lunch, and a cocktail hour are included in the $75 dollar registration fee.