Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Carson City, NV

Carson City, NV

Nevada’s capital may not be a household name like Las Vegas, but you’d be surprised to find how many businesses began in Carson City.

Carson City, NV, named for legendary mountain man and fur trapper Kit Carson, is the state’s capital and sixth-largest city. The first city incorporated in Nevada, Carson City has a long economic history. While it doesn’t get the same attention as a city like Las Vegas, it is home to a promising business environment. Carson City is a small city where most businesses are started, according to a study performed by the website AdvisorSmith.

Additionally, the city ranked 504th overall on WalletHub’s list of the best small cities to start a business, coming in at 344th in the “Access to Resources” category. Carson City also benefits from being just down the road from Reno, a major entrepreneurial hub in its own right. Reno ranked 39th on WalletHub’s 2019 list of the best large cities to start a business and 46th in a study by Verizon ranking the most innovative metropolitan areas in the country.

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that make up Carson City’s entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

The Entrepreneurs Assembly meetup group meets regularly in locations around Carson City to help aspiring entrepreneurs launch and grow their startups.

Based just down the road in Reno, the Reno/Tahoe Networking meetup group is open to entrepreneurs throughout the region, including the Carson City area.

Women Who Code, an organization that helps support female tech innovators and entrepreneurs, has a branch in Reno that serves the entire Lake Tahoe area.


Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

Down the road in Reno, 1 Million Cups is a weekly opportunity for area entrepreneurs to showcase their startups and participate in audience-led Q&A sessions.

The Carson City Chamber of Commerce hosts several events for its members and the area’s business community as a whole, including educational workshops and networking events.

The Nevada Women’s Expo is a large business expo for women in business that is held twice per year, with one show in Reno and one in Carson City.

Small business owners located near Lake Tahoe can participate in the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce’s annual business expo.


Startup Competitions:

Sierra Nevada College, located in nearby Incline Village, hosts several startup competitions throughout the year that offer cash prizes to the winning students.

The University of Nevada, Reno hosts the Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition annually, in which full-time students compete to earn the grand prize of $50,000.


Co-working Spaces:

The Adams Hub for Innovation provides a number of resources for Carson City entrepreneurs, including both traditional co-working and dedicated desk membership plans.

Located in Reno, Beacon CoWork is a co-working space that provides most members with 24/7 access as well as other amenities.

Incline Village is home to Mountain Workspace, a co-working space that offers a variety of membership plans at different price and access levels to best meet its members’ needs.



Located in Sparks, the Bridgewire Makerspace is open 24/7 to members and hosts open houses for the public from 6 PM to 9 PM every Thursday night.

The Generator is a massive makerspace, providing Reno and the surrounding areas with access to 35,000 square feet of tools and equipment for prototyping and small-scale manufacturing.

Located on the lower level of the Carson City Library, Capital Makers is a small makerspace that provides access to tools and equipment to all certified members.



In addition to providing co-working space, Adams Hub for Innovation runs several programs and classes to help support and educate area entrepreneurs.

The Nevada Small Business Development Center, which works to support small businesses throughout the state, is headquartered in Reno and has a counseling center in Carson City.

Northern Nevada SCORE serves the entire region by hosting regular workshops and offering free mentoring sessions to small business owners in the area.

With locations in Las Vegas and Reno, StartUpNV is a business incubator that works with promising startups throughout the entire state of Nevada.



Located just outside of Carson City on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, Elevate Blue is an accelerator program that works primarily with area technology startups.

The goal of the Mountain West Tech Accelerator is to work with entrepreneurs throughout the state to help develop their hardware and software startups.

The Reno InNEVator is an eight-week accelerator program hosted by the University of Nevada, Reno that works to grow Northern Nevada’s technology ecosystem.



Students at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village have access to a wide variety of entrepreneurial resources both inside and outside of the classroom.

The University of Nevada, Reno offers its students both an undergraduate minor and an area of emphasis in the MBA program in entrepreneurship.

Though Western Nevada College does not offer any academic programs exclusively in entrepreneurship, its Associate of Business program does include classes on the subject.


Angel Groups/VCs:

Run by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Battleborn Ventures is a venture capital program that funds early-stage Nevada-based businesses.

This group of angel investors founded in 2008 that makes investments starting around $25,000 in startups throughout Northern Nevada.

The investors that make up the Reno Seed Fund aim to invest in seed-stage companies across a variety of sectors that are located in and around Reno.

Based in Incline Village, Sierra Angels provides funding and other support to a variety of tech startups throughout the western United States, with a focus on Nevada and California.


Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

They offer an email newsletter that contains the publication’s latest articles as well as information about upcoming events.

NevadaSmallBusiness.com, a website dedicated to providing digital resources to entrepreneurs and small business owners, offers three newsletters on various business-related topics.

Northern Nevada Business View offers a variety of newsletters covering area business news, with one specifically focusing on technology and entrepreneurship.

Are you familiar with the entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Carson City not included in the article above?  If so, let us know via a comment below, and we will add it to the article. 

Interested in Ecosystem Spotlights of other cities in the USA?

Las Vegas, NV, Reno-Sparks, NV, Albuquerque, NM

Quinn Pilkey

Quinn is a journalism major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also serves as a freelance author for Hashtag Basketball where he writes about the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and at FundingSage where he researches and writes about entrepreneurial ecosystems.