NNBW Support Your Local Business Sweepstakes profile: StartUpNV
Location: 450 Sinclair St., Reno, NV 89501
Name(s) of Owners: Jeff Saling is co-founder; we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit, so there is no owner
How Long Have You Been In Business: 2.5 years
EDITOR’S NOTE: On April 7, the NNBW launched the “Support Your Local Business Sweepstakes” as a way to support local businesses in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the Sweepstakes in April, May and June, we’ll be featuring each of our business partners in a special Q-and-A. Today, we profile StartUpNV.
NNBW: Tell us about your business and some of the most important services you provide?
Answer: StartUpNV is a 501(c)3 non-profit state-wide business incubator and accelerator for scalable Nevada start-ups. Our ecosystem of founders, mentors, university connections, investors, and business partners work together to support member companies. We make start-up growth and success accessible throughout Nevada by opening doors to mentorship, marketing, business development, customer acquisition, talent recruitment, and capital. Founders interested in the StartUpNV program(s) pitch to our advisory panel for feedback with about 1 in 10 companies being invited to join. Since our founding in 2017, we’ve seen 400+ pitches, helped 40+ companies in our program, with 15 of those companies raising $36+ million in capital.
NNBW: What are some of the key things your business does to ensure premium levels of customer service?
Answer: Upon acceptance into the program, startup founders are assigned a coach and primary mentor – and have access to 100+ additional experts and mentors on an “as needed” basis. Each founder sets their own meeting schedules, but most meet weekly or every other week with their coaches and mentors to achieve agreed goals. Members re-pitch to our advisory panel every 90 days to check on progress and make necessary adjustments (pivots) in their approach. Most founders want to raise investment capital — so that’s one of the primary success metrics we track — have they raised and their readiness to raise. We are starting an online startup incubation community in June (2020) to provide additional virtual content / access and create the ability to help more startups – and track their progress through our program in real time. We also started our own pre-seed investment fund, FundNV (fundnv.com), to provide qualified members direct access to early stage startup funding within our program.
NNBW: What makes Northern Nevada such a great place to own and operate a business?
Answer: Northern Nevada offers a great lifestyle, access to a highly skilled workforce, a very reasonable cost of doing business compared to other startup hubs – and an open, friendly, community willing to help.
NNBW: As a local business owner, why do you feel it’s important to give back to the community?
Answer: As a 100% volunteer-run (we hire a 2-3 University students each year as part-time interns) 501(c)3 non-profit, all we do is give back. We are creating the kind of startup community that gives our current and future entrepreneurs a better chance to succeed… while helping to diversify our economy. As entrepreneurs succeed, they create jobs – and our members are focused on selling their companies at some point in the future, which creates local wealth which inspires (and invests in) more startups – creating a virtuous cycle of economic success and diversity that can last generations.
NNBW: What are you doing to support other local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Answer: Our bias is to buy in Nevada and support Nevada based businesses — and that continues where it’s possible. During COVID-19 restrictions, we moved all of our support mechanisms online to help our members / founders continue to move forward.
“I point out many cases of where privately owned companies do just as bad a job as publicly owned companies,” says Reno resident and former teacher Robert (R.D.) Gardner.