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No-cost and confidential business advising for UNLV students

Rebel Forge logo


RebelForge is a joint initiative by the UNLV Office of Economic Development and Nevada Small Business Development Center that provides UNLV students with no-cost and confidential advising, resources, and training to help them in starting, growing, or managing their business. We offer one-on-one counseling and overall business assessment to support entrepreneurs at UNLV because #RebelsMakeItHappen.

Ways We Forge

RebelForge Grant

All RebelForge clients can apply to receive a micro-grant, which is awarded after a case-by-case review. To apply for the micro-grant, clients can submit the following to their RebelForge advisor:

1) A 2-3 page grant proposal consisting of a detailed business model, marketing strategy (target audience and how you plan reach them), and how this grant will impact your business (what you will specifically use it for and the tangible impact it will have on your business/the community)

2) Future financial projections to show the potential performance of your business OR past financial statements to show the financial health of your business 

Your RebelForge advisor will ensure that your submission is ready for the grant committee by actively providing assistance and guidance in finishing the grant proposal and/or the financial projections until the submission covers all the necessary areas. Once the submission is primed and ready, your case will then be reviewed by the grant committee for approval. 

Guides, Templates, and Personalized Resources

  • License and permit compliance
  • Export and import guidance
  • Business financing
  • Market research
  • Economic and demographic analysis
  • Technology development
  • Business plan and canvas
  • Feasibility study
  • Financial statements
  • Sales forecasting
  • Branding and marketing
  • Free occasional training by professionals

Industry-Specific Labs

Collage of  images featuring Makerspace, Computer Lab, eSports Arena, and Integrated Resort Lab

Our location at BlackFire Innovation gives RebelForge clients access to:

  • The Makerspace has several 3D printers, a vinyl cutter, a CNC router, a sewing machine, and other technology that can be used to create prototypes for your business.
  • Computer Lab has computers, supplies, and a large format printer to create marketing materials like stickers, signs, and T-shirts.
  • eSports Arena gives you a space to test or preview inventions relating to esports but can also be an intimate event space.
  • Integrated Resort Lab replicates the resort environment and includes a coffee and cocktail bar, a cafe, a connected hotel room, and a smart bathroom that can be used to test products or services in the hospitality industry.

Intellectual Property Assistance

Intellectual property is the underlying value behind your idea. RebelForge can assist in protecting your IP with:

  • Patents – A patent is a form of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, selling, and importing an invention for a limited period of years, in exchange for publishing an enabling public disclosure of the invention.
  • Copyrights – A copyright is a form of intellectual property that grants the creator of an original creative work an exclusive legal right to determine whether and under what conditions this original work may be copied and used by others, usually for a limited term of years.
  • Trademarks – A trademark is a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others, although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks.

Ways We Bridge

In addition to serving UNLV student entrepreneurs through advising, RebelForge also aims to bridge the gap between the UNLV campus and off-campus initiatives at Black Fire Innovation, such as the UNLV Office of Economic Development. Some ways we do this include:

First Friday: Tour of Black Fire Innovation, Free use of CoOperate space, and entertainment by local businesses

BlackFire Innovation is an innovation hub aiming to facilitate strategic partnerships and drive innovation in hospitality and gaming. Along with a floor dedicated to showcasing new technologies, BlackFire Innovation also houses RebelForge, the UNLV Office of Economic Development, CoOperate (a co-working space), and a Makerspace. RebelForge advisors host tours of Black Fire Innovation every first Friday of the month in an effort to familiarize UNLV students with economic development initiatives and resources available to them as UNLV students at Black Fire Innovation. After the tour, head downstairs to take part in CoOperate’s First Friday event, and enjoy food trucks and other activities by local businesses, as well as the opportunity to use the CoOperate co-working space for FREE ($30 in value)

To sign up for a tour, check out the Upcoming Events section below. If you would like to schedule a private group tour (such as for a class or RSO event), please email us at rebelforge@unlv.edu to set up a date and time.


RebelForge offers low or no-cost, Nevada SBDC-sponsored business presentations and workshops. For #SBDC Day, we hosted a Step By Step of Starting a Tech Business workshop at the Troesh Center on-campus, and are excited to offer more similar events in the future. See our Upcoming Events section to see if we have anything planned!

Upcoming Events

There are currently no events at this time. Please check back soon.
Current UNLV students: Get no-cost business assistance from RebelForge

Connect with Us

Contact Us



Phone Number


Renee Zhang

Advisory Intern
Email: renee.zhang@unlv.edu

Chris Martin

Advisory Intern