RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- 500 small business owners came together Wednesday to network and share ideas at the 2nd annual Governor's Conference on Small Business.
"Every single piece that you would need to run a small business is here today."
The ballrooms at the Grand Sierra Resort were filled with expo booths and interactive events for small business owners to connect and network with one another.
"It's a one stop shop to really see what we have to offer, what it is I need next and where do I go to get it," said small business owner Adryenn Ashley.
Governor Brian Sandoval gave the keynote address and was joined by guest speaker Google's Anthony Levandowski.
Business owners also got a chance to discuss what they want from workers they hire out of college during a special interactive panel.
"Small businesses are looking to hire people," said Nevada Department of Business and Industry Director Bruce Breslow. "It's important for them to tell the educators who they need as opposed to coming the other way."
Breslow joined the panel of top educators including UNR President Marc Johnson.
"This is supply and demand function," said Johnson. "We have small businesses out here today looking to expand and they're demanding a workforce."
For small business owners like Ashley, hiring someone with good grades she said just isn't good enough.
"To have that entrepreneurial spirit. Especially because of the start up nature and the way the economy is changing, people can't just show up, clock in and leave. They have to really give it their all."
And Johnson said higher education institutions are listening to those concerns.
"What we're trying to do at the university is create more opportunities for internships for students, more hands on learning."