GOED and EDAWN Promote Statewide Entrepreneurial Effort  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Gregory Bortolin, 
Director of Communications
grbortolin@goed.nv.gov (775) 687-9917

April 27, 2023

CARSON CITY, Nev. – The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) released a statewide ecosystem report today that assessed entrepreneurial ecosystems in Nevada and benchmarked those against other Western states.

The recommendations made call for the expansion of the Knowledge Fund, the streamlining of the tech transfer and commercialization process across the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), and the establishment of a new entrepreneurship unit within GOED to unify efforts to build an innovation driven economy in Nevada.

The assessment, commissioned by GOED, was conducted by Entrepreneurial Communities, a team of experts who interviewed hundreds of stakeholders across the state, including entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, and educators, to assess the areas for improvement within the entrepreneurial ecosystem and recommend implementation strategies.

“This report provides a roadmap for how we can continue to grow and strengthen Nevada’s entrepreneurial ecosystems,” said Governor Joe Lombardo. “My Office of Economic Development is committed to working with EDAWN and our partners across the state to implement the recommendations in this report and make Nevada the best place in the country to start and grow a business.”

Doug Erwin, Senior Vice President at EDAWN, said that this report provides actionable insights not only at the state level but for each of the regional ecosystems throughout the state.

“EDAWN is committed to turning these insights into actions to create a more resilient and inclusive regional ecosystem.”  Erwin Said.

Karsten Heise, GOED Senior Director of Strategic Programs and Innovation, said that in addition to its support and involvement during the assessment period, GOED has already commenced work on implementing key recommendations such as the creation of a proof of commercial relevance funding mechanism and improvement in the capacity of technology transfer at Nevada’s research institutions.

“GOED also has proposed a bill (AB41) at this year session of the Nevada Legislature which would provide a vehicle for the implementation of many of the assessment’s recommendations,” Heise said.

The report found that Nevada has a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, but there are several areas where it can be improved. One of the key findings was the need for a more coordinated approach to entrepreneurship. The recommendation is to create a new unit at GOED (“Office of Entrepreneurship”) that would be responsible for developing and implementing a statewide entrepreneurship strategy.

The study also lauds the Knowledge Fund, which supports the state’s two research universities and research institute within NSHE but finds that it leaves a gap in the Nevada ecosystem for supporting early-stage technology companies. While the Knowledge Fund has been a key driver of support for technology transfer within NSHE, the program itself is deemed underfunded by the assessment.

The report also confirms the need for additional venture capital and the creation of new customized venture capital funds in the state ensuring diversity in service delivery. The venture community would also be key to strengthening technology transfer pipelines.

Finally, the assessment discovered the tech transfer and commercialization process at NSHE to be fragmented and inefficient. The recommendation is to streamline the process to make it easier for companies to access the intellectual property developed at NSHE and move beyond late-stage licensure commercialization of research.

“The findings of this report are clear: Nevada has a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, but there are a number of areas where it can be improved,” said Mike Kazmierski, President and CEO of EDAWN. “We are committed to working with our partners across the state to implement the recommendations in this report and make Nevada the best place in the country to start and grow a business.”

“This report is a powerful tool that will allow Nevada and our communities to expand and strengthen our entrepreneurial ecosystem while creating opportunities for Nevadans,” said Tina Quigley, President and CEO of Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance.

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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.

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