Business incubator expanding

Adam's Hub offers an open work space area as well as offices for its dedicated office clients.

Adam's Hub offers an open work space area as well as offices for its dedicated office clients.

The Adam’s Hub is growing its reach.

Carson City’s year-old start-up incubator at the corner of Proctor and Carson streets downtown is finishing off its second floor digs a year ahead of schedule and taking over space it once leased to a hair salon.

At the same time, the workspace for entrepreneurs plans to expand into new services by partnering with other organizations.

In the hub’s new space, for example, will be an office for Michael Salogga, business development manager for Carson City who also acts as a small business counselor.

The hub is also adding services for so-called soft skills — interviewing and resume writing skills, for example — open to area workers.

“We want to be a centralized hub for start-ups and provide support for small businesses and individuals,” said Miya MacKenzie, the hub’s chief professional officer, who late last year took over from Rob Griffin, who had served as executive director since the hub’s inception.

The second floor and expanded first floor should be finished within the month, said MacKenzie, turning Adam’s Hub into a 8,200 square-foot facility with more than a dozen private offices, four high-tech conference, and open work space in addition to shared kitchens and office equipment on both floors, and showers, lockers and post office boxes for its clients.

The added space should help the hub expand its current client base.

The incubator offers three types of memberships: dedicated office clients, who pay $500 monthly for a private office, mentoring and shared services; virtual clients, who pay $250 a month for open workspace, mentoring and services; and co-workers, who for $150 a month can work in the common area and use shared services but do not receive mentoring.

Right now, Adam’s Hub houses three dedicated office clients, four virtual clients and one co-worker.

MacKenzie says ideally the hub can accommodate about 10 of each type of client with the expectation that the list will keep turning over as start-ups launch and move out.

“The average length of stay in an incubator is 18 months,” said MacKenzie.

So far, one client has graduated from Adam’s Hub: Talentel, a developer of software to help home healthcare companies find the best aide workers.

In the next few months, Adam’s Hub is also expanding its staff, adding a marketing manager and two more entrepreneurs in residence to have three advisors available to advise the start-ups working there.

The hub has about 40 volunteer mentors. Each dedicated office and virtual client is assigned a team of four to six mentors that they meet with monthly for guidance.

“We have the mayor (Bob Crowell) and the president of Western Nevada College (Chester Burton),” said MacKenzie. “We have a rocket scientist.”

Mentoring is key to the hub’s appeal, says it clients. That and the support from fellow entrepreneurs.

“A lot of us are in different phases and I can learn from their experience. A lot of start-ups go through the same pain no matter what type of business they’re in,” said Scott Hyde, founder, Lima 3 Systems, which is a virtual client. “And we got teamed up with a good mentoring team.”

Lima 3 is developing software for a payment system for businesses that buy from other businesses and the government. The system automates the delivery of invoice details to credit card processors that allows the businesses to receive an additional discount.

“We’re kindred spirits,” said Emmett Castellan, sales and services manager, Base Venture, a San Francisco-based start-up developing software to digitize fund management documents and provide centralized storage. “We’re all more or less trying to do the same thing so it’s conducive to growing and learning.”

Base Venture has already raised $2.4 million in venture capital and Castellan says he plans to expand his local staff by two soon, all working out of the Adam’s Hub.

Raising money is the next step for Now Ads, another Adam’s Hub dedicated office client run by Kirk Caraway, publisher of Carson Now, a local online news site.

Caraway developed an online advertising system for his news site that pulls advertisers’ posts from social media such as Facebook and Twitter to create rotating ads for the web site.

Through Now Ads, he’s now selling the system to similar sites such as the Prairie Village Post in Kansas. He has 16 clients so far and would like to take it to national advertisers and bigger newspapers as well as continue to develop the system.

“I got in the Hub in April looking for two things: a physical location for Carson Now and to work on Now Ads,” said Caraway. “We’re a start-up and I’m looking to get venture capital.”

Caraway said his mentor team has been especially helpful, both on complicated matters like trademark law and on understanding what early investors, called angel investors, are looking for.

Adam’s Hub MacKenzie said the incubator wants to do more to help its clients find funding.

Right now, clients can apply for up to $25,000 from its fund Carson Careers for pre-seed funding. So far, two clients have received funding.

Both Carson Careers and the Adam’s Hub are funded by the Hop & Mae Adams Foundation.


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