Last year, Kollective CEO Dan Vetras offered to fly his thirty-five Bay Area employees to Bend on a weekend relocation scouting mission. As the head of a fast-growing cloud-based video software startup, Vetras wanted to find a place with affordable office space and a high quality of life for his employees.
Bend provided both. First, however, Vetras needed to know whether a critical mass of his staff would be willing to move. After visiting, a dozen employees indicated they’d relocate. Kollective opened its Bend office in the 1001 Tech Center this past summer and immediately started hiring. Vetras expects the office will have twenty-five employees by year’s end.
“It’s proving the thesis that we can recruit for and build out a software company in Bend,” said Vetras.
The company kept a smaller California office, but the move helped cut its real estate costs by 65 percent, freeing up capital that Kollective can use to grow. The CEO noted that the long-term success of Bend’s tech companies depends largely on OSU-Cascades creating a pipeline of computer engineers who come for school and stick around.
“In the interim, we’re going to have to sell people on why they want to be here,” he said. “That’s not hard, we just have to get them on a plane for a weekend.”