Every year thousands of entrepreneurs seek to develop a product or service that appeals to the masses. But turning that business idea into the next big thing can take some luck, skill, and help from others.
John Lynn, a UNLV graduate, is getting a hand through the recent Southern Nevada Business Plan Competition. He won the competition with his idea of Sportsriffic, a Web-based fundraising system for amateur sports. He received $5,000 cash as well as $65,000 worth of office space, advertising services, marketing consulting, strategy implementation, business and leadership training, and legal services.
This is the first year the competition was open to the community. The competition is an extension of the university's educational mission and provides training the community needs, said Steve Phelan, director of UNLV's Center for Entrepreneurship. "It builds the presence of UNLV in the community, showing we are interested in engaging with the business community and giving back."
UNLV offers several resources for business owners, including:
Center for Entrepreneurship
The center provides support for entrepreneurship research and encourages the formation of new businesses.
All MBA students at UNLV are required to provide pro bono work in the community, including writing business plans and providing small business consulting, which includes applying analytical tools and providing recommendations for improving business.
Nevada Small Business Development Center
The NSBDC is a statewide resource for business development services and training. It provides free, confidential consulting and workshops, and low-cost training. In addition, its research and analysis of the economy, environment, and demographic data can help businesses, government, and other organizations promote economic growth.
The NSBDC is a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Nevada System of Higher Education.
Center for Business and Economic Research
The center maintains economic and business databases for Las Vegas, the region, and the United States. It analyzes economic and demographic impacts of events and policy initiatives on Nevada and its local economies. By combining survey, statistical, marketing, and research expertise with in-house computer facilities, the Center for Business and Economic Research is able to tailor reports to clients' needs.
Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies
The institute offers real estate professionals mentoring, research, and executive and continuing education, as well as the Certified Graduate Builder series and the Commercial Real Estate Certification program.
The institute's annual Real Estate Roundtable is a gathering of industry executives who discuss the current real estate topics impacting the Southern Nevada community, including sustainability, economic diversity, and the future of commercial development.
Educational Outreach provides innovative and comprehensive continuing education courses, including a number of national certification programs. Programs range from a sommelier certification to paralegal studies to nonprofit management and human resources.
The contract training division uses UNLV faculty expertise as well as instructors from the professional community to design custom training programs for individual businesses and organizations.
To receive a current Educational Outreach catalog, call 702-895-3394.