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SXSW Launches New Event in Las Vegas Called SXSW V2V

Big news for the Las Vegas tech startup community just came out today that SXSW was doing its first event outside of Austin, TX in the beautiful Las Vegas. The event will be held August 11-14, 2013 at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. Here’s the short description of the new SXSW V2V event:

Featuring four days of informative panels and workshops, inspirational speakers, intensive mentor and coaching programs, networking events and receptions, pitch competitions and startup showcases, SXSW V2V offers innovators and entrepreneurs across all creative industries a space to learn the skills, make the connections and find the inspiration to take their ideas and talents to the next level. If you are involved in building an app, a service, a business, a brand or a community, then this event is for you.

As you can tell from the description, this is going to be a very startup focused event which fits in perfect with what’s happening with startup companies in Las Vegas. I see this event as being an amazing opportunity to launch a new startup, receive mentoring as a startup company and to network with other startup companies.

SXSW made the great decision to hold SXSW V2V at The Cosmopolitan. The Cosmo is a perfect match for the startup lifestyle. It hosts a generally younger crowd and a really swanky design that will nicely compliment the SXSW V2V event. Plus, Cosmo is small enough that there will be a lot of opportunities for those attending the event to meet people in the elevators, at the bar, and on the dance floor of Marquee Nighclub (which I can say is amazing). I imagine many will also make their way to Downtown Las Vegas to enjoy some of what Tony Hsieh and The Downtown Project are doing.

In my post yesterday about Sequoia Capital funding Vegas Tech startup company Romotive, I talked about the Silicon Valley VCs funding companies in Las Vegas. This is another example of why Las Vegas is a great location to do a startup company. Certainly we don’t have as many venture capital firms in Las Vegas as many other places around the country. However, I bet it’s pretty rare for a venture capital company to go more than about 6 months between trips to Las Vegas.

Between behemoth conferences like CES and startup focused conferences like the new SXSW V2V, Las Vegas startup companies have plenty of opportunities to meet with VCs in Las Vegas. Mark Suster recently wrote about Brad Feld’s book Startup Communities. In his post, his third pillar of a successful startup community is “Killer Events.” Las Vegas has these in spades and SXSW V2V is the latest amazing addition to the Vegas Tech community.

October 23, 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.

Rumgr Raises $500k from Tony Hsieh, Arun Rajan, Fred Mossler and Andrew Donner and Launches Officially

It’s been a big couple days for the team behind Rumgr: Dylan Bathurst, Ray Morgan and Alex Coleman. They officially launched Rumgr and they announced their first round of funding as well. This is the first Startup Weekend Las Vegas company to get funding. I still remember when I heard Dylan first pitch the idea. It’s come a long way since then.

As part of their official launch they’ve added some great new features like splitting comments and offers into two distinct actions. This might seem like a subtle change, but it’s a really smart move for Rumgr since it also sets the stage for them to build in a number of other features around paying for an item based on the offer that’s accepted.

I also love a number of the website features that have been added to Rumgr.com as they seem to have embraced what Mark Suster has recently called a Web Second, Mobile First strategy. As I think back on my chats with Dylan and Ray I think they’ll continue this thoughtful approach on what to add to the app and what to add to the website that will make Rumgr work better on both platforms.

According to Techcrunch, Rumgr raised $500k from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, Zappos CTO Arun Rajan, Fred Mossler, and Andrew Donner, CEO and owner of Resort Gaming Group.

Congrats to Dylan, Ray and Alex on their official launch and funding. All of Vegas Tech is looking forward to where they take the app from here.

February 1, 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.

Las Vegas Tech Company HealthDataInsights Sells for $400 Million

Great news coming out today that a Las Vegas company, HealthDataInsights, sold for $400 million to HMS Holdings. Founded by Victor Chaltiel (yep, they guy who recently ran for Mayor of Las Vegas) with Andrea Benko as Co-Founder, President and CEO.

This is a great example of how a tech company can do very well in Las Vegas. How many people outside of Las Vegas would have bet that a Las Vegas tech company could sell for $400 million? I think using the baseball analogy, we’ll call that a triple (Zappos was a homerun if you’re keeping score). Not a bad next step for the burgeoning tech startup community in Las Vegas.

Mark Suster has a great post up where he talks about GRP Partner’s investment and 30% ownership in HealthDataInsights. It makes a lot of sense for a VC firm like GRP Partners to invest in Las Vegas. LA is a short 5 hour drive up the I-15 to get to Las Vegas. Plus, between vacation and conferences, they’re going to be in Las Vegas anyway. I look forward to seeing Mark Suster and GRP Partners doing a lot more investing in Las Vegas Tech Startup companies.

Also, as Mark Suster mentions in his post, HDI was a woman run company since the Founder and CEO is Andrea Benko. I’m sure many in #VegasTech would love to have more women like Andrea Benko more involved. A good place to start would be at next week’s Startup Weekend Las Vegas or another Vegas Tech Event.

November 8, 2011 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.

My Own TechStars or Ycombinator Like Summer

This post was originally posted by John Lynn on his personal Las Vegas Startup Blog.

I was recently watching some of the videos that they created for the end of TechStars Boulder that were posted on Brad Feld’s blog. As I watched the various founders on the videos, I came to an interesting realization. My summer had been very similar to there summer. I basically created my own little TechStars summer and built a company just like them.

I started out on April 1st when I quit my day job to work on Giving Sports and Giving Square full time. It was a big move for me, but very exciting. Similar to TechStars or Ycombinator, my goal was to relatively quickly (months) create a website and launch it. August 3rd I officially launched Giving Sports achieving that part of the goal. Woot!

Now I’m just entering the second stage of the process where I start building up the customer base and iterating the product over and over. It’s very exciting as I’m just finalizing the details with a number of organizations that plan to use the websites and I’m talking with a dozen more organizations.

Of course, my experience in some ways was quite different than those at TechStars. First, I didn’t have all the mentor ship that they received in the program. However, in some respects I feel like I have some of the same mentors. The blogs (Fred Wilson, Brad Feld and Mark Suster are some favorites), websites, videos, etc that are out there on internet startup companies are tremendous. Twitter and my Feed Reader have been pretty amazing mentors for me.

No doubt I didn’t have the same type of exposure that they have had. Nor did I want some of the exposure they get for my product. While I’d love exposure to the tech crowd, those aren’t my customers. So, it would be little more than stroking my ego to get coverage from the various tech outlets that cover internet startups.

I also haven’t paraded in front of investors for my website either. I’ve certainly built a number of relationships with investors this summer, but there’s something beautiful about bootstrapping the startup. As I grow I may change my mind on this, but for now bootstrapping is beautiful.

I guess I’m just struck by the power of the internet. First, to be able to build a product (website) in such a short period of time. Second, how it provides amazing access to resources that were never available before. Third, that some little guy like myself in Las Vegas could create his own summer TechStars/Ycombinator experience is just awesome!

Now it’s time to make sure I get the same type of results out of my company as those companies have achieved.

August 13, 2010 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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