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My Guide to Visiting the #VegasTech Startup Community

One of the most common questions we get here at Vegas Startups goes something like this “I’m coming to Las Vegas, can you connect me to what’s happening in the Vegas Startup Community.” Sometimes they have variations like asking us to introduce them to startup companies or startup founders, but the concept is generally the same. They’re in Las Vegas, and they want to check out/hang out with/learn about the Las Vegas startups and the Las Vegas startup community while they’re here.

With this in mind, I thought I’d create what I consider my guide to getting to know the Las Vegas startup community. Plus, I had a couple guys from Brazil that I promised I’d help get to know the Vegas Startup community since they were planning a visit. So, this is inspired by my Brazilian startup friends (or soon to be friends).

There are two main centers of startup activity in Las Vegas: Downtown Las Vegas (Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project is the core of this) and the InNEVation Center (Switch/Supernap is behind this). Visiting both of these communities will give you a good feel for the Las Vegas startup community. Then, along with these communities you have a wide variety of startup companies throughout the Las Vegas valley.

Now for some more specifics on these two hubs of the Las Vegas startup community and a few other resources to help you with a visit to Las Vegas:

InNEVation Center
The InNEVation center is Rob Roy’s (Founder of Switch) “gift” the community. It really is an amazing asset in the Las Vegas startup community. The InNEVation center is this really unique mix of co-working, a great meeting venue, and office space for Las Vegas tech companies.

If you reach out to the InNEVation Center, they should be able to schedule you a tour of the space. It’s a really unique venue that makes for a great tour. Otherwise, you can also check out the InNEVation Center blog to see some of the latest happenings. Each month they host a CommunityCation Luncheon which is great and they also list a wide variety of meetups every month. Attending one of those meetups is another great way to meet the community.

Behind the InNEVation Center is a company called Supernap (Switch). If you’re looking for a data center option for your company, getting a tour of the Supernap should be on your list of things to do in Las Vegas. It’s an amazing experience (at least for a data center and tech geek like me).

Downtown Project – Downtown Vegas
The Downtown Project is Tony Hsieh’s (CEO of Zappos) $350 million investment in downtown. As of this post, the project consists of over 300 businesses that span the spectrum of tech startup companies, restaurants, venues, healthcare, education, and even a supermarket.

With that said, it’s hard to summarize everything that’s going on in Downtown Las Vegas that might interest you. However, you might start with a Tour of Zappos and Downtown. They have a number of options if you want someone to kind of introduce you to the area.

If you’d like to do your own tour of Downtown, I’d suggest you stop by the co-working space Work In Progress and then spend some time enjoying The Beat Coffee Shop, The Gold Spike, and Downtown Container Park. For a more specialized experience, you can check out Stitch Factory (Fashion), SYN Shop (Hacker Space), or Turntable Health (Healthcare).

As for tech startup investments and funding in Downtown Vegas, you’ll want to check out the Vegas Tech Fund and also the The Mill. The later includes an Idea Accelerator and a Startup Accelerator.

Regular Events
Community Dinners – Happens Every Wednesday night at 6 in various locations in Downtown Las Vegas. Organized by @WorkInProgress, so check with them for the latest details.

InNEVation Center Meetups – More meetups than we can keep track of.

Downtown Podcast – Happens Every Thursday Night at 9 PM. It started with a little more tech focus, but has lately been more Downtown Las Vegas focused. Still a fun event where you can meet people Downtown.

Tech Cocktail Week – Las Vegas – Usually happens the 2nd week of the month (Wed-Sat) in various locations in Downtown Las Vegas. Organized by @TechCocktailLV, so check with them for the latest details.

#VegasTech Hashtag
One of the very best ways to connect with the Vegas Tech startup community is to use the #vegastech hashtag on Twitter. The community really connects and rallies around that hashtag. A large portion of the community monitor it regularly and it’s a great way for you to connect with people in the Vegas Tech community. Feel free to post a message that you’re in town and who you’d like to meet. The community is likely to respond or connect you to the right person/company.

Vegas Tech Companies
Along with our own list of Las Vegas startup companies (which continually needs updating), there are a number of other places that have lists of Vegas Startup companies. Unfortunately, none of them are comprehensive. In fact, I don’t think all of these lists combined together would be comprehensive since the community is growing in such a dynamic way. However, it should give you a start when identifying startup companies in Las Vegas that could be of interest to you during your visit:
Vegas Startups Company List
Vegas Tech Funded Companies
InNEVation Companies
Work In Progress Companies
Vegas Tech Map
Vegas Valley Angels

Conclusion
Hopefully this gives you a small taste of what’s happening in the Las Vegas startup community and where you should go if you’re ever visiting Las Vegas. No doubt there is a lot more happening than’s described in this post. Plus, I expect it to be out of date tomorrow as things are constantly changing. That’s the fun of being in such a vibrant and exciting startup community. The comments on the post are open if someone in the community wants to highlight something I’ve missed.

February 6, 2015 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.

Startup Weekend Las Vegas, SXSW V2V and Other Vegas Startup Events

We’ve got a whole slew of great Vegas Tech startup events happening in the beginning of August. I know it’s hard for many people to keep up with all of the various Vegas Tech events that are happening. It’s a really dynamic time to be part of the community. Plus, many of the events get announced just a few days before the event. With that said, I wanted to point out a couple of the exciting events coming up. Events like these is what makes the Vegas Tech startup community so great.

A few of the events (in order of occurrence):
Downtown Speaker Series – There are two great speakers lined up for Friday and Saturday this week. On Friday they have the legendary magician David Copperfield speaking. On Saturday they have Jane Poynter speaking. While the name might be as familiar, I expect she’ll be possibly even more interesting than David Copperfield since she lived a magical 2 years in the biosphere 2 and is working on space technology and tourism in Downtown Las Vegas along with Inspiration Mars. I’m so mad I’m out of town for these.

Vegas Tech Week – The website for this is still not updated, but it happens the second week of every month. So, for August this will be 8/7-8/10. They do have the registration for the Thursday speakers up. I love the lineup. I’m really looking forward to Chris Kelly, Former Chief Privacy Officer of Faceook, Frank Addante, Founder of the Rubicon Project, Andrew Hyde, Founder of Startup Weekend (and a startup junkie), and Leigh Ferreira, Formerly of TED and Now at IAB. I love the mix of areas and the quality of the people. Should be a great event.

Startup Weekend Las Vegas – This is a special Startup Weekend since it’s paired with SXSW V2V. In fact, three members of the winning team will represent their group at V2V. The event is from August 9th to August 11th. Plus, those participating will get a chance to meet and pitch to Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and now an investor. Kate Rutter, co-founder of Luxr will also be their speaking to those that participate. Plus, they’ll have a stable of other coaches and mentors there to help you through the weekend. You can find more details on Startup Weekend Las Vegas and register for the event. If you’ve never been before, this seems like a good time to try it out. If you can’t go the whole weekend, it’s fun to also go and observe the pitches and presentations.

SXSW V2V – For those not familiar with this event, it’s SXSW Interactive’s first foray into hosting an event outside of Austin. You can read a lot more on the SXSW V2V website. There are quite a few Vegas Tech speakers at the event including Vegas Startups very own Rick Duggan with his 12 year old son Ethan Duggan. Plus, there are some really awesome evening events planned as well. You’ll see that many of those events are happening downtown so people attending the conference can get a feel for another side of Las Vegas. Hopefully they’ll get a chance to meet many of us local vegas entrepreneurs at the event as well.

I could dedicate a whole post to each of these events and no doubt there are other events I haven’t listed, but time is short. How cool that you can have David Copperfield, Chris Kelly, Steve Case and Ethan Duggan all hanging out in the Vegas Startup community? What an amazing community!

July 30, 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.

Vegas Tech Week Is the Must Attend Vegas Startup Event

For a long time when someone would ask about the Las Vegas tech startup scene, I’d tell them that if they wanted to get a flavor for the Las Vegas tech startup community they should stop by the Vegas Jelly. The Jelly was the place where all the startup entrepeneurs would show up and mingle. It was where everything that we now know as Downtown Project was announced. It was core to the start of the #vegastech community.

As usual happens in any community, I no longer tell people to go to the Vegas Jelly if they want to get a feel for the Las Vegas startup community. My new response is that people should attend Vegas Tech Week. Held the second week of every month and organized by Tech Cocktail, it’s become a really beautiful part of the developing Vegas Startup ecosystem. You get a chance to mix and mingle with locals and out of town visitors alike. Plus, there’s always a few surprises like an invite to bungee jump off the Stratosphere (855 feet) or participate in a Llama parade.

Regardless of what surprises happen, you’ll connect with people in interesting new ways. Plus, the speaker series will inspire you and your company.

I’ve got a number of entrepreneurs I know from outside of Las Vegas coming to check out the community this month. It’s definitely become the go to event to introduce people to another side of Las Vegas.

June 3, 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.

Vegas Publisher and Event Company Tech Cocktail Raises $2.5 Million

Tech Cocktail just announced a $2.5 million investment from Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project. Congrats to Tech Cocktail on raising a great round of funding.

Those in the Vegas Tech startup community are likely familiar with Tech Cocktail. I’d say they’re best known in Las Vegas for their monthly Tech Week events that they hold on the second week of every month. When I talk to entrepreneurs and investors outside of Las Vegas, I’ve started suggesting they come visit what’s happening with startup companies in Las Vegas during Tech Week.

Another interesting part of the Tech Cocktail funding announcement is this little tidbit, “We’ll soon be announcing an exciting new national platform for startups and their regions around the country.” We’ll have to see what kind of platform they’ve created. I guess they didn’t read the latest tech buzz about building a platform is a lazy pivot. Or maybe it’s a logical one given their audience. It will be fun to see how it plays out.

It’s been great to have Tech Cocktail as part of the Vegas Tech community. They’ve embraced the community with open arms and done a lot to contribute to it. I look forward to many more great Tech Cocktail events in the future.

May 15, 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.

Vegas Tech Cocktail Week

I apologize for being a little late on posting this, but there’s still time to enjoy the bulk of what has been put together for the Tech Cocktail Week in Las Vegas. The great people at Tech Cocktail have brought an amazing lineup of speakers and events to Las Vegasover the next couple days. These events mark a great start to Tech Cocktail in Las Vegas.

Most of the events you can just show up and attend, but you can subscribe to get Tech Cocktail Week updates. You’ll also definitely want to register for the Tech Cocktail Sessions + Startup Showcase & Mixer event on Friday night.

While I’m excited for a large number of speakers, I’m not going to lie that I’m most excited to see my favorite Tech personality, Sarah Austin speak. I’m glad that Sarah is getting a chance to see what’s been started in Vegas Tech. The other keynote speakers are pretty phenomenal as well, Raj Kappor (Snapfish), Tim Draper (DFJ), and Amy Jo Martin (Digital Royalty).

I’ve put the schedule of events below and I hope I get a chance to see many of you there.

Thursday 12/13

9:00am – 2:30pm – Coworking, Office Hours & Mentoring @ usr/lib

3:00pm – 5:30pm – Inspiring Lightning Talks @ Downtown Construction Zone 

We are thrilled to share an afternoon of inspiring talks by some of our esteemed and talented out-of-town guests. Some of our speakers include Natalie Baumgartner, Aziz Gilani, Greg Cangialosi, Michael Tchong, Saul Kaplan and others (look for their bios in the Tech Cocktail Week book which will be distributed in local establishments). The complete schedule of talks is here.  

Friday 12/14 

9:00am – 2:30pm – Coworking, Office Hours & Mentoring @ Downtown Cocktail Room

3:00pm – 5:30 – Inspiring Lightning Talks @ Downtown Construction Zone 

We are thrilled to share another afternoon of inspiring talks by some of our esteemed and talented out-of-town guests. Some of our speakers include Cathy Brooks, Evan Burfield, Sloane Davidson, Apurva Shaw, Elizabeth Stark,  and others. Look for a complete schedule of talks here soon.  

5:30pm – Big Erns BBQ right next door to the Downtown Construction Zone will be open for dinner!

6:00pm – 10pm – Tech Cocktail’s Downtown Vegas Startup Showcase + Sessions

Location: 300 S. 9th St. (at Bridger)

– 6:00pm  Doors Open (Cocktails & Appetizers)

– 6:30pm – 8:00  Welcome, Keynote Speakers:

Raj Kapoor – The Snapfish Story and Thoughts on Entrepreneurship

Amy Jo Martin – Renegades Write the Rules

Tim Draper – The Next Generation Of Entrepreneurs

– 8:15pm  Startup Pitches & Hottest Tech Cocktail Week Startup Announcement

– 8:30pm  Mixer begins, (cocktails, appetizers, startups demoing in expo style) ends at 10pm

December 13, 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.

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