UNLV unveils new enterprise incubation hub in Las Vegas

UNLV is hoping to carry a slice of Silicon Valley to Southern Nevada with the opening of a brand new incubation hub.

The college, in partnership with EQ Workplace, on Wednesday unveiled the brand new UNLV Incubator on the Hughes Middle, an area that can act as a bridge to take college students’ improvements in tech, hospitality, gaming and and extra from idea to enterprise actuality.

It’s a spot “the place concepts might be incubated into corporations of the long run,” mentioned hub director and UNLV professor Robert Rippee.

To Rippee, the incubator was the
lacking piece within the three-step means of taking ideas to market: concept technology, incubation and at last acceleration and scaling.

UNLV had loads of step one, because of its pupil inhabitants and researchers. And it had the third, with its Black Fireplace Innovation hub the place college students, startups and corporations are in a position to check know-how within the gaming and tech fields in mock environments.

“So now we now have all the items in place to make that occur,” Rippee mentioned.

The 5,500 sq. toes of incubator area sits throughout the Hughes Middle and is minutes away from each UNLV and the Strip, offering quick access from campus and no scarcity of networking alternatives. However its location can also be a boon due to who the scholars might be surrounded by within the 68-acre Hughes Middle campus, Rippee mentioned.

The portfolio of corporations within the Hughes Middle affords alternatives for personal business participation within the incubation course of, together with mentorships and direct participation.

“It’s about connecting the scholars’ concepts with the enterprise,” mentioned Vivienne Kwong, director of portfolio administration for EQ Workplace, a subsidiary of worldwide funding large The Blackstone Group.

The primary cohort of scholars — 12 college students cut up over 4 groups — began on the hub final week, and a second cohort of 12 is slated to begin subsequent month. The hub affords an abundance of know-how and co-working areas for college students and steerage as they work towards making a enterprise mannequin for his or her concepts.

A few of these ideas being labored on by the scholars embrace making use of synthetic intelligence to the assembly and conference business and one that’s growing a security gadget that they hope will tackle “one of many areas that accounts for extra accidents in coaching than simply about wherever else,” Rippee mentioned.

UNLV Vice President of Financial Growth Bo Bernhard mentioned that the hub won’t solely present advantages for the scholars however long-lasting advantages for Southern Nevada’s financial system.

“We’ve constructed one thing unprecedented right here in Southern Nevada,” Bernhard mentioned Wednesday throughout a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the incubator. “Now we have not constructed a university-driven innovation ecosystem that serves not solely our college neighborhood however our neighborhood extra broadly as we search to diversify our financial system.”

The incubator isn’t solely for tech and hospitality ideas. Purposes to be a part of the hub are open to any tutorial self-discipline on campus, from liberal arts to legislation college students and everybody in between.

“In case you provide you with an awesome concepts, you’ve received a spot to take it as the next step,” Rippee mentioned.

Contact Colton Lochhead at [email protected] Observe @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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