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Vegas Tech Company, Full Spectrum Laser, Raises $10 million

The Buffalo News is reporting that Summer Street Capital has made a $10 million investment in Las Vegas tech Startup company, Full Spectrum Laster. Here’s the note from the article:

Summer Street Capital, a Buffalo-based private equity fund, has made a $10 million investment in Full Spectrum Laser, a Las Vegas, Nev.-based laser and 3D printer engineering and manufacturing company.

The company said it would accelerate development of its next-generation, affordable laser cutting/engraving and 3D printing platforms to capitalize on market demand.

Congrats to Full Spectrum Laser on the funding! It’s great having you as part of the Las Vegas tech startup community. We’re looking forward to seeing your success in the growing 3D printing space.

November 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.

Where Are We At with Vegas Tech and Downtown Project?

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a few weeks, but work’s been busy. Yep. That’s right. There are a lot of people working at Las Vegas startup companies that are too busy to fret over some misguided reports about what’s happening (or not happening) with the Downtown Project and in many regards the larger Vegas Tech community. However, as someone who could live anywhere in the world, but has chose to make Las Vegas my home, I’m very interested in the discussion.

I won’t recap here all that went down. In case you missed the flare up, check out Mike Yoder’s nice summary and also the statement from Downtown Project. That should give you a pretty good summary. The facts are that Downtown Project laid off 30 people or about 10% of the Downtown project staff and Tony still has the same role he’s always had in Downtown Project. Layoffs are never fun at any company and is a huge deal for those 30 people. My heart goes out to those individuals, but it’s hardly a sign that Downtown Project is over/failing or whatever other verb you prefer.

First, Downtown Project scaled so quickly, that there’s little doubt that there were some bad hires, bad fits, or some hires that aren’t needed as the project evolves. This is especially true when you think of Downtown Project as a collection of over 300 companies and legal entities. Plus, none of those layoffs were from the 100+ (I lose track of their actual number) tech startup companies that come from the $50 million Vegas Tech Fund. All in all, there really isn’t that much of a story here. Downtown Project is still on the same trajectory it’s always been on. However, I can see how an outsider media member might not understand the entire context of what’s happening.

However, the thing the media people seem to miss is that there’s a whole lot more to the Las Vegas startup community than just the Downtown Project. Sure, Tony Hsieh is the only one in the Vegas Startup community that can get on 60 Minutes (and he should get whatever exposure for Vegas that he can get), but that’s not to say that there’s not a number of interesting companies and people with no real relationship to Downtown Project doing business in Las Vegas. In fact, I’d suggest that some of the most interesting companies in Las Vegas have no ties to Downtown Project. One day, the media will discover this as well.

Plus, it’s worth noting that Downtown Project together with a variety of other factors have literally brought together a startup community in Las Vegas from nothing. I know first hand since I quit my day job to start my first company back in 2010, a full 2 years before Downtown Project even existed. I’d done my Masters at UNLV. I’d been to all the local tech meetings. In 2010, there was no tech startup community for me to look to for my new company. There were a few tech startup companies, but literally no community.

In 2011 (6+ months before Downtown Project), Rick Duggan and I started this blog to try and do something to bring together the Las Vegas startup community. We knew of 20 startup companies and figured there had to be at least 20 more that we just didn’t yet know about. Boy were we wrong. We’ve now lost count of companies, but there are hundreds of tech startup companies in Las Vegas.

However, the number of companies really doesn’t matter. Maybe there have been hundreds of tech startup companies in Las Vegas all along. What we discovered was that none of these companies knew each other, supported each other or worked together. The first Startup Weekend Las Vegas (Side note: the 8th Startup Weekend Las Vegas is happening next month), the Vegas Jelly, and the #vegastech hashtag started bringing the tech startup community together in a really extraordinary way.

Now, hundreds of startup companies and thousands of startup company employees interact, support, and help each other. That didn’t exist in 2010 in Las Vegas, but it does now. Tony Hsieh’s $350 million Downtown Project has just thrown gas on the already burning fire. The Supernap’s InNEVation Center has contributed the same. Now the fire has spread and the Las Vegas Startup community isn’t dependent on either organization. However, I don’t expect either the Downtown Project or the InNEVation Center to stop what they’re doing anytime soon. They’ll both keep contributing in a big way.

That’s not to say that the Las Vegas startup community is out of the woods. I’m not saying we couldn’t take a step back. We definitely will takes steps forward and backwards. There are cycles that we’re certain to see. Not to mention we could benefit from more outside investment. We could use some nice acquisitions from landmark companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Microsoft, that are big enough that they leave the company in Las Vegas.

We’ve had a number of “singles” and “doubles” as far as exits, but the startup community will really benefit from some much larger exits that will fund the next generation of startup companies. We haven’t had that yet, but that will take some time to build. We also need to do a much better job engaging the wealth in the broader Las Vegas business community. Not to mention, we need to work to develop the entrepreneurial culture in our high schools and colleges. Although, those present tremendous opportunities considering we haven’t had their support and we’ve already made it this far.

Who knows if Downtown Project is going to be a success or a failure for Tony Hsieh and his other investors. It’s already 300 investments in including $200 million in real estate. I think they’ll turn out just fine. However, regardless of what happens to the Downtown Project, the Las Vegas tech startup community is 100 or maybe even 1000 times better today than it was before Downtown Project was started. Some of that was thanks to Downtown Project, but a lot of it happened totally separate.

Even if Downtown Project were to close its doors today (which it’s not even close to), the Las Vegas startup community would continue to thrive. Those who’ve only taken the Tony Hsieh tour of Las Vegas won’t understand that, but those of us who’ve lived the change know that a community is much more than an area of downtown and its most visible member.

The 20 year outlook for the Las Vegas startup community is very bright. I’m excited to be a part of it.

October 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.

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.

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