April 19, 2013
In the John S. Park neighborhood of Las Vegas, colloquially known to the tech startup community as #StartUpBlockLV, there is a foreclosed home that screams to be restored to its former glory. Entrepreneur Jon Sterling, along with a small group of entrepreneurs, plans to buy this house and turn it into something specifically designed for the tech startup community in Las Vegas.
The Vegas Tech House, as it has been named, is currently raising money on Indiegogo. The house will serve the community by acting as a social hub for tech startups, providing work space, small to mid-size event space, and temporary housing for visitors and new businesses transplanting to Vegas.
While it is unorthodox, it is not an unheard-of method for purchasing property. Money raised will go towards property costs, repairs, preparing it for use, and furniture and appliances, as well as future maintenance, utility, and supply costs.
Any other method of purchase defeats the founding, ideological principle that Sterling wants associated with the Vegas Tech House: community support. The Vegas Tech House is destined to be more than simply a house. “It will be symbolic and demonstrate the strength of the downtown tech startup community,” explains an excited Sterling.
Community growth in Vegas has continued on a horizontal line for a while, says Sterling, but recently it hit a curve and has rocketed vertically.“Do you know what hockey stick growth looks like?” asks Sterling. “Yeah, it is like that.”
There are 30 startups already operating near downtown Las Vegas, but every week newcomers from all over America arrive, looking to carve out their place in the tech startup scene and check out the work of the Downtown Project. The Vegas Tech House will provide these pilgrims with initial resources so they can get off to a good start.
“Las Vegas is the most community-focused large city in the world,” explains Sterling. While the Vegas tech scene is still considered to be in its infancy, projects like the Vegas Tech House will capitalize on, and foster growth in, a market ripe with potential.
To herald the opening of the Vegas Tech House later this summer, Sterling has secured donations to cover the cost of hosting a weekend-long hackathon, as well as a massive opening party, as only Vegas can offer.
A donation of $25 gets you access to the opening party, but you can donate up to $25,000 to become a major sponsor of the house and their events. The official hashtag is #vegastechhouse; get your tickets while you still can.
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