The Las Vegas tech community is benefitting from an influx of companies after years of slow growth. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the city’s Switch Data Center and InNEVation Center, as well as Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project, are “both expected to continue recruiting and supporting businesses new and established.”
“Over the past years I think we’ve seen dramatic changes in the influx of companies coming to Las Vegas and starting in Las Vegas,” said Jason Mendenhall, executive vice president of cloud at Switch Data Center and president of the Technology Business Alliance of Nevada. “It’s the result of years of work. It didn’t just happen overnight.”
The Review-Journal also points to the growth of crowdfunding and local venture capital for helping to boost Las Vegas’ tech community. For example, Monty Lapica of Coloma Ventures created Start-Up Vegas, an event which gives local Web-based companies the chance to pitch angel investors and venture capitalists. Lapica said that crowdfunding gives older investors the chance to invest in tech companies run by younger entrepreneurs they might not normally meet.
The momentum is expected to continue. For example, a push by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to become a Tier 1 research university should help the local tech scene. “Look at historical tech communities that are successful,” said Justin McVay, director of the UNLV Business Startup Center. “A majority of them surround a large research-based facility.”