Sessions seek to spark creativity and innovation to help businesses succeed

University of Nevada, Reno Extension continues its online town hall and webinar series to assist small-business owners, this week focusing on innovation.

Wednesday’s town halls, at 9 a.m. in English and 2 p.m. in Spanish, will introduce entrepreneurs to the AngelNV, a 2020-2021 start-up accelerator program that prepares both aspiring entrepreneurs and investors. Organizations in the business community, including StartupNV, Nevada SBDC and SCORE, have come together to sponsor AngelNV. 

The entrepreneur part of the program involves 10 weeks of free training in start-up topics. In early December, participants may pay $149 to sign up for the final pitch competition on March 25, where the top six finalists compete for the chance to win their business $200,000. The investor part of the program involves paying $6,000 to become a part of the pooled $200,000 investment, and in doing so, help create a network of  investors, gain exposure to different industries, and learn the evaluation of companies at different stages.

In the English-language webinar, Friday at 9 a.m., Raj Tumber, mentor from SCORE, will discuss how “Creative Thinking in Processes and Innovation.” During the Spanish-language webinar, Friday at 11:30 a.m., independent consultant Oceania Silva will discuss “Breaking Customs to Improve Quality.”

Both the town halls and the webinars are free, and are part of a series of town halls and webinars for small businesses, “Coping With COVID-19,” that Extension is offering each week. Details on this week’s sessions include:

The town hall, “Introducing the AngelNV Startup Competition” is Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 9 a.m. for English speakers, and at 2 p.m. for Spanish speakers. Panelists include:

  • From StartupNV – Jeff Saling, executive director (9 a.m. session)
  • From SCORE – Tumber (9 a.m. session)
  • From the Small Business Administration – Saul Ramos, deputy district director (9 a.m. session); and Alfredo Cedeño, outreach/marketing specialist (2 p.m. session)
  • From Extension – Reyna Mendez and Juan Salas, business development instructors; and Mike Bindrup, research associate
  • Independent consultant Silva

The English-language webinar, “Creative Thinking in Processes and Innovation,” will be held Friday, Oct. 2, at 9 a.m. Tumber and Bindrup will discuss:

  • Business innovation during COVID-19
  • Finding and using new ideas to keep your business safe
  • Innovation beyond incubation
  • Choosing adaptation over big, next-level discoveries

The Spanish-language webinar, “”Breaking Customs to Improve Quality,” will be held Friday, Oct. 2, at 11:30 a.m. Silva will discuss:

  • Identifying and breaking old habits
  • Defining processes and functions
  • Aligning Mission and Vision: Covid-19
  • Implementing improvements and evaluation 

“Innovation and forcing yourself to think out of the box is always important in business,” said Buddy Borden, economic development specialist with Extension’s Business Development Program. “But, in today’s rapidly changing business environment it is more important than ever. This week’s sessions hope to spark our small-business owners and entrepreneurs to take creative and innovative approaches to help them be successful.”

Both the town halls and the webinars usually run about an hour. To register:

For more information, go to the Extension Business Development Program website. There are also other resources at the website to assist businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. For more information, email Borden.


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