By Mike Kazmierski
We recently hosted the largest and most exciting technology conference in the history of Reno-Sparks: the VentureBeat Blueprint conference, an event that looked at ways to expand high tech across the country.
In attendance were more than 300 tech executives and government leaders from more than 40 states, many that had never been here before! Tech leaders like Ira Ehrenpreis, founding partner at DBL Partners and Tesla board member; Michael Ronen, founding partner of SoftBank Vision Fund; Kate Behncken, chief of staff at Microsoft; and Jesse Haines, director at Google. They attended Blueprint to discuss how to bring technology to cities in the heartland of America. VentureBeat chose The Biggest Little City over several other locations, to host and showcase the “blueprint” of our recent and ongoing transformation.
Reno-Sparks blueprint: The growth of technology in our region is no accident. We have been building a foundation for the growth of technology with our success in attracting advanced manufacturing companies and data centers, while developing our entrepreneurial ecosystem, which is primarily tech.
The addition of more than 175 new companies to the region generated the need for more technology to support the robots in the manufacturing facilities as well as managing or maintaining the thousands of servers that were not here just five years ago, when Apple announced they were building the first significant data center in our area.
The addition of technology companies is accelerating: We have come a long way when it comes to technology. The list of new technology companies is long and remarkable for a community our size — one that had very little technology to begin with.
The companies we all talk about are impressive: Tesla, Panasonic, Switch and Apple to name a few. Then we add Clear Capital, Grand Rounds, Koch, Alchemy and now Google and Blockchain LLC to that list, in addition to more than 200 new startups like Flirtey or Bombora, which has grown from two people to almost 50 in just three years. You can see where we are heading!
Read the rest of the story at rgj.com. Mike Kazmierski is president and CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.