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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.

Vegas Tech Won’t Ever Be As Good As Silicon Valley and That’s Ok

Over and over I hear people asking whether it’s better to start a company in Las Vegas than it is to start a company in Silicon Valley (or any other city you might prefer). I personally don’t think about this question very much. To me, the comparison really doesn’t matter too much. I love being in Las Vegas and I’m planning to be here and part of the Vegas Tech startup community for the next 20 years.

Instead of asking if Las Vegas is better than somewhere, I like to ask: Can you build a great startup company in Las Vegas?

The simple answer is an emphatic answer: YES!

At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter whether one city is better than another for building a startup. There are pros and cons to every locale and entrepreneurs face some of the same challenges no matter where they live. Let’s just say that all of those other startup cities you can think of are better than Las Vegas: who cares? Whether they’re better or not, doesn’t change the fact that you can build a great company in Las Vegas if that’s where you want to build a great company.

Think about all the great companies that started before there was what we now call Silicon Valley? I imagine there were better places to start their company at the time too, but it didn’t matter. They were successful just the same. Startup companies in Las Vegas can do that too.

Regardless of the possible comparisons, it’s an exciting time to be part of the Las Vegas startup community. I look forward to looking back 20 years from now and being amazed at the companies that have made up the Vegas Tech startup community. Then, we’ll start working on the next 20 years. Regardless of the specific results, it will be a fun ride so strap in.

August 9, 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.

SXSW Vegas Tech Wrap Up

I know that I posted a quick post about Vegas Tech at SXSW. Certainly it highlighted some of the really cool things that happened at SXSW including the breakout Vegas Tech star, Ethan Duggan. Plus, as I say in the post, I think much of the Vegas Tech bonding that happened will prove to be the most valuable. I still think that’s the case, but as I’ve recovered from a crazy couple weeks of travel and conference attendance I think that Vegas Tech did much more at SXSW than we can really calculate.

I started to consider all of the things that weren’t reported or part of the formal VegasTech at SXSW initiative. Take for example Michael Terpin’s Startup Debut at SXSW. Michael and Social Radius have been doing business in Las Vegas for quite a while and been part of SXSW since 1996. I imagine many in the Vegas startup community barely even knew what he was doing at SXSW, but he was there.

I also love David Anderson and OpenFire. He and his partner were at SXSW with no ticket to the show, but they were hustling. They made friends with a coffee shop owner and started a meetup for others to come and co-work. Between that and the other events they attended think about how many people likely learned about Vegas Tech from them.

Another example is master networker Jimmy Jacobson of Wedgies. I know he was at SXSW, but only saw him for about 5 minutes in Austin. If you followed his Twitter stream you’d know that he was all over SXSW doing what he does best, meeting people and connecting with them. I can’t imagine the hundreds of people that learned what’s happening in #VegasTech from him during SXSW.

I also saw Sarah Austin from Pop17 quite a few times in Austin (She hasn’t quite bought her place in Vegas, but she should soon). She did her own startup pitch event, did a magazine signing, attended a Bravo taping, played a concert with her band, and certainly much more than I know about.

I could go on and on. The point is that there were hundreds of people from Las Vegas attending SXSW that were meeting people, connecting with people, partying with people, and so the effect is much greater than anything we can count in number of tweets, #vegastech booth traffic, or party attendance (as cool as it was to have Matt Mullenweg, Founder of WordPress at the party).

The Vegas Tech community did great at SXSW to make a lot of people ask, what’s happening with Las Vegas Startups? We still have a lot of challenges ahead of us as a community, but I expect many people that make up the future of Vegas Tech will be able to draw a line back to SXSW 2013.

March 24, 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.

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