Startup Density in Las Vegas



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Recently I posted about VegasTech and the entrepreneurial revolution going on in Las Vegas. Today I saw a great article in Forbes titled Tony Hsieh’s new $350 million startup. Tony, well known as the founder and CEO of Zappos, is putting his time, energy, and money into rebuilding downtown Las Vegas as a tech hub. According to the Forbes story, in addition to relocating Zappos’ headquarters to the old Las Vegas’ City Hall building (along with $60m of renovations), Hsieh, along with some business partners, are investing:

  • $100 million toward the purchase of land and building acquisition
  • $100 million toward residential development including the building of high-rise apartments
  • $50 million toward tech startups with seed investments of $100,000 each
  • $50 million toward local small businesses like bakeries, yoga studios, restaurants, coffee shops and other requisite creative-class amenities
  • $50 million toward education and the building of a school system

I have one word for this – AWESOME.


Startup Bozeman



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I’ve gotten a number of emails from different entrepreneurs who have recently started leading the growth and development of their startup communities. I’m going to post as many as I can on this blog – I think it’s awesome to see the different approaches people are taking, learn from what is working, and provide a base of examples that help underscore that this is a bunch of exciting startup community activity going on all over the world.

Today’s post is from Rob Irizarry who lives in Bozeman and is working on Startup Bozeman. I personally love the “Startup X” meme and how it continues to spread. If you’ve got one from your community, email me whatever you want at brad@feld.com for me to put up here and help spread the word.

Inspired by you, Fred Wilson, Eric Ries and FAKEGRIMLOCK I conceived startupbozeman.com.  I launched last week, the tipping point was your post about the new book on creating startup communities.
When I arrived in Bozeman in 1999 I saw the potential for the type of amazing startup ecosystem that you, the Foundry Group and so many others have worked to build in Boulder.  We’ve got all the key drivers here that appeal to the “eye of the tiger” people critical to the success of startups – small town quality of life, a great University, and amazing recreational opportunities.
I’ve watched the Gallatin valley tech community grow from a handful of tech companies to a double digit number with quite a few that are doing business across the United States and around the world, to the point where we got a callout in a recent Inc. magazine article about Bozeman’s thriving startup community.
The amazing technological changes of the past few years have lowered cost and complexity and enabled business models underpinned by SaaS, PaaS, and the proliferation of service offerings that can be assembled like building blocks into new applications and services that were prohibitively expensive just a few years ago.  The ease of reaching customers around the globe eager for niche products is at an all time high and the marketplaces available to support the sales of these products via a myriad of new, nearly frictionless payment systems open up the door of economic opportunity to anyone willing to invest the time to understand the ease of becoming part of the wave of disruptive innovation reinvigorating our economy.
Like so many other communities across America, Bozeman’s time has come and it’s my mission is to help facilitate that.
There’s a lot I don’t know about this path, but as I found out by simply sending an email to you, the support network is out there, has a deep commitment to helping, and is willing to devote time & energy into nurturing these communities in exchange for the opportunity to see the things they believe so strongly in replicated
In addition, we’re blessed to have support from Montana Programmers which is experiencing rapid growth statewide and we’re also gearing up for our first technology conference BigSkyDevCon in the summer.
To anyone in Bozeman with a dream of Starting Up, please join us at one of our events and let us know how we can help enable you to succeed.