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Rumgr Acquired by eBay – What’s It Mean for VegasTech?

This month we officially heard news that Vegas Tech startup company Rumgr had been acquired by eBay. This seems to be a really great outcome for Rumgr which started at the very first Startup Weekend Las Vegas. I still consider the first Startup Weekend Las Vegas as the kick off of what we now call #VegasTech. As one of the 4 organizers of the first startup weekend, I’m extremely happy that a company started at Startup Weekend Las Vegas was able to create enough value that they would be acquired by eBay. Props to Dylan Bathurst and Alex Coleman for making it happen.

At the recent Tech Cocktail Celebrate event, there was some discussion about whether Rumgr leaving Las Vegas to go and work at eBay was a bad sign for the Las Vegas startup community. People also like to point out companies like Romotive that have left Las Vegas to the valley as a bad sign for the Las Vegas startup community.

Personally, I think that acquisitions like what happened to Rumgr are fantastic for the Vegas Startup community long term. First, it shows that a startup company from Las Vegas can have a successful exit and is attractive to a silicon valley company. Second, when Rumgr’s employees are in the Valley, they’ll be evangelizing Las Vegas to everyone they meet. No doubt many they meet will ask them how a startup from Las Vegas had a successful exit to eBay when startup companies in the valley haven’t been able to get that exit. That’s a great thing for the Las Vegas startup community.

Plus, you can be sure that many startup companies in the valley will ask Rumgr what made Vegas unique for startups. What better for the Las Vegas startup community than to have Las Vegas startup community evangelists in the valley telling people about what’s happening here.

Not to mention, we shouldn’t be surprised if and when some of the Rumgr employees finish their earn outs and move back to Vegas. This is certainly not what the acquiring company wants to hear, but it’s natural for a startup company’s employees to do the earn out and then start something new. No doubt Rumgr employees will consider doing it again in Vegas. In fact, they’ll likely bring their new friends and colleagues from the Valley with them.

This is a great win for the Vegas Tech community in the long term. In the short term, yeah we’re going to miss having the Rumgr Founders and employees around the community. However, our short term loss is going to be a long term gain for the community. Congrats to Dylan, Alex and the whole Rumgr team!

October 20, 2014 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.

Tech Cocktail Celebrate

Tech Cocktail Celebrate
If you are part of the Las Vegas tech startup community and haven’t heard about the Tech Cocktail Celebrate event, then you’re missing out. It’s happening October 6th and 7th in Downtown Las Vegas and brings together an amazing set of entrepreneurs and investors from across the country. You can still get tickets to the event here.

For those of you who don’t want to spring for tickets to the event, Tech Cocktail is still looking for some volunteers to help out at the event as well. Here are the details:

Tech Cocktail is looking for volunteers for Celebrate Conference, a two day conference with hundred of attendees: industry leaders, innovative startups, creative technologists, investors, community builders and inspiring speakers.

Volunteers are needed October 6 & 7th with a variety of shifts available so you can also enjoy the show. Sign up today!

I look forward to seeing many of you at Celebrate!

September 30, 2014 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 Las Vegas Startup Community Growth

When Rick and I first met to talk about startup companies in Las Vegas, we could list about 20 startup companies that we knew of in the city. We figured there were at least double that number that just didn’t know about. Either way, we projected about 40 tech startup companies in Las Vegas. Turns out that there were more than 40, but no one knew each other. All of the companies were just working in there own separate silos. We even started a startup company list (which is now woefully outdated) to list the companies we found.

What’s happened over the last 3 years to what we now affectionately call the Vegas Tech community is phenomenal. At the time Zappos and Switch were doing very little to support the tech startup community. In fact, no one really was. Obviously that’s completely different today with The Downtown Project and the Innevation center.

Although, what’s even more interesting to me is that there are enough startup companies in Las Vegas today that the Las Vegas startup community is a really interesting place to visit. There’s a breadth, depth and variety of companies available that certainly weren’t here before. Plus, there are some amazing venues to meet as well.

I think this is an amazing and wonderful transition. I do wonder if Vegas Tech has grown so big that in many ways we’re headed back into the past where the startup companies work largely in their own silos and don’t get out and connect with others in the startup community. In the beginning there was a real excitement in the air and nobody knew anyone. This made for a great dynamic where intros were easy and exciting.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the Vegas Tech community needs to grow, mature, and develop some awesome companies that are the pillars of the future. Although, a part of me wonders how we can recreate the intimacy and connectivity that we saw and felt in the early days. Maybe it can’t.

August 5, 2014 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.

Vegas Startup Company, Shift, Lands $10 Million in Funding

Many people reading this might be asking themselves, there’s a company called Shift in Las Vegas? Well, along with getting $10 million in funding, the company formerly known as Project 100 is now called Shift. The funding and the name change were announced in a blog post by Zach Ware, CEO of Shift. Here’s an excerpt from the announcement that describes where they’re headed with the $10 million:

To our soon-to-be-members we aim to be incredibly simple while the complexity of what we do rests in the hands of our team, behind the scenes. In our core service area, first in Las Vegas and soon in other cities, we will enable people to be on their way riding, driving or biking within five minutes. We’re combining small city cars, larger sedans, shuttles, bikes and more into a single monthly membership designed to remove your thoughts about cost as a factor in whether or not you should go somewhere. By the end of the year we will not only replace your car, but we’ll deliver so much more than your car could ever deliver. And we’ll be far more affordable than you might think.

The blog post also says that the $10MM Series A round was led by Tony Hsieh and that the company now has a team of 22 people.

Best of luck to Zach and the team at Shift as they work to change the way we think about transportation.

May 15, 2014 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.

TiE Las Vegas Chapter Inaugural Event at Inspire Theater

A new entrepreneurial organization called TiE is coming to Las Vegas. TiE is the largest entrepreneurial organization in the world and Sunny Tara, Founder of docBeat, has worked hard to bring a chapter of the organization to Las Vegas.

The event is happening Wednesday night at the Inspire Theater. You can register for the event on Ticket Cake. All the details for the event are below. I hope to see many of you out there for the inaugural TiE Las Vegas event.

Join 25 leading Indian Tech Founders as they share with VegasTech the challenges and opportunities of building a start-up ecosystem in India. Both India and VegasTech are still in the “building” phase of their respective ecosystems.

The Agenda is designed to ensure highly interactive sessions intermixed with rich networking opportunities throughout the evening. We will seek to avoid formality and tedious presentations and bias towards sessions that are more intimate, peer-to-peer oriented and foster a highly engaged discussion.

Place: Inspire Theater
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Wed May 14
Age: 21+
(Please RSVP limited Capacity)

Agenda:
6:00pm – 6:15 pm Introduction of Nevada – India Business Development Council – by Kristopher Sanchez, Director of International Trade, State of Nevada, Governor’s Office of Economic Development
6:15-7:15 Panel Discussion + Q&A. Topic : Growing the Ecosystem – Rise of the Rest – India and Las Vegas
The panel is a good mix of Entrepreneurs / Leaders/ Investors that will share their perspectives on what it would take to grow the ecosystem and create big exits in India and Las Vegas
7:15 – 9:00pm – Drinks and Networking (Private 2nd floor bar at Inspire Theater)

If you haven’t been to the new Inspire Theater, this is your chance. With its state-of-the-art performance space, Wayfarer Bar, New Café and Private second floor bar, Inspire is a new place to see and be seen on East Fremont.

May 12, 2014 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.

2014 Winners of TechNevada Honors

This week was the TBAN organized TechNevada honors. It’s a great event that brings together the tech community to recognize some local Las Vegas tech companies. In case you missed the event, the 2014 Nominees and Winners (in bold) are listed below:

Technology Company of the Year:
Banjo
Smashmetrics/Revunit
Wedgies

Tech Product of the Year:
Zero Idle Battery
FSL3D, 3D printer

Entrepreneur of the Year Award:
Zach Ware, Project 100 and WIP
Sunny Tara, DocBeat
Frank Gruber and Jen Consalvo, TechCocktail

Most Promising Early Stage Start-up:
Skyworks Aerial Systems
Dooing
Paystr
Tealet

Tech Transplant of the Year:
Orderwithme.com
JusCollege
Moveline

At the event, a few other awards were given:
Technology Star in the Public Sector: Thomas Wilczek
Spirit Award: Downtown Podcast
Technology Executive of the Year: Jeff Oberschelp

It’s amazing to see how quickly the Vegas Tech community has grown. Congrats to all the nominees and winners!

April 25, 2014 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 Startup The Influential Network Launches at Coachella

A new Las Vegas company called The Influential Network is launching with a bang during Coachella. They’ll be hosting a venue called The Influential House where they’ll have some of the biggest and most notable social media personalities. Plus, they’ll have celebrities like Christina Millian, Paris Hilton, and Crystal Hefner as well.

Here’s the full description of The Influential Network:

The Influential Network is one of the largest Twitter and Instagram Network in the world. With over 20 Million followers across dozens of accounts that the company owns and manages, and a proprietary platform with thousands of top influencers, The Influential Network does campaigns for Fortune 500 companies that reach hundreds of millions of people, and organically start worldwide trending topics.

The Influential Network is the platform FOR Influencers, BY Influencers. The Influential Network provides premium accounts the ability to monetize their influence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, YouTube and more. Influencers can now get paid to share the content that their audience craves.

Welcome to the Vegas Tech startup community!

April 14, 2014 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.

Vegas Startup Company Profile: Madrivo

The following is a short company profile interview with Alice Edwards from Madrivo. If you’d like your vegas startup company profiled, drop us a note on our contact us page.

Tell us about your company.

Madrivo is an integrated marketing agency that helps companies acquire customers digitally and establish the most cost effective online presence.

In the constantly evolving and incredibly fast-paced digital era, Madrivo is an integrated online marketing agency that develops efficient marketing solutions, unifies customer acquisition strategies, and develops tactics to successfully move traditional operations to the Internet.

Tell us about your team.

The team at Madrivo guides companies, large and small, globally, to establish a strategic online identity. Team members go through an intensive training process to help clients understand the ROI and analytics of ad spends. After all, effective advertising is all about research, analysis, and education. Each client has unique goals, needs, and processes and before the development of a comprehensive digital strategy, each customer is provided with a proprietary marketing study.

Why did you choose Las Vegas? What do you love about Las Vegas?

Several of the major global online marketing and electronics conventions are held in Las Vegas, which makes it a great place to have a corporate headquarters. Clients love to come to Las Vegas to visit the office and team members are given the access to great restaurants, shows, hotels, and nightlife as well as affordable housing within a reasonable commute. Also, we have access to everything from boating to skiing within a few hour (or less) drive.

Online marketing is all about creativity and fun. Las Vegas has a reputation that melds well with both those concepts. Marketing agencies were formerly solely located in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Increasingly, clients also look to Las Vegas for marketing creativity and execution. The city is becoming an incubator for small and medium sized marketing companies, especially those with innovative ideas.

What can the Las Vegas community do to help your company?

Madrivo relies on highly skilled staff in a variety of sectors including graphic design, web development, business development, and sales. The Downtown Project, new developments, cutting-edge hotels and nightclubs all feed the community to provide creative resources in Las Vegas. As Las Vegas continues to attract these people and businesses, it will continue to help Madrivo tap into the abundance of creative and motivated individuals that are moving to Las Vegas, which helps local companies like ours compete globally in online media and agency services.

What’s your best advice for startup entrepreneurs?

Assess your target market. Before even opening the doors of a new business, talk to potential customers and have clients ready the moment that doors are open for business. This will enable quick profitability, guarantee cash flow, and ensure that the business model is viable. In addition, clients are generally the best motivation for evolution. Access to thriving new businesses drives innovation and Las Vegas has no shortage of unique ideas and opportunities.

January 27, 2014 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.

Vegas Startup Company Profile: DevPoint Labs

The following is a short company profile interview with Ty Diamse, co-founder of DevPoint Labs. If you’d like your vegas startup company profiled, drop us a note on our contact us page.

Tell us about your company

DevPoint Labs is an 11 week coding and entrepreneur bootcamp. The best way to learn how to code starts by really committing yourself. Next it helps to attend an in-person classroom with other like-minded individuals getting your hands dirty and building that “muscle memory.” We teach anyone how to program in Ruby on Rails or iOS development so you can build your own idea, launch a new career, or simply become a technical founder. The program is eight hours a day, five days a week, for eleven weeks. We hold four quarters in the year and our next class begins February 3rd, 2014.

Tell us about your team

Nhi Doan and I (Ty Diamse) are the co-founders of DevPoint Labs. Since becoming friends in high school we have worked on multiple startups together that taught us each valuable lessons. Nhi has over nine years of experience in tech ranging from web development, systems, data and networking. He is currently wrapping up his Master’s in Information Systems Management at the U of U David Eccles School of Business. Entrepreneurship is my passion and I have studied it since my early teens. I am proud Alumni from The Starter League in Chicago where I learned how to code and developed most of my web programming expertise. I also have over five years experience in project management with the DoD.

Why did you choose Las Vegas? What do you love about Las Vegas?

Las Vegas was an easy decision because it’s close to our Salt Lake City campus and the VegasTech scene is vibrant and growing at an alarming rate. We believe our startup fits and compliments the VegasTech community very well. It’s no secret that Las Vegas is the nation’s playground which is a huge draw and that makes our code school that much more attractive to students around the world.

I love the culture and tight knit community in Vegas. The problem in Salt Lake City is they’re not very collaborative. We’ve seen the exact opposite in the VegasTech community. This is a huge benefit to any startup beginning or relocating to Vegas.

What can the Las Vegas community do to help your company?

We need help in three areas. 1) If you or you know someone interested in accelerating their coding education then tell them about us. 2) We’re always looking for junior to senior level mentors to help out. They generally meet once a week with our students to help with any questions. 3) If you’re a company that’s looking to hire any developers then please come talk to us. We’d love bring you on as a hiring partner.

What’s your best advice for startup entrepreneurs?

Get out and talk to your customers. You will learn a lot more then you think and save a lot of time and money.

Where can we find out more about your company? What’s your twitter handle?

Go to our site at www.DevPointLabs.com. Find us on Twitter @DevPointLabs

January 23, 2014 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 Startup Launches ‘Yelp’ for Medical Treatments

The following is a guest blog post by Ryan Prior, a journalist producing a documentary film on complex, chronic diseases.

HealClick, a new Internet startup based here in Las Vegas, is launching a $50,000 campaign this week on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo,. The company, founded by collaborators Joey Tuan, Beth Mazur, and Cari Allshouse is a patient-sharing website catering to sufferers of poorly understood chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, lupus, Lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

The site targets these diseases because they are complex immune-related illnesses with overlapping symptoms. Physician education on these illnesses is often lacking, and patients are often required to research diagnosis and treatment options on their own.

Tuan compares his team’s new website to Yelp, the popular app and “online urban guide” popular for its open-source restaurant reviews. For travelers in an unfamiliar city, Yelp’s services help out-of-towners navigate the hidden hot spots of a new city like seasoned locals.

However, there is no obvious equivalent in the murky medical landscapes of poorly understood chronic diseases.

“I always dreamed of a Yelp for medical treatments when I was a patient. There’s Yelp for everything else, so why not treatments?” Tuan said.

Early on, he started a public Google document on which patients from all over the world gave information on their bio-markers and their treatment protocols. Even from the beginning, clear trends began to emerge and Tuan saw the potential for something much larger.

“My experience as a patient convinced me that a Yelp for treatments would be a website that personalizes treatment reviews to your entire set of medical details, rather than just your diagnosis. Also, I believed we could build a revolutionary database for research data if we could provide a a much more engaging, user-friendly way for patients to enter data than Excel sheets and questionnaires.

The HealClick platform seeks to use social engagement and data mining to bridge this jarring gap between patient and informed quality healthcare. It empowers users to create personalized online profiles detailing information on their symptoms, diagnoses, laboratory test results, treatments, and other details. Patients can then use the site’s patient matching feature to find their “doppelgänger,” a patient who shares similar characteristics in age, sex, diagnosis, and response to various types of treatments.

The founders hail from across the United States. Cari Allshouse, a patient from Delaware, specializes in building the brand’s social media imprint. Beth Mazur, an MIT computer science grad from San Francisco, programmed the site’s sophisticated patient-matching algorithms. Joey Tuan, who hails from Las Vegas, handles the startup’s business operations.

For Tuan, HealClick is as much a survival mechanism as it is a business venture. A graduate of the University of California-Berkeley, he has suffered from ME since 2005. Myalgic encephalomyelitis, or “chronic fatigue syndrome” as it’s been called in the U.S. since 1988, is a severely debilitating neuro-immune disease with no FDA-approved treatments and little research funding despite its high prevalence.

He was forced to quit a well-paying job as a consultant and would eventually spend as much as $200,000 over seven years in a desperate search for answers to a disease about which most doctors are taught very little, if anything, in medical school.

That’s where HealClick comes in. Through building a large and robust data set, HealClick’s founders hope to engage universities and research institutes in collaborative partnerships, sharing voluntary patient information with researchers capable of making sense of large data sets and complex problems.

By the time this story goes to press, HealClick will have likely inked its first collaboration with a research institution, whom Tuan wasn’t ready to name. “Imagine if we have 4,000 users with one illness: I think we’ll have research collaborations set up by year one.”

On the patient side, nearly 1,000 users have joined the HealClick community during the site’s private beta testing phase. That number is likely to grow sharply now that the company has perfected its algorithms, grown its social media following, and launched its public site.

HealClick is just one part of a broader Health 2.0 revolution taking place across medicine. Facing ever-increasing demands on their time, doctors increasingly rely on informed patients to become equal partners in their healthcare. These so-called “e-patients” are becoming a integral part of the nation’s healthcare infrastructure. Obamacare included $150 million in its FY 2012 appropriations for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which formalizes the role of well-informed patients and caregivers in federal healthcare policymaking. Stanford University recently added an “e-patient scholarship” for its annual MedicineX conference, literally giving e-patients a front row seat and even an onstage role at one of the most dynamic bio-tech conferences in the world. Tuan applied to be a speaker at this year’s conference.

“I honestly look at patients as healthcare professionals in their own right,” he said. “And conferences like MedicineX and PCORI’s patient advisory panels are beginning to move in that direction.”

To sign up, go to www.healclick.com
To contribute to HealClick’s crowdfunding campaign, please click here: www.indiegogo.com/projects/revolutionizing-patient-sharing

Ryan Prior is a journalist from Atlanta, GA. He has written for the Daily Beast, USA Today, Real Clear Politics, and numerous other publications. He is currently producing a documentary feature film on complex, chronic diseases entitled “The Blue Ribbon: ME/CFS and the Future of Medicine.”

January 14, 2014 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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