The Adams Hub, a business innovation incubator place downtown, is expected to open in a few weeks and business savvy Rotarians were invited Tuesday to join in helping guide entrepreneurs there.
Rob Griffin, Adams Hub executive director, made those comments during a presentation he and Miya MacKenzie of the Hop & Mae Adams Foundation made at a Rotary Club luncheon meeting. They talked of foundation and incubator initiatives, which included remarks by Griffin touting co-working approaches and incubator space for firms in the “state-of-the-art” facility across from City Hall.
“I like to explain it as Starbucks meets Kinkos,” said Griffin, noting the co-working innovation and synergy concept has grown from one such space in 2005 to hundreds today. He said the United States leads the world in providing co-working space for technology and other businesses. He also said the Hub is a generalist incubator, which means it will help startup firms from any industry if they are innovative and scalable.
Scalable is business-speak for startup ideas and firms that can grow with help to create jobs, which Griffin said is the point.
He said the concept sweeping the nation and technological world is to get entrepreneurs out of their garages and kitchens, working in a space that provides support to incubate individuals and firms from startup status to expansion quickly without the usual pitfalls for new firms.
Griffin told Rotarians just 45 percent of startups without incubator help still are around in five years, while 84 percent of those with such help still are. He said 74 percent of startups eventually receive venture capital infusions, while only 7 percent of non-incubator startups do. He also said successful startups often spawn people who foster spinoff startups.
Individuals seeking co-working space and support at the Hub will fork over a monthly membership fee, which Griffin likened to a fitness facility membership, and startup firms will as well. The startup fees are expected to be higher due to space and services involved. Griffin said he, MacKenzie and a cadre of local business people with help to provide will be there for such services. That prompted his pitch for interested Rotarians to contact him.
Griffin also stressed that venture capital attraction and dissemination would be part of the help provided to startup firms. He mentioned Battle Born, a state venture capital effort a year old, and MacKenzie later said relationships are being forged with private sector investors interested in getting into innovative opportunities.
MacKenzie, MacWest Marking spokesman for the foundation, said a Hub soft opening is planned in July, a grand opening some time in August. She also told Rotarians of various initiatives the foundation is backing to interest Western Nevada College and Carson High School students in business innovation and technology. She said the goal eventually is to get such programs working with elementary school students here as well.