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Nevada partners with tech incubator to boost startups

Entrepreneurs and economists have often urged Nevada to broaden its largely tourism-dependent economic horizons. Now, the state is working with a national tech incubator company to do just that.

On this International Women’s Day, Governor Steve Sisolak joined Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve to announce a partnership with small business accelerator Gener8tor. Sisolak acknowledged the effort to support tech startups as an example of “women getting things done” in the state.

“In our legislature, we have a majority of women, our Supreme Court has a majority of women, and these two mayors that are women are doing a great job, ” Sisolak said at a joint press conference at the International Innovation Center in Las Vegas.

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Each startup Gener8tor chooses will receive $100,000 and 12 weeks of mentorship and training.  

Tina Quigley, the president and CEO of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, told KNPR she’s optimistic about what the collaboration could do for Nevada.

“If these companies grow, they’re going to grow here locally, which means they’re going to attract a workforce that is probably a little bit different than the traditional workforce that we think of when we think of southern Nevada,” Quigley said, adding that “one of the best ways” to diversify the state’s economy “is to have it homegrown, right here.”

Gener8tor says it has helped create more than 8,000 jobs in 20 states.

While the company’s Nevada offices are in Las Vegas and Reno, its programs are open to applicants statewide. The deadline to apply for the first cohort is June 5.

Nikole Robinson Carroll is KNPR's Morning Edition host. You can hear her every morning from 5am until 10am on News 889. She also produces segments for KNPR's State of Nevada.