The largest business startup event ever held in Reno is scheduled to begin next week.
Reno Startup Week runs Sept. 25-29 and takes place at multiple venues across the Truckee Meadows. The completely free weeklong event will feature more than 40 educational workshops, ample networking opportunities for Northern Nevada entrepreneurs, and keynote addresses by prominent business leaders in the community.
Reno Startup Week was created to bring together founders, innovators, dreamers, makers and business owners to celebrate and grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Northern Nevada, said Ira Gostin, president of G8 Strategies and co-producer of Reno Startup Week along with the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada. More than 50 guest speakers and business experts have signed on to present at workshops, host activities and participate in discussion panels and mentoring programs at the event.
“Reno Startup Week pulls everyone together from all corners of Northern Nevada’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, enabling a unique and unprecedented opportunity for founders and business owners to network, grow and amplify their businesses,” Gostin said. “Through EDAWN’s leadership, Reno Startup Week also helps position Reno as a more welcoming and cultivating venue for startups.”
Doug Erwin, senior vice president of entrepreneurial development for EDAWN, said that Reno Startup Week is a celebration of entrepreneurship that provides important educational tracks and access to the resources fledgling companies need to help them grow.
“There’s a track if you are a first-time entrepreneur, there’s a track if you're running a small business, and there’s a track if you are a startup entrepreneur,” Erwin said. “There’s also a track on entrepreneurial wellbeing, which is also important.”
A handful of events at Reno Startup Week includes:
• Growth through leads, sales and marketing
• Strategic financing
• Basics of starting a business
• Taking ideas from prototype to product
• Crafting pitch decks
• Growing and running a local business
• Raising capital in Reno
• Accessing grants
• Sales and pricing strategies
• Venture capital (which includes SVB Capital, Next Frontier Capital, Flume Ventures, Dream Ventures and Advantage Capital)
A complete listing of events, panels and discussions, as well as registration information, can be found at renostartupweek.com.
The three keynote speakers for the event are: Adam Kramer, president and CEO of nZero; Ryan Weissmueller, founder and CEO of Fintrepid Solutions; and Chris Meyers, an attorney with Holland & Hart.
The idea for Reno Startup Week had been brewing for many years, EDAWN’s Erwin added. It was important to finally bring the concept to fruition, he told NNBW, because so many networking and business development events were canceled during the pandemic and the entrepreneurial ecosystem suffered as a result.
“This is the biggest thing we’ve ever attempted as far as entrepreneurial programming,” Erwin said. “It is something we have always wanted to do to bring the whole community together, coupled with the need post-COVID to bring everyone back and help them make those connections.
“Whenever you bring people together in an event like this, your hope is that you have people making really valuable connections, whether that’s an entrepreneur meeting with an investor who ultimately invests in their company, or perhaps they meet a co-founder and get insight that helps them overcome a sticky situation in business. Ultimately, Reno Startup Week is about helping entrepreneurs get access to the resources that they need.”
Juston Berg, vice president of entrepreneurial development at EDAWN, said attendees can expect to add polish to crucial business skills as well as expand their network of key business contacts by attending Reno Startup Week events and workshops.
“It’s important for budding entrepreneurs to meet people who have been through the journey,” Borg said. “They can gain insight on where to go for resources to help them get started, and throughout the week the panels and discussions increase in their level of sophistication.”
The week will culminate with the quarterly startup pitch competition in conjunction with Elevate Reno. A handful of companies will be chosen to present their concepts with the opportunity to win funding, Borg added.
“Along the way attendees will receive critical education that culminates with the pitch competition,” he said.
Participating or presenting organizations include business incubator StartUpNV, Reno Seed Fund, Nevada Small Business Development Center, Advantage Capital, G8 Strategies, Latin Chamber of Commerce, NCET, Tech Rally Reno, Tech Alley Reno, Audacity, Made in Nevada, and University of Nevada Reno Innevation Center. The latter will host many Reno Startup Week events as well.
The overarching goal of Reno Startup Week, EDAWN’s Erwin concluded, is the creation of more locally based businesses and to help existing startups scale their companies.
“There are a lot of people who are sitting on the sidelines with entrepreneurial dreams,” Erwin said. “By coming to Reno Startup Week, they can figure out how to navigate the initial pathways and processes to create their businesses and meet the right people to help them along the way.
“Business is all about people, and Reno Startup Week is simply creating a container for the magic of entrepreneurial development to happen.”