Nevadan accounting and business mentoring firm J A Solari & Partners recently discussed the merits of Las Vegas and Reno as startup locations, and mentioned Battle Born Venture along the way. Here are his comments on the two cities:
ON LAS VEGAS
“Tony Hsieh gets credit for jump-starting Las Vegas’ startup scene with his $350 million Downtown Project, but the city has grown into much more than his personal project. Switch Communication’s founder, Rob Roy, is pumping money and energy into the InNEVation Center, a collaboration space that delivers some of the fastest Internet speeds in the world (courtesy of his company’s SuperNAP data center) and serves as a meeting place for startup and economic development events.
Las Vegas’ Downtown Container Park, where an enormous metal praying mantis sculpture shoots flames out of its antennae, hosts live music events along with unique retail and dining spots. It’s helping draw new hospitality sector investment like Seth Schorr’s new ultramodern Downtown Grand hotel, a gaming, dining and entertainment venue.
While the VegasTech Fund, founded by Hsieh, is a big influencer in town, early-stage and maturing Las Vegas companies can seek financing from the Las Vegas Valley Angels, Brennan Capital and state sources like the Battle Born Venture Fund and the Silver State Opportunities Fund.”
“Reno’s allure lies with its geographic location, affordability and emerging and energetic startup scene. It’s a morning’s drive from Silicon Valley and just a half-hour car trip from the ski slopes and beaches of Lake Tahoe. That mix of business friendliness, quality of life and entrepreneurial energy is attracting small, scrappy startups and the satellite offices of some of the world’s largest technology companies.
The Biggest Little City has transitioned from a gambling mecca into an entrepreneurial hot spot. Tesla Motors is eyeing the city to house its new “gigafactory,” a multibillon-dollar battery-production headquarters; Apple has already built a data center there and Intuit, Microsoft Licensing and Drone America are headquartered in town. Homegrown startups are sprouting downtown. Reno’s Startup Row along the Truckee River features cloud-computing companies and fitness-software outfits, a vibrant co-working collective and a hardware developer that builds microcontrollers.
Reno’s vibrant entrepreneurial culture includes 1 Million Cups events, hackathons and startup weekends all year long. Marmot Properties is remodeling and updating scores of Reno homes in central locations to house the influx of entrepreneurs.
Capital needed to fuel startup activity is also available: The Silver State Opportunities Fund is investing $50 million in Nevada-based business. And the Battle Born Venture Fund is a state fund that provides critical funding for early-stage, high-growth companies in Nevada. The Reno Accelerator Fund invests in early-stage companies in the capital.”