The University of Nevada, Reno has cut the ribbon to its newest building — and this time it's not a dormitory. Our reporter Julia Ritchey reports on the city's latest business incubator.
The gleaming $3 million Innevation Center is designed as a hub for entrepreneurs looking to grow Nevada's burgeoning tech economy.
Housed in a brick and glass former office building between midtown and downtown, the center is a clear sign of the university's expanding footprint.
UNR President Marc Johnson says one of the goals of the space is to stem the brain drain of students who often leave after graduation.
"It certainly will contribute to the fact that if we can create more businesses and attract more business into the Reno/Sparks area, then we will be creating the types of jobs that our students are excited about staying in Reno for," he says.
The center has co-working and conference space in addition to a full workshop downstairs with about a dozen 3-D printers. The top floor will house UNR's new program for drones and robotics.
About half a million dollars in funding came from Switch, which is building a 6.5-million square foot data center in Reno. The company created a similar incubation space in Las Vegas where Switch is headquartered.
Adam Kramer is a company spokesman.
"I wouldn't say we're modeling it after Silicon Valley places; we're modeling this in a way that is designed to move Nevada forward."
The new space will be free to university faculty, staff and students, but also available to individuals and businesses through paid memberships.