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Zappos Opens Downtown Office

I’m sure my partner in crime here at Vegas Startups, Rick Duggan, will provide a full report on the opening of the new Zappos office in downtown Las Vegas since he works at Zappos. Until he unpacks his boxes and provides a first person report, you can check out the Review Journal article covering the new Zappos offices downtown.

Plus, our friends at Room Champ captured a picture of the new Zappos sign they put up:
Zappos Downtown Las Vegas

It’s also worth noting that the new Zappos offices have a number of lobby/communal spaces that are open to the public to stop by and co-work. I’m excited to go down and try it out.

September 9, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 electronic medical record and health IT blogs. He also founded the Pure TV Network of blogs. John recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. As part of the Las Vegas Tech startup community, John helped organize the highly successful inaugural Startup Weekend Las Vegas. He's also been a strong supporter of the Vegas Tech community including co-founding the VegasStartups.com blog. John is highly involved in social media, and can be found on Twitter: @techguy and Google Plus.

FirebrandGroup Accelerator Fund in Las Vegas – Deadline to Apply is 5/22/13

This summer, the newly created Firebrand Group will be investing $10,000 to $25,000 in very early-stage startups who go through a new Las Vegas accelerator called Progression Lab. They don’t specify if you have to give up any equity to be part of the accelerator, so I guess you don’t?

The crazy thing is that this was just announced last week and the deadline for applications is May 22nd (that’s tomorrow). Maybe they already have a slew of people interested in participating, but a week is a short period of time to accept applications for an entire summer program.

The FireBrand Group is being funded by the Vegas Tech Fund who has allocated up to $500k of their $50 million and the accelerator is being run by 7 Venture for America fellows. I didn’t realize that Venture for America fellows had the skills needed to run a startup accelerator. This should be fun to see play out.

It is a great opportunity for someone who has an idea and wants to spend a summer building that idea in a really fun community (Downtown Las Vegas). Along with being part of the accelerator, participants will get to enjoy the monthly Las Vegas Tech Week events, The Downtown Speaker Series, and work out of The Work In Progress co-working space with other Las Vegas entrepreneurs.

If you have a big idea and would love to work on it this summer in Las Vegas, then you should check out the Firebrand Group. Sorry for the short notice on the application deadline. I didn’t realize it was so close.

May 21, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 electronic medical record and health IT blogs. He also founded the Pure TV Network of blogs. John recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. As part of the Las Vegas Tech startup community, John helped organize the highly successful inaugural Startup Weekend Las Vegas. He's also been a strong supporter of the Vegas Tech community including co-founding the VegasStartups.com blog. John is highly involved in social media, and can be found on Twitter: @techguy and Google Plus.

The Vegas Jelly Movement

Hands down, the most important event of the Las Vegas tech community right now is the Vegas Jelly. Anyone who wants to learn and understand something about Vegas Tech should start by attending the Vegas Jelly. Every Thursday evening (yes, pretty much all evening) members of the Las Vegas tech community gets together at The Beat Coffeehouse and Usr Lib to share a drink, co-work, network, connect, share war stories, help, and have fun together as a community.

I don’t think that Dylan Bathurst knew what he was doing when he started the Vegas Jelly. I know I certainly didn’t. Dylan likes to regularly remind me my response when he first told me about the Vegas Jelly. I told him it was unlikely that I’d be making it out to a Vegas Jelly. Almost a year later, and I go to the Vegas Jelly as much as possible.

I first attended as a way to support Las Vegas Startup Weekend. That Vegas Jelly was the perfect event to bring together the Tech community before spending the weekend together hacking away. Plus, I quickly realized that the Vegas Jelly was becoming as much about meeting and helping people as it was co-working (Dylan’s original vision). So I was hooked.

I love some of Dylan’s comments on the Vegas Jelly website from those first jellies. Here are a few:

“Leading up to Startup Weekend Las Vegas on June 24-26, 2011 we’ll be having a number of Jellies to get people interacting and sharing ideas with one another. Don’t worry we’ll continue having them after SWLV as well.”
Seems like quite the understatement now.

It’s on and catching on! Jelly #2 was once again totally awesome. We had a couple more of the awesome Ruby meetup dudes come hang out. We also had Josh, a freelance web developer, that is living/traveling with his family around the US in an airstream! As he and his family rolled through Vegas they heard about the Jelly and stopped by.
The serendipity started as early as the second Jelly with Josh and his family showing up. So cool.

“I’ve noticed that some of people that have met at the Jellies are starting to chat/collaborate/work together outside of the Jellies. This brings a proud tear to my eye. So don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you.”
I bet he’s shed a lot of proud tears with how great the Vegas Jelly is now.

Extending the Vegas Jelly Movement
What I don’t think any of us expected was how the term Jelly would start being used for all sorts of different meetups in downtown Las Vegas. Here are just a few examples:

SoundFoundry’s Jelly and Jam – Bring your instrument and play! (21+) Writing a concerto, need help mixing your latest dub-step, looking to collaborate, or just want to hang out and play? This meet-up is for musicians, by musicians… & open to all music aficionados. What is Jelly & Jam, you may ask? Jelly: a casual working event. Jam: a musical act where musicians play (i.e. “jam”) by improvising without extensive preparation or predefined arrangements.

Content Jelly – Do you blog? Write poems, short stories or novels? Create narrative or documentary films? Produce a podcast? Have a passion for photography? Write and/or perform music? Design games? If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, you are a “content creator”. We’ll meet every other Wednesday for an hour in the /usr/lib/ classroom for a quiet “get to know you” and updates on the various projects & initiatives going on around town. After that first hour, we’ll head down to the Beat for drinks & casual conversation.

Green Jelly – A gathering of Las Vegans interested in making downtown Vegas greener and more sustainable.

I’m sure there are other Las Vegas Jelly events as well that I either don’t yet know about or are in the planning stages. For example, I know there’s some people working on a Vegas Jelly West (although, I think they’re going to use a different name). That will be nice for those that live on the West side and provide a great outreach to many Las Vegas tech startups who don’t necessarily want to come downtown.

Tonight’s another Vegas Jelly and it should be a packed event. Here’s the breakout sessions they have on the agenda:

Hackers & Painters by RayMorgan and Mark Johnson!!!!

Pitch practices by:
v-by – Deborah
shipping containers — Kat
CareAbout.it — Patrick Gibbons
Wishfrogs – Dan Worthington
CleanTechOpen – Lori Glauser
Bob Sweitzer – Business Models – turning clicks into dollars

Get a seat early for these breakout sessions. I’m sure it will be standing room only again this week. I wonder when we’ll get the live video stream going.

April 12, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 electronic medical record and health IT blogs. He also founded the Pure TV Network of blogs. John recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. As part of the Las Vegas Tech startup community, John helped organize the highly successful inaugural Startup Weekend Las Vegas. He's also been a strong supporter of the Vegas Tech community including co-founding the VegasStartups.com blog. John is highly involved in social media, and can be found on Twitter: @techguy and Google Plus.

VegasTech Turns One!

Hey everybody, it’s VegasTech’s birthday. Today, I am officially* declaring VegasTech’s birthday.

They grow up so fast, don’t they? Only a year ago, there was no VegasTech. Only a year ago, there was lots of tech (as we know now) but no community to share it with.

Since then, we’ve created the following:

And, as I like to say, Doing/Helping every single day.

Let’s not forget /usr/lib, the tech library and co-working lite space downtown.

But most importantly, we together have created VegasTech.

And we’re being recognized for it. Here are just some of the stories in the press that have come out in the last few months.

And just like the real cycle of life, we can mourn the loss of a couple of entities: BloomWorlds and The Shop LV.

So why am I claiming, even half-jokingly, that VegasTech is a year old now? Because it is. At least in Internet time. Actually, in my view, we’ve accomplished 5 years worth of work in less than a year. And while I think the anniversary of the first Las Vegas Jelly (April 26th) makes a good birthday, planning for that and the first Startup Weekend began before that date. So today’s kind of a good date to choose.

Look around, VegasTech. Look around at the friends you’ve made. Look at the people you’ve helped. Look at the companies that have been started and at the ones that have moved here. If you’re near another VegasTech member, pat them on the back. If not, pat yourself on the back. You deserve it.

We’re not done yet, not by a long shot. As one of our mentors, Brad Feld, would say, we need to have a twenty year view. From today. And a twenty year view. From tomorrow. And a twenty year view. From 10 years from now. A twenty year view. Forever. I like that.

* – Okay, I have no authority to do this. You know this. I know this.

February 26, 2012 I Written By

A veteran of six startups (one of which conducted a successful IPO), Rick Duggan is currently CTO of Sports Challenge Network, Inc., a VegasTech startup creating new technology for one of the world's most popular sports, ten pin bowling. Prior to joining Sports Challenge Network predecessor Rolltech, he was Director of Website Systems at Zappos IP, Inc.; Chief Technology Officer of Thinker, Inc., a Las Vegas-based provider of digital signage; and co-founder and VP of Engineering & Operations at Incanta. One of the first people involved in the VegasTech community, he acts as a community evangelist, mentor, and is co-creator of the VegasStartups.com blog. He is an advisor to VegasTech company LaunchKey, recently acquired by iovation.

Great Video of Las Vegas Tech Library /usr/lib

Sara in the City visited Downtown Fremont recently and put together a nice video looking at the Las Vegas co-working space, /usr/lib/ or Tech Library if you prefer, and even talked with a few of the Las Vegas startup companies that spend time working in the /usr/lib.

I love hanging out at the Las Vegas Tech Library. It’s a cool place to hang out and work. I’ve also used it a number of times when I wanted to do a business meeting with someone downtown. It’s a really great addition to Las Vegas.

December 29, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 electronic medical record and health IT blogs. He also founded the Pure TV Network of blogs. John recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. As part of the Las Vegas Tech startup community, John helped organize the highly successful inaugural Startup Weekend Las Vegas. He's also been a strong supporter of the Vegas Tech community including co-founding the VegasStartups.com blog. John is highly involved in social media, and can be found on Twitter: @techguy and Google Plus.

Las Vegas Co-Working Front Page of Las Vegas Sun

Another late posting, but they say better late than never right? The Las Vegas Sun did a front page article covering the various Las Vegas Co-working options that are happening along with the Las Vegas Jelly.

That’s right, /usr/lib got some great coverage with Pawel Szymczykowski representing Vegas Tech very well. the Vegas Jelly and Vcubate also got some nice coverage. I love Konrad Musial’s quote about the Vcubate office space, “I saw that several people were talking about (business) incubators and shared working spaces. They were trying to find places, and I thought, ‘I can do it the fastest.’ I already have office space.” I went and worked in his space. While I love working at home, I have to admit that I enjoyed working in his office as well. I’m sure I’ll be back soon.

They also talked a bit about Citizen Space. I’ve heard word that there’s another co-working space in the works as well. I was a little surprised I didn’t see it mentioned, but maybe it wasn’t far enough along to be announced yet.

Either way, you have no excuse in Las Vegas if you say you don’t have a place to work. There are a lot of options out there and more on the way.

October 12, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 electronic medical record and health IT blogs. He also founded the Pure TV Network of blogs. John recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. As part of the Las Vegas Tech startup community, John helped organize the highly successful inaugural Startup Weekend Las Vegas. He's also been a strong supporter of the Vegas Tech community including co-founding the VegasStartups.com blog. John is highly involved in social media, and can be found on Twitter: @techguy and Google Plus.

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