A big congrats to Las Vegas startup company Sport-Social for winning the Project Vesto competition. I couldn’t be happier to see a Las Vegas startup company take home the $100k prize. The following is the full press release that details the announcement.
CARSON CITY, Nev. (June 28, 2013) – NIREC is proud to announce Sport-Social as the winner of Project Vesto. Sport-Social, a Nevada startup servicing the needs of children with autism and other special needs, will be awarded the business competition’s top prize and opportunity for $100,000 in seed funding and support. Andrew Devitt, a 22-year old therapist for children with autism, started Sport-Social in 2011 with just $15,000. In the past 20 months Sport-Social has grown to employing 20 people and servicing 225 children per week using action sports, team sports, and the arts to provide an ideal environment for social interaction.
As the winner of Project Vesto, Sport-Social will receive a $25,000 check during an awards ceremony at its place of business during the next month (date and time to be announced). The Las Vegas startup will then be required to achieve important milestones established by Project Vesto and experienced industry mentors in order to receive the full prize.
“For startup companies like Sport-Social, it is extremely important to couple hands-on mentorship with seed capital to help ensure their success,” says Ian Rogoff, Chairman of the Board of NIREC. Through Project Vesto, Sport-Social will gain access to a distinguished network of angel investors, experienced entrepreneurs and consultants who will work hands-on with Sport-Social over the coming months to take their business concept to the next level. “We look forward to helping Sport-Social become an even bigger success story for Nevada than it already is,” says Rogoff.
“Start-ups are an important component of Nevada’s economic development plan,” said Steve Hill, Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “Project Vesto is one example of the innovative investments that GOED is making to build a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem that ensures Nevada remains a ‘Top 10’ state for entrepreneurs for years to come.”
Sport-Social was selected as the winner of Project Vesto by popular vote on the Project Vesto website at www.ves.to out of 232 Nevada entrants and 12 finalists selected by high-profile judges in Reno and Las Vegas. The 2012-2013 Project Vesto competition was administered by the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization(NIREC), with sponsorship and support from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the City of Reno, Rob Roy’s InNEVation Center powered by Switch,Wedgies real-time web polling, Brennan Capital Partners, the Growing Worldwide Opportunity Foundation, Sierra Angels, HelioPower, the Law Offices of Snell & Wilmer, and Mr. Robert C. Anderson.
More information about Sport-Social is available at lasvegasautism.com.
About GOED: Created during the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) is the result of a collaborative effort between the Nevada Legislature and Governor Brian Sandoval to restructure economic development in the state. GOED’s role is to promote a robust, diversified and prosperous economy in Nevada, to stimulate business expansion and retention, encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, attract new businesses and facilitate community development. More information on the Governor’s Office of Economic Development can be viewed atwww.diversifynevada.com.
About NIREC: The Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization (NIREC) is an independent private 501(c)3 nonprofit actively involved in igniting innovation, driving commercialization and fueling acceleration as an innovation intermediary in Nevada. More information about NIREC can be found at www.nirec.org.