Biggest Little City

Reno Accelerator Fund

Reno Accelerator Fund

Reno has become an incubator for ambitious entrepreneurs. The City of Reno recognizes the positive impact entrepreneurs and their great ideas have on our economy, culture and community. This is why City Council approved a $200,000 fund that is financed through part of the City’s annual allocation of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development community development block grants. 

Funded by the City of Reno and managed by Newbean Capital and EDAWN, the Reno Accelerator Fund is a pilot project that makes investments in Reno’s most promising early stage startups. The program will invest $20,000 in each of 8 startups by June 30, 2014, through convertible notes.

Learn more about the Reno Accelerator Fund

Finalists Announced 5/28/2014

The City of Reno has named the 11 recipients of the first round of its Reno Accelerator Fund (RAF). The $200,000 program is supported by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and designed to provide early-stage financing to promising startups.

The RAF program was developed in October 2013 to advance one of Reno City Council’s main priorities — to “Promote a Sustainable and Vibrant Economy” — and support Reno’s blossoming entrepreneurial community.

Eight start-ups will each receive $20,000 and were selected using criteria from four key categories (Team, Technology, Traction and Timing):
  1. American Duchess, Inc.
  2. BHeard, Inc.
  3. BootRoxx (pictured below)
  4. EasyKeeper Herd Manager, LLC
  5. Inqiri (pictured below)
  6. Looksie
  7. Sierra Delectables, Inc.
  8. Under the Rose Brewing Company
Three accelerators will each receive $2,000 in direct funding, ensuring that the costs of membership, mentoring and services to incubate and support the startups will be covered:
  1. C4Cube
  2. Reno Collective
  3. GirlMade
Newbean Capital, of which Nicola Kerslake is the founder, has been contracted to administer all aspects of the RAF program. The program expects to create 10 immediate high-quality permanent jobs in Reno and as many as 15 additional jobs by the end of 2014.

“The goal of the program is job creation, and we exceeded the target set forth by Reno City Council,” Kerslake says. “We also raised the profile of the City of Reno within the entrepreneurial community and attracted attention from other cities such as Davis [California] and Las Vegas.”

“The Reno Accelerator Fund is an important tool in our economic development toolkit,” says Doug Erwin, Vice President of Entrepreneurial Development for the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada. “This fund helps us support our local startups and helps us attract new startups to the community.”





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