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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.

Uber Starts Service in Las Vegas

Update: ABC News is reporting that a court has ordered Uber to stop offering rides. No doubt this is the start of a long fight between Uber and the Taxi Authority.

Back in April 2012, we were asked by Uber to post a few Uber Las Vegas job positions for them. It’s taken about 2.5 years for Uber to finally make the plunge and announce their Uber Las Vegas service which starts today. I believe this is great news for Las Vegas even if the Taxi Authority feels otherwise.

I think this quote from an RJ article describes well the demand for Uber in Las Vegas:

Justin Kintz, Uber’s head of public policy, said in the past 45 days, 50,000 people have opened the Uber app on their smartphones in Southern Nevada, an indication, he said, that the market is prime for the company that refers to itself as a technology company and not a transportation operation.

If I understand this correctly, in 45 days the Uber app was opened by 50,000 people who then had to find a different mode of transportation. That’s pretty amazing, but not really surprising. Uber is in over 200 cities and many of those users are coming to Las Vegas for conferences and want to have a similar Uber experience to what they have at home. No wonder the Taxi companies are so worried.

One thing is a little unfortunate. As part of the Uber Las Vegas roll out, Uber drivers will not be able to pick up customers on the Las Vegas strip hotels or at McCarran International Airport but will be able to drop off passengers at those locations. Uber is still trying to work out the logistics of pickup at these locations. I’ll be interested to see how this evolves.

I’m also interested to see Uber users react to surge pricing during major conferences like CES. Can you imagine how much you’ll have to pay for an Uber during CES which is chock full of Uber users? Although, we’ll see how much Uber can do during an event like CES. I’m pretty sure CES isn’t going to create a special Uber pickup and drop off line and traffic during CES is insane.

I’m excited to have Uber in Las Vegas. I know many in the Las Vegas tech startup community and those visiting us will love having the service available. Plus, Uber says that their rates are generally 10 percent to 20 percent below taxi rates.

If you’ve never tried Uber (in Las Vegas or another city), you can sign up and get your first ride free(up to $30).

October 24, 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.

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.

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.

#VegasTech acquired by Google

Big news everyone: The #VegasTech community has been acquired by Google for $25 billion. In a stunning show of how quickly the community has grown, we are now seeing our first acquisition, and it’s a big one. Sure, the $16 billion WhatsApp acquisition by Facebook followed by their $2 billion acquisition of Oculus Rift seem like a big deal, but that’s nothing compared to the coup we just scored.

According to Larry Page, “The #VegasTech community has grown by leaps and bounds since 2011, and we felt like we should get in now before it gets bigger than Google. This was, frankly, our only chance to make this acquisition, and we’re pleased we were able to do so.”

According to a Google spokesperson, they plan to keep #VegasTech headquarters in Las Vegas, but may open satellite offices in Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York.

April 1, 2014 I Written By

A veteran of five startups (one of which conducted a successful IPO), Rick Duggan is currently Director of Website Systems at Zappos IP, Inc.. Prior to joining the Zappos Family of Companies, he was 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 companies Rolltech and LaunchKey.

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.

The Closing of /usr/lib and a Big Jelly

By some measures, on April 26, 2011, #VegasTech was born. The first Jelly. A combination co-working/social event, it was formed in part to help plan for the upcoming inaugural Startup Weekend to be held in June.

A small group of folks invited by Dylan Bathurst attended, none of us having any idea that within a few months the event would grow to hosting over 150 people. Since there was no existing space, it was held at The Beat Coffeehouse, though a few months later it moved into the /usr/lib space upstairs.

Like all eras, however, this one is set to come to a close on Thursday, January 30th, at 7:00pm in /usr/lib above The Beat at 520 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV. The /usr/lib space is being closed, and so it seems fitting to have a strong Jelly showing.

And now, it looks like a new organizer, Fode Diop, is stepping up to take charge of organizing the Jelly, so it will live again. Where? Perhaps we’ll have a future interview with Fode where he shares his plans.

My memory of that night has already faded somewhat, but fortunately Shavonnah Tiera thought to document it. Her camera captured the events of that night (ignore the July date on the video, it was actually April).

When my co-blogger here, John Lynn, sent out a tweet suggesting a final Jelly, my thoughts immediately went back to the first one and I started to wonder how many of the original group would attend this one.

So, here is my call out to:

Will you be able to attend the not-so-final Jelly?

I hope someone records this one too.

January 25, 2014 I Written By

A veteran of five startups (one of which conducted a successful IPO), Rick Duggan is currently Director of Website Systems at Zappos IP, Inc.. Prior to joining the Zappos Family of Companies, he was 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 companies Rolltech and LaunchKey.

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