Carson City, NV — Governor Sisolak announced the launch of a first-ever nationally-ranked small business/startup accelerator in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada. Operated by gener8tor, the accelerators will be located in Las Vegas and Reno-Tahoe to provide investment, support, mentorship, and access to in-state and out-of-state capital to early-stage small businesses and startups throughout Nevada.
Alongside Nevada’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) program, gener8tor Las Vegas and gener8tor Reno-Tahoe will invest in and accelerate at least 10 small businesses and startups per year. These Nevada companies will experience a program focused on mentorship, customer discovery, creating value for consumers and communities, strategic planning for company growth, individualized coaching and pitch meetings with investors in Nevada and from across the country.
Startups and small businesses that successfully compete for a place in the accelerator will receive $100,000 investments from gener8tor’s venture fund and, subject to federal approval, from Nevada’s federal SSBCI funds. In addition, each accelerator will hold free, in-person and virtual programming and office hours throughout the year for any interested startups and small businesses throughout the State.
“The accelerators we are launching today with gener8tor will diversify Nevada’s economic development system by investing in home-grown innovation and ensuring businesses survive and thrive here in Nevada,” said Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. “Accelerators anchored in Las Vegas and Reno will provide a pathway for more businesses owned by founders from disadvantaged backgrounds to access the capital and mentorship needed to level the playing field and make certain Nevada is an economic powerhouse for generations to come.”
“Las Vegas has more than 1,200 startups and they are critical to the present and future of our city’s economy,” said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman. “The city has been a leader in creating a startup ecosystem that is among the best in the nation through our International Innovation Centers @Vegas, and the step we are taking today with gener8tor and our partners will continue what we have started.”
“As an entrepreneur and during my eight years as Mayor, I have committed to making Reno a hub for tech entrepreneurs and companies because I know how critical they can be to the economic viability of a city,” said Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve. “Today’s announcement that a top-ranked accelerator will be investing in and accelerating companies in Reno shows the world what our community has known for a while: Reno has arrived, and we will welcome the innovators and those with a dream who want to start their businesses here.”
“gener8tor is thrilled to work alongside the Governor, Las Vegas, and Reno to empower communities in Northern and Southern Nevada to invest in their best and brightest,” said gener8tor Co-Founders Joe Kirgues and Troy Vosseller. “We will bring our focus on investing across race, place, and gender along with a national network of companies, investors, and relationships to Nevada to incentivize companies to start here, hire here, and stay here.”
“This is a ground-breaking next step in the evolution of the Nevada’s State Venture Capital Program under the federal SSBCI” said Karsten Heise, Director of Strategic Programs and SSBCI Program Administrator at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). “gener8tor Las Vegas and gener8tor Reno accelerators will be funded with recycled dollars from the first version of SSBCI, a federal program created in 2010 and still being operated by GOED. The second version of SSBCI which GOED as the designated state agency has just submitted its application will – subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Treasury – allow the State to invest millions more in federal funds, alongside private funds, into Nevada small businesses and startups through a venture capital program, including into companies that participate in these two new Nevada accelerators. The emphasis will be on equitable access to capital as ‘innovation is everywhere, but equal opportunity is not’ and gener8tor is an ideal partner in this endeavor.”
About the Governor’s Office of Economic Development
Created during the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is the result of a collaborative effort between the Nevada Legislature and the Governor’s Office to restructure economic development in the state. GOED’s role is to promote a robust, diversified and prosperous economy in Nevada, to stimulate business expansion and retention, encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, attract new businesses and facilitate community development.
gener8tor is a venture capital fund and startup accelerator. Ranked one of the top-15 accelerators in the United States, gener8tor operates programs for startups, musicians, artists, and workers and prioritizes investing across race, place, and gender. Fast Company named gener8tor one of the 10 Most Innovative Companies in 2020 and one of the Best Workplaces for Innovators in 2021.
How accelerators help state and regional economies:
- Accelerators improve regional entrepreneurial ecosystems by increasing financing activity for accelerator participants, but also for small businesses in those regions not participating in the accelerator.
- Accelerators also help startups survive and thrive by reducing the business failure rate by more than 85 percent.
- The venture capital that accelerators attract to regions has historically led to broad employment growth.
gener8tor aims to bring these results to Nevada through its track record of accelerating hundreds of companies that have created approximately 8,000 jobs and gone on to raise $1.2 billion in follow-on financing or through exit events.
Director of Communications
Vice President of Public Affairs, gener8tor