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In Carson City, startups grow up at Adams Hub for Innovation

Brook Bentley
Northern Nevada Business Weekly

Adams Hub for Innovation opened their doors in November 2014.

“It will be two years in November,” Miya MacKenzie, chief professional officer for Adams Hub for Innovation, said.

Adams Hub offers co-working space, incubators for startups and additional amenities for the business community.

“The future for Adams Hub is looking at creating a community of collaboration and innovation,” MacKenzie said.

“Collaboration is kind of our middle name,” Peggy Wynne Borgman, community curator at Adams Hub for Innovation, said.

Adams Hub is a 6,500-square-foot, two-story facility located in downtown Carson City.

“We started small with just the downstairs,” MacKenzie said. Things began moving quickly and they were received well in the community resulting in their growth into the upstairs happening earlier than planned.

The lower level of Adams Hub encompasses a co-working space conducive to startups and collaboration.

“There is something to be said for being around other people. It is sort of a creative collision that occurs and there is a lot to be said for that,” Peggy Wynne Borgman, community curator at Adams Hub for Innovation, explained.

A co-working membership also offers use of conference rooms, business center equipment and the opportunity to work with mentors.

“Technology and remote working was such a big trend and eventually there was a diminishing return,” Borgman said.

Co-working space is trending now, she explained. Shared space leads to people collaborating with each other. They highlighted an example of a freelancer working with another person who was using the co-working space

“There is a spirit of comradery,” MacKenzie added.

Borgman and MacKenzie said the co-working space typically has a lot of freelancers and home-based businesses.

Co-workers like the space for the professionalism and collaboration they said.

“Collaboration is kind of our middle name,” Borgman added.

The upper level has 10 incubator spaces for startups that meet the criteria of their incubator program selection. MacKenzie said they currently have five of the spots filled.

MacKenzie explained that startups typically spend approximately 18 months in an incubator before they are stable enough to move into the community.

Part of the goal at Adams Hub is that the incubator environment and resources like mentors will allow the startups to grow and establish and eventually be able to move into the community.

“The collaboration is not just for people who belong to the Adams Hub group; our community is northern Nevada and Tahoe,” MacKenzie explained.

One example of this is The Studio, a collaboration and event space located within the same building as Adams Hub.

MacKenzie explained that this space is offered to non-profits at no charge. They are also working closely with Western Nevada College and have a class being taught in the space.

The Studio is also home to the Entrepreneur Assembly Startup Incubators Carson City monthly meeting.

They work on goals to move business plans forward. “It is startups, people thinking of starting a business and mentors,” MacKenzie explained.

“I believe they just hit their 1,000 startup served number this last meeting,” Borgman said.

Why Startups? Adams Hub is a strategic initiative of the Hop & Mae Adams Foundation, a private non-profit whose trustees are tasked with using their best judgment to assist Carson City.

MacKenzie explained as part of that, their goal is to help businesses start and be more successful.

“They thought an incubator, co-working space would positively impact the community,” MacKenzie said.

The community quickly saw there was value in Adams Hub and things began to fill up quickly resulting in their expansion upstairs a year ahead of plan.

Adams Hub does not cater to a specific type of startup, but they find the typical incubator client to be technology or innovation, Borgman explained. They also have a virtual program that works with manufacturing companies, for example.

“Ultimately, the environment works best for a startup that can scale quickly,” Borgman said.

Adams Hub offers 35 mentors from the community. MacKenzie mentioned the president of WNC, the mayor of Carson City and a rocket scientist as a few.

Adams Hub also has a host of interns. Ranging from one or two high school students, WNC students as well as one or more UNR students. While these students intern with Adams Hub, they get the opportunity to work with the range of startups that work from there as well.

“Most interns stay more than one semester and up to two years. It really depends on needs and their schedules” MacKenzie said.

Mackenzie mentioned the unique generosity of the startup community. There are people who have a lot to give to people who need those resources.

The Adams Hub for Innovation is located at 111 West Proctor St.