StartUpNV using federal grant to spark startup investment

From left, Denis Phares, Colin Seale, and Jeff Saling speak at the Governor’s Conference on Business Oct. 18 at the Rio. (Buck Wargo/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Nonprofit startup incubator StartUpNV plans to launch an annual investor conference in Southern Nevada using a $300,000 federal grant.

StartUpNV was one of 16 organizations to receive the Economic Development Administration’s 2018 Seed Fund Support Program grant. Jeff Saling, StartUpNV co-founder, said the incubator will use the funding to launch the Southern Nevada Angel Conference Seed Fund, an annual investor conference and seed fund that aims to bring more investment to local startups.

“The mission of this grant is to educate angels and other investors and encourage them to start early-stage funds and to invest in companies in our region,” Saling said. “There’s not a lot of capital in Nevada to invest in startups. … Our mission is to really turbo-charge the startup community.”

Venture capital-backed companies in the Southwest — Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and part of Northern California — received $386 million in funding in the second quarter of 2018, with about $. In comparison, the San Francisco area received $5.6 billion, according to New York-based CB Insights, a financial research firm.

Only local, early-stage companies will be eligible to pitch to investors at the conference, and StartUpNV plans to emphasize investments led by women, veterans and minorities. StartUpNV expects to raise at least $4 million in seed capital, invest in at least 24 companies and support the creation of at least 300 jobs within five years of receiving the grant.

Bailey Schulz at or. Follow on Twitter. 

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