2017 EDAWN Award for Adams Hub

Adams Hub has been chosen as the recipient of the 2017 EDAWN (Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada) Award for Program of the Year. The award was presented on March 30th during 10th annual Technology Awards at the Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa. The NCET Technology Awards celebrate the individuals and companies who have greatly enhanced the growth and prestige of the technology . The Awards recognize the people and resources that have played an integral part in contributing to the growth of our community.

City officials and local experts meet with a group of visiting Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative fellows at the Adams Hub for Innovation in Carson City, Nev. on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016.
Photo by Cathleen Allison

“We’re delighted to receive this honor,” said Miya MacKenzie, Chief Professional Officer of Adams Hub for innovation. “We’ve kicked off lots of new programming in the past year to support entrepreneurs and small businesses. This award is validation that those efforts are making a difference.”

New program launches in 2016 included a Carson City chapter of Entrepreneurs Assembly, the award-winning Nevada nonprofit; a Pre-Accelerator program facilitated by Kevin Lyons; Research Ninjas, on-site Carson City Librarians who assist clients and community businesses with deep research using proprietary databases; and Lunchbox Learning, monthly sessions with subject matter experts on a key business-building topics. A 2017 addition is “Motivation Mondays,” one-on-one entrepreneurial-effectiveness coaching with Diane Dye Hansen of What Works Coaching.

“Adams Hub has extended our programs beyond traditional incubation,” explained MacKenzie. “Our goal is to foster and increased employment throughout the Northern Nevada business community.” To that end, a number of the ‘s services are offered to community businesses and non-profits. “We’re building an ecosystem that supports peak performance for the entrepreneur and solopreneur,” she said.

Last Call: Our Next Pre-Accelerator

Want to push your start-up into overdrive?? The Adams Hub Pre-Accelerator is a challenging five-week program for high-growth-potential startups. The program enables you to validate assumptions about your business model while focusing on milestones and increasing customer engagement. The pre-accelerator is led by entrepreneur Kevin Lyons. Only 4-6 companies are accepted into a program session, and there is no cost to the your company if you’re selected.

To apply for the Pre-Accelerator, please fill out our online application. Learn more about the pre-accelerator application process by contacting miya@adamshub.com.

Hub Client Profile–Ludela

LuDela is an innovative maker of next-generation “smart” candles whose motto is, “Better Light, Better Lives.” Founder Jamie Bianchini has chosen Adams Hub to incubate his startup.

Your candle-lit dinner is about to get disrupted. LuDela is committed to offering the safest, most convenient, feature-rich candlelight in history. Imagine lighting an entire room full of candles in your home with a touch of a button on your smartphone. Or having a candle that self-extinguishes if it’s knocked over or if something is sensed above the flame.

A unique IoT (Internet of things) play, the LuDela Smart Candle has caught the attention of a major catalog company Frontgate and Brookstone for a holiday launch. Other channels, including Target and QVC, are also courting LuDela to roll out a low-tech version of LuDela called the Perfect Pillar.

Jamie Bianchini recently relocated with his family from the Bay Area to Minden, Nevada, to enjoy a slower, saner pace of life.

 

“I grew up biking and skiing in the Sierra Nevada,” he says. In fact, the idea for LuDela was born on a bicycle trip through West Africa a decade ago, where Jamie survived a common but deadly phenomenon: a candle fire in the guest house where he was sleeping. He was stunned to learn that candle fires and toxic kerosene-lamp fumes are a major cause of death in developing countries. So LuDela was designed from the start to give back. Partnering with the charity Books for Africa, LuDela donates solar lights and books to communities in need with every LuDela candle or refill purchase.

Jamie partnered with top Silicon Valley product development firm SurfaceInk to create LuDela’s elegant, solutions. LuDela candles use patent-pending design and technology to deliver a safer, more convenient experience of the world’s most adored source of light and ambiance: fire. Now it’s time for the next step in the company’s growth.

“There is so much interest in LuDela candles and our mission as a social venture,” he says. “It’s what we dreamed of, and now we have to execute.” Currently, he’s raising funds to enable the company to finalize development and move into mass production to fulfill holiday 2017 orders from large retailers.

To scale the company, LuDela is seeking local impact investors in the Northern Nevada and Tahoe areas, “someone who wants to make the world a better place and also achieve great financial returns,” says Jamie. LuDela’s technology has already caught the attention of the press, including Tech Crunch, Gizmodo, C|net, Popular Mechanics and Thrillist.

Why did he make Adams Hub his entrepreneurial base camp?
“I needed to get out of the garage, where it was cold and the kids were running through,” he laughs. “I like the energy, and being around smart people who add value and make the process of starting and growing a company so much more enjoyable.” Whether he is in a mentor meeting or collaborating with a Hub intern on his social media campaigns, Jamie’s intense dedication to his mission is obvious.

“We’re going to shine a bright light from the Tahoe region,” he says. “I can’t wait to share what we’re up to on the 22nd at our Open House.”

LuDela will be hosting a Happy Hour/Open House in The Studio @ Adams Hub, on Wednesday, March 22 at 4:30, followed by a product demonstration and company presentation at 6 p.m. RSVP to Jamie Bianchini at jamie@ludela.com.

Artrepreneurs Workshop Series Debuts in Carson

A new four-week arts marketing workshop series for Northern Nevada “Artrepreneurs” is taking aim at the cliché of the Starving Artist. The workshop promises to help visual artists, artisans, and performing artists achieve business success as they follow their creative passion.

The series is a unique collaboration between the Nevada Arts Council, The Carson City Visitors Bureau and Adams Hub for innovation. Mark Salinas, the new Arts & Culture Coordinator at CCVB, will be sharing his knowledge and experience, along with an extensive list of guest speakers and subject matter experts. The workshops are practical, tactical sessions that help participants build skills, and will culminate in a final event, a show at The Studio at Adams Hub.

Topics include the creation of a compelling web presence and social media strategies for artists. Artists will also learn how to define and express their unique personal brand and tell their story through effective documentation. The workshop series includes hands-on skills labs, including sessions with a professional photographer and videographer, as well as a segment on writing artist biographies and profiles and honing an artist’s “elevator pitch.” Also included will be a session on sales skills. The workshops will explore the channels through which artists can generate revenue and visibility, including galleries, venues, fairs, grants and residencies. A highlight of the final workshop will be a panel discussion with experts from the art world.

The workshops will take place on four consecutive Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., beginning May 3rd and ending May 24th.

Space is limited to 20. Applications are available on our registration site.
Five seats were added and the new application deadline is Monday April 17.

Participants are asked to contribute a materials fee of $49. Refreshments will be provided.

Mentor Moment: Dr. Bob Whitcomb

Dr. Bob Whitcomb teaches courses at Western Nevada College and serves as an Adams Hub Mentor. WNC’s 101 course is taught in the Studio at Adams Hub, bringing students into the business incubator environment and exposing them to entrepreneurial culture. Bob brings passion, joy and a sense of humor to his work as a as well as a mentor. He has a unique gift for putting others at ease and challenging them to grow at the same time. Dr. Whitcomb divides his time between Northern Nevada and Alaska, where he spends four months of each year.

Why do you Mentor? I’ve been a teacher for a long time, and I love seeing the ideas and successes of my students. Being at the Hub enables me to see people come in with great ideas, then help them craft these into something that’s viable, workable. Creative people generate great ideas, great concepts, and many have great strength in their field, but they don’t have that business acumen you need to be successful. That’s why I’m so delighted to partner with the Hub. We get to use our skills and passions and share them with others.

Why did you focus on marketing? I’m a marketer by training and by nature. The root of marketing is meeting needs. How are we meeting customer needs? Marketing is fun. If I’m not having fun I’m not going to do it. Marketing isn’t rocket science. It’s gratifying to see students take advantage of the resources here at the Hub. For example, the Carson City librarians are bringing these amazing databases here, and when students sit down with them to explore markets, they can discover unmet needs. Putting the tools and inspiration together is what we’re all about.

Did that naturally lead to mentoring? Mentoring is a blast. You bring your perspective, you’re not trying to impress anyone. You’re just offering your ideas, sharing your experience. It’s exciting to see the light bulb go on, or give someone an idea that will help them solve a problem.

How else do you give back?
You know, non-profits have a serious struggle to attract talent. One of the things that we do is have students work with non-profits, build a non-profit experience base. It’s important as a manager and people benefit from that. That’s the caring, compassionate side of me that wants to help people. I’ve never cared about the money.

What’s your Alaska life like? I’m in Alaska for three months each summer, and one month during the holidays. I have dogs, a house, friends. I kayak, hike and run away from bears. If the barge doesn’t make it up for 2 weeks there’s no food in town, so everyone has a larder. Ben & Jerry’s is eight bucks a pint! I have to go to the yarn shop to get internet. Everyone knows your business. It’s a different way of life.
I mentor in Alaska, too, I can’t help it. Marketing is very unsophisticated there. But the local culture there is very interdependent, everyone just naturally helps each other. Houses burn down every winter and the community comes right out to help.

What was your career path? I graduated high school with a 1.8 GPA because I wasn’t interested. I told my parents I was going to be an auto mechanic. One day I got in an accident I realized I couldn’t bend over engines for the rest of my career. I went back to college, and had a very dynamic marketing instructor; he was great, and so was the next one. I decided that marketing was what I wanted to do. I truly believe that marketing is the soul of the business. Because it’s about customer needs. It’s how I look at the world.

When I decided to teach for a living, it changed my world view. Then I had to work out what students needed to be successful. I don’t want my classes to just be a bunch of theory. Kids do their own marketing plans in the marketing class, they write training plans, HR manuals. It’s very practical, real-world, and hands-on.

I knew I wanted to teach when I was in college, and when I graduated, I decided to go to grad school and got an assistantship in 1985, found I enjoyed that and I’m good at it. One-on-one, few-on-one, is best for my teaching approach.

How did you find your way to Carson? I had a pivotal moment when I worked for Home Depot. I was HR manager at the store in Juno, Alaska, and for a store with a staff of 100, I had to hire 125 new employees each year. We had incredible turnover. I decided to go back to teaching in colleges, but I really wanted to work at a college where I could teach these first-job people. I was drawn to the opportunity to help regular students who wanted to get their first job. I love to work with that population.

When I got the offer from WNC, I loaded up my pickup truck with six boxes, rented an apartment in Carson City sight unseen, and slept on the floor for the first six weeks. It was an adventure. WNC has been open to letting me create a my own curriculum. I remember how hard it was to learn when I wasn’t engaged, so I work hard to make my classes very engaging. The college is truly committed to the community. Education is the economic driver. Bringing my class to Adams Hub has helped my students to start thinking outside the classroom box. I encourage them to take advantage of everything that’s going on here.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? One of the neatest things happened to me last year. A former asked, “Are you the Bob Whitcomb who used to teach in Maine?” Turns out he had friends who both had been students of mine, many years ago. These kids had ended up getting married. I reconnected with this couple. They told me, “You just need to know you changed our lives. Your style of management and instruction changed our lives. You are one of the significant people in our lives.” I had no idea. All I did was what I do. That’s the reward of teaching.

Over the years, I was fortunate to meet people who were willing to develop me, to cultivate me. It’s great to take the time to stop and thank the people who taught us. I’m blessed to have people in my life that took me for what I was, and helped me achieve my potential.