By Kaleb Roedel – Northern Nevada Business View
Only recently removed from being rocked by the Great Recession, that year Reno-area startup companies brought in a small cluster of new jobs (50) while raising droplets of venture capital ($2 million), according to the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.
Five years later, the horizon for both entrepreneurs and investors looks vastly more fruitful and green — in more ways than one.
Halfway through 2018, regional startups have already poured in 210 new jobs and raised a whopping $24 million in capital (a $22 million jump from 2013), according to EDAWN, putting it on pace to easily surpass the $35 million in capital raised by area startups in all of 2017.
“I think the most fascinating thing is that, five years ago, we didn’t have a single company to point to what success looked like,” Bryan McArdle, vice president of entrepreneurial development at EDAWN, said in a phone interview with the NNBV. “And now we have a broad spectrum of companies at all stages — from companies that are at $1 million to $10 million in revenue to companies that are raising big rounds to bootstrap smaller startups.”
So what caused Northern Nevada’s seismic startup shift? For starters, six years ago EDAWN, under the helm of then-new CEO Mike Kazmierski, put a narrow focus on entrepreneurial development in the region.
Key players in the uptick of new jobs and raised capital are tech startups, which have surged into the greater Reno area over the last five years. With a lower cost of living and labor, and a higher chance of sticking out, the Biggest Little City has been growing into a mini-Silicon Valley.
In other words, not only is the ecosystem trending upward, but it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
“The major metropolitan areas are so oversaturated right now,” said McArdle, pointing to the Bay Area as the prime example. “If you want to work in a cool tech startup company, San Francisco isn’t the greatest life choice at the moment. So these second cities are really starting to see resurgence around the tech entrepreneurial spaces.
“And it’s exciting to have Reno in that small group of cities that are succeeding in that.”
Read the rest of the story at nnbusinessview.com.