Las Vegas Tech Startups

Las Vegas is known for bright lights, night clubs, crazy day and endless casinos among other entertainment joints. Many people do not associate Las Vegas with startup projects since the city is mostly popular as a place you can only go to spend your money and have fun. Despite its reputation, the town has favorable conditions regarding the cost of living, several co-working spaces, and incentives for upcoming small businesses, collaborative startup scene, and the city’s uniqueness among others. Therefore, it is a potential tech hub for many startup projects.

In 2012, the chief executive officer of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, made a smart move of launching a revitalization project that he invested his 350 million dollars. It was meant to rejuvenate Las Vegas through technology and entrepreneurship that have helped increase the popularity and growth of startup projects. Below are examples of startups that have thrived in Las Vegas from their early stages.

Downtown project

This project was founded in 2012, and the organization functions as a holding company. The downtown project encompasses several investments in small businesses, technology, real estate, and education. The company set $350 million to increase the Revitalization of Las Vegas. The purpose and goal of the project is to make Las Vegas a city of innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurial energy, discovery, and upward mobility among others.

Vegas techfund

Vegas techfund has invested 50 million dollars in empowering passionate entrepreneurs to build a large community in Las Vegas. Its method of investment is quite different from other funds since it makes its investment decisions based on the founder’s vision and passion. Also, they consider support of the startup from Las Vegas as well as community evaluation.

Orderwithme empowers entrepreneurs by streamlining back-office operations and providing innovative ideas that help create unique and friendly customer experiences within business premises. Orderwithme brings together independent retailers and small entrepreneurs from all over the country, so that they can unite as a single national account to suppliers. Orderwithme aggregates and manages all of their payments, invoices and purchase orders.

Orderwithme is focused on bringing change to future retail businesses by collaborating with Zappos to assist in opening a physical store. Orderwithme has invested 37 million dollars in launching new projects with both small and well-known business retailers.

Lessons learned at the conference in Las Vegas

Attending conventions in Las Vegas and other cities around the U.S. is not only a great place to learn about your industry, but it’s also a great place to make critical connections. That is, if you know how. Networking is not as easy as it sounds. Networking at a convention is a subtle art form. Here are eight tips for networking your way to great contacts.

Get To the Mixer Early

Smaller crowds can actually make it easier to network. By arriving early you have a better chance of making a good first in impression before the event becomes a sea of changing faces. It will also be easier to hear and connect with other individuals. Being early means you can also form an informal welcoming party for new arrivals, giving you an excuse to talk to those who arrive later.

Quality is Better Than Quantity

Making a personal connection with people is important. Randomly handing out cards or hyper-mingling (only speaking to someone long enough to introduce yourself and then moving on) will not help you develop the kind of relationships you are looking for.

Do Your Research

Find out who is going to the event and look them up on GooglePlus or LinkedIn. Find out a bit about their work before you arrive. However, keep it professional. It’s ok to take mental notes on occupations, but a bit creepy if you start referencing their personal lives.

Catch Names

There are a number of times people mention their names at conventions. One excellent example is during the question and answer segment of individual presentations or workshops. Write down the name of any individual you’d like to meet and ask around for them at the mixer. When you meet, you can refer to the question or comment the individual had earlier.

Ask for Introductions

Ask event coordinators or more experienced networkers for introductions. If you know who you would like to meet, you can ask the host if he or she could introduce you. If you are not sure who you should talk to next, bring it up in your current conversation: “So, have you met any interesting people here, today?” If they mention anyone in particular, ask for an introduction.

Location! Location! Location!

Position yourself near the bar, buffet, or information table, anywhere that will have high traffic. If you feel a little awkward about walking up to strangers, find a spot where they will walk up to you. Ok, so they are walking up to get the free drink, food, or information, but you’ll be in the right spot to start a conversation.

Know Thyself

Prepare an introduction, but not a sales pitch. Who are you? What do you do? Why are you there? You need to be able to articulate this quickly and clearly so you can get the conversation started and help everyone feel at ease. Remember you are making a personal connection.

Active Listening

Once you’ve made contact and introduced yourself, don’t dominate the conversation. Some people do this when they get nervous, they imagine themselves charming and engaging, as they entertain their captive audience. Listen twice as much as you speak. When you do speak take the opportunity to ask questions. This will show you’re listening and you’re interested.

Networking doesn’t have to be a task, with practice it can be fun.