Sixth annual Governor’s Conference on Business coming to Sparks August 17


Teri Williams
Public Information Officer
Carson City, NV - July 20, 2017

The Department of Business and Industry will host the sixth annual Governor’s Conference on Business August 17 at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks.  The event will feature a Business Resource Expo, a morning breakout session, a business pitch competition and an all-conference luncheon. The conference assists entrepreneurs, startups and established companies get connected to the information and resources they need to succeed.  Conference speakers will highlight themes of innovation, technology and the state’s flourishing entrepreneurship climate.

The Business Resource Expo will be open to attendees throughout the morning.  Exhibitors represent a wide variety of services and resources including lenders, nonprofit business mentoring, legal services, marketing and branding consultants, government agencies and more.  A list of participating exhibitors can be found on the conference website. Exhibitor opportunities are still available for companies looking to establish new leads and make connections will fellow business owners and entrepreneurs.

A morning breakout session, IoT: Transforming Business and our Lives! will feature a presentation by Marty Skolnick, Account and Program Manager for Siemens Intelligent Integrated Developments. Marty is Siemens Account Manager for the Sterling Ranch development in northwest Douglas County, designed to be the most technologically advanced community of its size in North America. For the past four years, he has been directly involved in the development of integrations and real life use cases for the implementation of IoT (Internet of Things) devices in the consumer, commercial and agricultural sectors. The presentation will discuss the impacts of implementing the Internet of Things in the real world, from strategy to technological integration and discuss the ways the IoT will transform business and our lives.

The Business Pitch Competition will showcase ten finalists, as scored by an independent panel of judges during the application process. Startup companies, in business for two years or less with under $250,000 annual gross revenue, were invited to apply to enter the competition.  Each of the ten finalists will make a two-minute pitch, followed by Q&A with the panel of judges.  The judges will score each of the presentations to determine the awards for first and second place.  An audience vote will determine the winner of the people’s choice award.  Cash and prizes totaling $31,600 will be given, thanks the generosity of sponsors AT&T, Microsoft, The Abbi Agency and VAST.  The first place winner will receive $5,000 cash and in-kind professional services valued at $14,800.  The second place winner will receive $2,500 cash and in-kind professional services valued at $8,300.  The people’s choice winner will receive $1,000.  Winners of the competition will be announced during the conference luncheon.

Few would deny that the Reno Sparks area has found it’s footing in the “New Nevada,” a vision proposed by Governor Brian Sandoval during a time of economic crisis that has helped fuel Nevada’s economic recovery and growth. A collaborative effort among state and local economic development agencies and officials has attracted companies like Tesla, Panasonic, Apple and Google to the region, and myriad stakeholders have championed the effort to create and embrace a culture of entrepreneurship.  The University of Nevada Reno is at the center of startup, research collaboration and economic-development partnership activity. Mridul Gautam, PhD, Vice President of Research and Innovation will discuss the regional vision and the model behind the buzz that is enabling this success.

Governor Sandoval, who was recently named as chairman of the National Governors Association, a bipartisan organization counting membership of governors from every state, will deliver a keynote address to conclude the luncheon.  His remarks will highlight Nevada’s current economic standing and the innovation and technological advancements that are occurring within the state, and his vision for keeping Nevada ahead of the curve.

Conference agenda:

7:30 am: Registration, continental breakfast, networking

7:30 am- noon:  Business Resource Expo

8:15 am- IoT: Transforming Our Lives! Presented by Siemens

10:00 am- Business Pitch Competition

12:00 pm: Conference Luncheon featuring Business Pitch Competition Awards, presentation by Mridul Gautam, PhD, University of Nevada Reno and keynote address by Governor Sandoval

Tickets are $40 if purchased online prior to August 15, $50 at the door.  Advanced registration is strongly recommended and includes access to the expo, panel discussion, business pitch competition and conference luncheon. To learn more about the conference or to register, visit   

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