EDAWN: Record number of tech companies relocate to Reno-Sparks in 2018
RENO, Nev. — It’s no secret the greater Reno-Sparks economy saw a surge of tech companies plug into the region in 2018.
That was no more apparent than at the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada’s “New and Expanded Companies” welcome reception Thursday, Dec. 6, at the Peppermill in Reno.
This year saw a record number of tech companies (11) and corporate headquarters (15) stake flags in the region. Technology-related businesses made up the largest segment of companies assisted by EDAWN, according to a press release.
One of those tech companies honored Dec. 6 was Talage, a software firm that provides a digital marketplace for small business insurance. Over the summer, the company set up its headquarters on South Wells Avenue in Reno.
“All the things EDAWN’s been striving to do the past few years, I think they’re backing it up,” Adam Kiefer, Talage CEO and cofounder, told the NNBV. “And Reno is making that shift from essentially a transportation, warehousing hub to a legitimate tech player. And I think we’re starting to make moves. We’ve got a long way to go. I think the more people that can move real headquarters and build real startups here … I think it’s big steps in the right direction.”
Mykle Gaynor, CEO of fellow tech honoree Clickbio, said the EDAWN reception was a great “branding event” for the area.
In August, Clickbio, which manufactures labware/plasticware for laboratory automation, moved from the incubating University of Nevada Reno Innevation Center to its own offices on Double Diamond Parkway in south Reno.
“Reno, as we grow, we want to grow into something,” Gaynor told the NNBV. “And for everybody to get together and share a vision — we want to be startup-friendly, we want to be growth friendly, we want to be an attractive improvement on how business is done and how lives are lived in San Francisco.”
To that end, Gaynor pointed out that many local startups are doubling down on the area rather than packing up and moving to areas like Silicon Valley.
“People don’t give a lot of praise to local companies growing, but that’s another big part of it,” he said. “The tide is raising all ships.”
According to EDAWN, this year, 29 new and expanding companies in greater Reno-Sparks added more than 2,000 new jobs to the region. This attributed to a 40-percent increase in average wage compared to 2016, when the average salary was $46,157. EDAWN says wages are on track to hover in the $60,000-$65,000 range for 2018-2019.
“The new opportunities this creates for our workforce are sure to have a positive impact for generations to come and I couldn’t be more excited,” Mike Kazmierski, president and CEO of EDAWN, said in a statement.
Construction could begin next year and require about 500 to 600 workers, with a permanent workforce starting at 150 to 200 people with potential to expand.