Entrepreneurship Program for Rural Nevada

The idea behind this program is to expand the entrepreneurial ecosystem that is already developing in Reno – Tahoe area, and develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem in rural Nevada. This will include supporting entrepreneurs with:

  • Mentorship,
  • Access to capital, and
  • Networks of entrepreneurs.

Through partnerships with existing resources such as Great Basin College, StartUpNV, Entrepreneur’s Assembly, the Nevada Small Business Development Center and Nevada Cooperative Extension, we will create an entrepreneur network that has less separation between rural entrepreneurs and Nevada’s population centers. It will be comprised of mentors, entrepreneur support organizations, government entities, founders and investors. This will increase Nevada’s resiliency in the face of downturns and increase the economy statewide.

This entrepreneur network will create a complete ecosystem of entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors resulting in successful business development across Nevada. Utilizing the networks and resources of this partnership, we will develop Entrepreneurship program for rural Nevada, and eventually develop a statewide business incubator and economic development driver for entire state.

As a part of this program, we want to support rural Nevada business talent through:


Congratulations to the Winners!

On November 6, the First Rural Nevada Pitch Competition was held virtually. We heard from 5 rural companies who applied and submitted information on their companies and products or services. All the companies did a great job! The winners are:

1st place and Audience Choice award ($1,150):

New Tech Products, LLC, Bruce Crater, bcmail@usa.com 

New Tech Products makes the Tidy Oil Changer. It is a magnetic device that connects to an oil pan and loosens the screw to change oil, which it directs away from the pan and into a catch basin. It changes a dirty job into a white glove, mess less job.

2nd place ($500):

Goat Shell, George Skivington, stoppregeorge@gmail.com

Goat Shells are hard sided pop-up camper shells that fit over regular and long bed trucks and come in two sizes. They are priced at much less than the one competitor that exists.

3rd place ($250):

GL Innovation, Gerald Laughter, gliinovation@yahoo.com

GL Innovation makes battery interrupters for large vehicles and mining sites. Future markets include electric cars and aircraft.


Additional companies participating in competition:

Watec Nevada, Gary Hines, founder, cryogenic desalination of water. Watec.nevada@gmail.com

Little Rider Foundation, Joshua Peterson, founder, non-profit dedicated to helping all kids learn to ride a bike. littleriderfoundation@outlook.com


All cash prizes were provided by NV Energy, additional prizes were provided by StartUpNV and Audacity Institute.


If you attended Nevada Rural Pitch Day Competition - we are very interested in your feedback. Please clikc on the link below to submit a short survey and let us know your thought on how can we improve this event for next year.


To prepare participants for this Pitch Competition, we will deploy series of online training, information sessions, and consultations to prepare you for your Pitch Day competition.-

May 15, 2020 - Recording 1:  How to use Zoom to participate in Live Sessions.

June 2, 2020 -  Recording 2:  Are you Ready to be an Entrepreneur and Validating Your Idea (will include Value Proposition, NABC method, Concept Statement test, and an introduction to the Business Model Canvas.
Homework: Value proposition; customer validation plan and questionnaire; collated results of any interviews

August 6, 2020 - Live Session One: Office hours with Karol and Liz or Maggie – value proposition and customer validation

August 13, 2020 -  Recording 3: Deconstructing Customer Validation research
Homework: Create cost analysis

August 20, 2020  - Recording 4: Business Model Canvas
Homework: Complete all sections of Business Model Canvas

September 3, 2020 -  Live Session Two: Office hours - questions about BMC and customer validation

September 10, 2020 - Recording 5: Market Research instruction - Case Study TAM SAM SOM -  Homework: Target market description, demographics and estimated market size

September 24, 2020 -  Recording 6:  Pitch Instructions  - Homework: Create a pitch deck and script for your pitch

Live Sessions - Office hours:

October 8, 2020 -  Questions and review of TAM SAM SOM  - Homework: complete and submit pitch deck

October 22, 2020 - Pitch decks questions and review

October 29, 2020-  Pitch Practice

Office hours Zoom meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82747600929 (Meeting ID: 827 4760 0929 )




To learn about Nevada Rural Pitch Day Competition rules and requirements follow the link below:

Nevada Rural Pitch Day Competition Guidelines and Rules


Nevada Rural Pitch Day Competition - Judges Scoring Parameters



If you are interested in sponsoring or need additional information please contact:
Patricia Herzog
Director, Rural Economic and Community Development
Phone: 775-687-9911
E-mail: pherzog@diversifynevada.com


Our main sponsors and level of sponsorship are:

  • NV Energy - $2500
  • StartupNV – Free entry to AngelNV, the angel group that will invest $200K into one Nevada based business. The angels start in January and will whittle the pool to 12 and then 6 companies on which they will learn to do due diligence and ultimately make an investment. The announcement will be made on March 25th. Normally to apply, the fee is $150.
  • Audacity Fund - FounderDoctor™ Start-up Package ($1500 value) to the 2nd place winner of the pitch competition. The package includes: 1 Visioning Session and 3 Support Sessions
  • NSBDC - $1000
  • NNRDA – PSA radio ads on Ruby Radio to promote the event