Meet Dayna Del Mar

How did you find out about PDXWIT? I met Megan Bigelow last year after a mutual friend insisted we meet. Once I realized who Megan was and what she was doing, I took a deep dive on the website to learn more about PDXWIT.. Megan has been an incredible source of support and encouragement as I begin to build my company as a first time Founder and CEO.
I love this community and can’t wait to give back! I am eager to volunteer with PDXWIT on their Action Team and have recently submitted my application to become a Mentor.

Dayna’s path to a tech career isn’t like any other story we’ve heard! I travelled the world as a Deckhand and Stewardess aboard private mega yachts for years. After that I settled in Portland and pursued a career in Talent Acquisition. My educational background is in Ethnomusicology, and recruitment felt like an urban anthropological research and action project on talent, culture and employee development - it all weirdly made sense to me. 

 As a Talent Acquisition Manager for a startup I realized what I loved most about the job was the daily grind, camaraderie and the community. Working aboard private mega yachts can require weeks of 16 hour shifts and the ability to engage with your crew (of 9-12 people) as co-workers, adventure buddies, roomates and family. For me, startups have a similar dynamic, but with a greater sense of purpose while surrounded by wildly passionate and intelligent people.
Realizing I missed travel and adventure I decided last year to go on my first trek and chose the Annapurna Sanctuary in the Himalayas of Nepal. I’m a nature lover, but typically I only hiked 10-15 times a year. To make it to the Himalayas, I had 10 months to get  in shape. I chose the 52 Hike Challenge as a way to train and prepare for the Nepal trek. At the same time, I left a relationship and with that choice, I lost most of my friends. As I embarked on the journey of 52 hikes, I found myself longing for a way to connect with others and plan hikes with them, especially when I was travelling long distance. 

That’s how the idea for PackDen arose. With each new adventure, the idea continued to iterate over and over again until the vision was too grand to remain within the confines of my head and I was compelled to make it happen.
PackDen is a platform fostering connection between outdoor adventurers and wilderness wanderers. It helps people find their wolfpack - connect to friends and groups of others whether they  hike, backpack, climb, kayak, or surf--you name it. It also allows people to build their backpack - a unique tool so users can assess gear evaluate what their next adventure requires. We are preparing to launch our MVP this Spring! Check us out at

We asked Dayna what she’s thinking about right now as she prepares to launch PackDen. She said, “Let’s talk equity and alternative funding! What attracted me to startups was being surrounded by people who pour their soul into creating something magnificent. I want precisely that for PackDen. But when it comes to equity and funding, the implications for these brilliant people are enormous. What I plan to do is different. I’m creating an alternative business and equity model. 

I want to attract and retain the very best people by allowing them to catalyze PackDen’s success in exchange for a piece of the pie...paid out as an on-going bonus, not a one-time stock payout. I’ve been reading up on Profit Sharing and Gainsharing models, and recently learned about The Zebra Movement. Anyone interested in these concepts should check out the link or contact me at I’d love to know who else at PDXWIT is interested in learning more about this approach!