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Reno

Reno’s enviable location an hour away from Lake Tahoe makes it a magnet for outdoor activities, and with median housing costs less than half that of the Bay Area, the area has seen a massive demographic influx. Nevada is the 2nd fastest growing state in the country and Reno has begun to shed its edgy reputation as a mining and gaming hub as it embraces its new role as a regional innovation hub and an accessible alternative to nearby Silicon Valley. Nevada has historically had a favorable tax environment, and in 2011 the state government passed SB75, which created the Nevada Capital Investment Corp to invest in local startups. The Innevation Center at the University of Nevada, Reno equips the community with 65,000 sq feet of collaborative workspace, providing a watering hole for local entrepreneurs. Major tech companies have begun to take notice. Tesla has started building its Gigafactory, and in 2017 Apple broke ground on a billion dollar datacenter in the area. Despite facing a lack of capital and anchor customers, Reno is poised to reposition itself from a heavy manufacturing-oriented based economy to one that is diversified and services-oriented.

In This Market

These businesses offer industry expertise and are a source of startup talent and potential customers. They help fuel the local startup community.

Opportunities

  • Reno’s location an hour away from Lake Tahoe, and four hours away from Silicon Valley, makes it an enviable location for outdoor activities and attractive to young talent.
  • Nevada is the 2nd fastest growing state in the country and Reno has been growing rapidly as well.
  • Nevada has historically had a favorable tax environment, and in 2011 the state government passed SB75, which created the Nevada Capital Investment Corp to invest in local startups.
  • Major tech companies have begun to increase their footprint. Apple is investing $1 billion in expanding its data center at the Reno Technology Park in the Truckee River canyon east of Sparks. Tesla has broken ground on its Gigafactory, which (when completed) will employ over 6,000 people and have as much battery production capacity as the rest of the world combined.
  • The University of Nevada, Reno is a Tier 1 research university, and its Innevation Center provides the region with 65,000 sq feet of collaborative workspace for events that help the startup community.
  • Hardware and gaming startups are particulaly promising verticals.

Risk Factors

  • Due primarily to its size, the community lacks the cohesiveness of other more established startup ecosystems.
  • Reno still suffers from negative PR that makes attracting investment challenging, however this is beginning to change as more people move to the area.
  • The market faces a shortage of anchor customers and capital to help startups scale -- an opportunity that aspiring angels can help change.
  • The region's rapid growth means that housing costs have increased dramatically over the past few years.
  • The lack of a local billion dollar startup exit, or “unicorn”, makes it challenging for the community to be validated.
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