Google: Reno’s robust tech startup scene ripe for ‘Grow with Google’ event
if you go
What: Grow with Google event
When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6
Where: Nevada Museum of Art, Reno
More online: events.withgoogle.com/join-google-in-reno/
RENO, Nev. — Five years ago, if one were to Google search “states hit hardest by the Great Recession,” they’d undoubtedly find Nevada atop many lists.
Fast-forward to 2018, the Silver State’s economy is amid such a drastic recovery that it’s literally caught the attention of Google. With an emerging startup scene steeped in technology, Northern Nevada, most especially, has turned the tech giant’s head.
So much so that Google is bringing its “Grow with Google” tour — an initiative focused on helping boost economic opportunities across the United States — this summer to the biggest little startup city in the world: Reno, Nevada.
Kicking off in October 2017, “Grow with Google” has so far plugged into 11 U.S. cities. The free events feature a full day of trainings, workshops, boot camps, access to tools, one-on-one coaching from Google employees — known as “Googlers” — and plenty more.
The Reno event will be held at the Nevada Museum of Art from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 6.
Doug Erwin, president of entrepreneurial development at the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN), said Google felt Reno was an obvious choice for its tour.
“When I talked with the ‘Grow with Google’ folks, my first question was, ‘why Reno?’ — because we didn’t cultivate it, they found us,” Erwin said.
Google told him to just look at the newspaper.
“They said, ‘there’s always something new about Reno that’s going on, and we started talking to people and they’re all pro-Reno,’” Erwin said. “I think it’s a statement of where they see Reno growing, which is in line with where we see it growing.”
Google: Reno’s startup tech scene tough to match
To that end, Aisha Taylor, community engagement manager at Google, said Reno checked all the boxes as a location ripe for “Grow with Google” to set up shop.
“One thing is that we see that Reno really has a robust, emerging tech startup scene that is really interesting and exciting,” Taylor said. “We noticed the tenacity that Reno has and the innovation and new ways that Reno’s trying to rebrand itself. And a lot of people are being attracted to Reno.”
She’s not kidding. Not only are big tech companies like Tesla, Apple and — yes —Google staking flags in the region, but a surge of startups are migrating from all over the country (namely, neighboring California) to boot up in the Biggest Little City.
Not to mention, there is an increasing number of locally grown startups rooted in Northern Nevada, as well.
“We see that Reno is really good on the development cusp in terms of the local economy,” Taylor said, “and really diversifying its economy and driving new opportunities for job seekers and businesses.”
This is where “Grow with Google” can help, Taylor said. At the Aug. 6 event, Googlers can guide startups on how to build and scale their breakthrough ideas with tips, tools and community support, among other elements.
Taylor said one of the most important skills for a startup to harness that can be taught at “Grow with Google” is coding, adding: “We see so many startups and organizations are really wanting to have those technical skills.”
In addition, she said startups could take advantage of workshops that demonstrate how to use data to foster growth and shape decision-making within their company.
Addressing Northern Nevada’s talent need
Bryan McArdle, VP of entrepreneurial development at EDAWN, said having Google at Reno’s disposal for a day is a “huge benefit to the community.”
“It’s another way for our community to address that talent-need,” he continued. “And get people started on the path of learning how to code, learning how to use services like Google, programming languages … to get them where they can scoop up some of these jobs that are really high-paying jobs and they’re in high demand.”
Notably, Taylor said the “Grow with Google” event at the Nevada Museum of Art is not only for startups and entrepreneurs.
“It could be a student, small business owner, an educator, someone who works at a restaurant or at 9-to-5 desk who just wants to learn more about different digital tools and skills,” she added.
According to Google, the events are designed for the following groups and purposes:
Students and teachers can learn how to put the latest technology to work inside and outside the classroom.
Small business owners can build their online presence and fine new customers.
Job seekers can grow their skills in order to find new jobs and advance their careers.
Developers can sharpen their current skills and master new ones.
Startups can learn how to get their ideas the exposure they need to succeed.
Come Aug. 6, Taylor said Google is excited to see what impact it can make in Reno.
“There seems to be quite a hunger for making sure that Reno is on the map and getting the digital skills that they need to prosper in this new economy,” Taylor said. “I think there’s a lot of exciting momentum that we see in Reno, and we are certainly just excited to add to that momentum.”
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