Reno ready for more silver state startups

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Updated: 2/20/2013 12:41 am
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & -- From free classes through the University of Nevada to a startup business competition this weekend, Reno is ready for the next biggest little startup company - and its CEO could be you.

"I just really want to help people navigate the waters so they can do what they want to do," said Bryan McArdle.

McArdle is a small business owner and he's one of the organizers of Startup Weekend Reno, a 54-hour competition that starts with pitching ideas and forming teams.

"The rest of the weekend is sort of building the idea," McArdle said. "Creating a name, a logo, maybe launching a website, trying to find a sustainable business idea."

Deputy Director of the Nevada Small Business Development Center Winnie Dowling says it's a great way to put ideas into action.

"A business plan competition helps people because it just jump starts the whole process," Dowling said.

It could help entrepreneurs over a major hurdle.

"One of the biggest obstacles is getting financing and this will sometimes facilitate financing," Dowling said.

That's exactly what McArdle said happened after Startup Weekend Las Vegas.

The winner was LaunchvKey and they just got 750 thousand dollars in funding," McArdle said.

Dowling said another common problem is putting ideas onto paper.

"We can review their business plan, we can help them fine tune it," Dowling said.

The university also offers guidance through the Service Corps of Retired Executives. 

"The start up classes that SCORE teaches are free," Dowling said. 

"There's so many opportunities to get out there and start working on your idea that there's no excuse to just sit at home and sit on it," McArdle said.

McArdle said an event like this would have helped him start his company faster. 

"It always takes three times as long a twice as much as you think it does," McArdle said.

But with the help of a team at Startup Weekend Reno, McArdle said it's possible. 

"You can build a business in 54 hours," McArdle said. 

If you have an idea you think would make a great startup company, or if you're into things like marketing, graphic design, or website coding, you can register for Startup Weekend through Friday. Click here for more information.
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