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Building A Community - Las Vegas


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Vegas Tech is exploding thanks to support from Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. had its first event in Las Vegas on September 14, 2011 and David Gosse and Jennifer Gosse provided the 150+ attendees with an update on the entrepreneurial and startup community as it grows in the Vegas valley.

This presentation covers the 4 key elements required by a startup community for growth.

1. Leaders
2. Talent Pool
3. Funding
4. Early Adopters

Published in: Business, Economy & Finance
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Building A Community - Las Vegas

  1. 1. Building A Community Presented by: @davidgosse & @jennifergosse LaunchUP LV September 14th, 2011
  2. 2. Building an Entrepreneurial Community1. Team of dedicated leaders.2. Pool of available talent.3. Access to funding.4. Community base of early adopters. Startup Weekend LV Photo Courtesy of Jonathan MummCommunities need to do, not just talk about, but actually execute on for us all to benefit fromwhat entrepreneurship can deliver. Everyone needs to get involved.
  3. 3. 1. Dedicated Team Of Leaders, 15+ Year Path• First is the recognition that Silicon Valley is a special place. It’s futile to try to be the next Silicon Valley.• Incorporate the strengths that fit with your community and play to those strengths.• Experienced entrepreneurs and investors should want to work with new entrepreneurs.• The leaders have to keep caring about the place they live in, their community, and the dynamics amongst them, the people in the community.“The problem with the Internet startup craze isn’t that too many people are startingcompanies; it’s that too many people aren’t sticking with it.” – Steve Jobs
  4. 4. 1. Dedicated Team: Rock Stars!• “Tony Hsieh is someone with the will, the vision, the connections and the capital to get stuff done. He’s clearly decided this is his next big project.”• “Unlike most revitalization projects, there’s no need to hope that if you build it, they will come. Tony is both building it, and bringing the people to make it work.” (“ CEO Tony Hsieh named the ‘smartest’ in town,” Sept. 5, 2011,• There are a lot of great people making Vegas Tech happen.Great start-ups emerge from great start-up culture.Find the leaders on Twitter using #VegasTech, baby! Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos
  5. 5. 2. Talent Pool: Building A Startup CityIdeas can be stolen and replicated, but execution is unique and truly valuable. Talent makesexecution. It makes good products. It creates opportunity. It provides vision.
  6. 6. 2. Talent Pool: Successful Entrepreneurial Culture Vegas Jelly - #VegasTech Thriving!• Entrepreneurs need a place to call their own. Space matters – it connects, enables and inspires.• Successful startup cities must have space that can accommodate the startup population.• Tony Hsieh closed a deal, to be announced mid-September, for a project that would fly small jets back and forth from the Bay Area to Las Vegas to get more educated, innovative, smart-dude, techie- types in Vegas more often. It’s happening, folks!Work openly: bringing together entrepreneurs has been madeexponentially easier by the co-working phenomenon.
  7. 7. 2. Talent Pool: Tech Giants Birth SuccessfulStartup FoundersAt UNLV, David Williams (instructor), Neal Smatresk (UNLV president) Dominic Morocco(entrepreneur in residence), are all aggressively increasing entrepreneurial and computerscience enrollment numbers.
  8. 8. 3. Funding: VC Investments in Web Reaches 10Year HighVenture capital investments continued to grow at a rapid clip in the second quarter of 2011,with VC firms investing $7.5 billion across 966 deals. $2.3 billion into 275 web companies.
  9. 9. 3. Funding: Embrace Uniqueness Of YourCommunityStartups outside of the Bay Area were largely overlooked or ignored. Lately, that myth hasbeen exposed, and startup ecosystems have sprung up all across the United States.
  10. 10. 4. Early Adopters: 10,000 Users Benchmark• Benchmarks: 10k, 100k, 1mil users.• Speed is important, can impact funding.• Community is part of hitting numbers.• Vegas must focus on building an early- adopter community support system.“Everyones door was open and everyone was rooting for our success. Due to everyonesefforts working together, Boulder has become one of the top cities to start and build asoftware business.” – Kimble Musk
  11. 11. 4. Foursquare Focused On Local Communities They launched at SXSW which really kicked off their growth, they added around 4k users that month. Their growth died down for the following two months. They started growing exponentially in June when they began aggressively adding new cities. This growth was probably further driven by press around their initial fundraising in September. The new cities along with the press allowed them to pick up latent demand for the product by users who had been exposed to it but not able to use it prior to that time.Many startups leverage early adopters in localcommunities to spread the word and fuel growth.
  12. 12. Vegas Is A Startup Community! www.vegasstartups.com1. We have a team of dedicated leaders.2. There is a growing pool of available talent in and moving here.3. The funding is starting to flow in.4. We’re building an amazing community base of early adopters!You can make a difference in this community. There are anunlimited number of ways that you can get involved. Support theVegas entrepreneurial startup community!