State’s Business Pitch event goes beyond startups

Nevada-based startup companies looking for more capital may be in luck.

The Governor’s Conference on Business 2015 is showcasing the first Business Pitch Competition as part of this year’s one-stop business resource event.

A two-minute pitch in front of a panel of judges will net two entrepreneurs cash and prizes totaling $16,000. First place will be awarded cash and prizes worth $13,500; second place, $2,500 cash.

The competition is open to Nevada-based businesses that have been in operation two years or less and have less than $250,000 in annual gross revenue.

The application process is open to businesses anywhere within the state. However, companies must be able to travel to Reno in late August to make a pitch if selected as one of the 10 finalists.

“This competition is a twist on the traditional pitch competitions,” Bruce Breslow, director of the Business and Industry Department, said in a statement. “You need to already be in business with all of the necessary licenses and the entry is not limited to technology startups. Any and all businesses are encouraged to apply.”

A business must submit a $40 fee and a completed application packet to the Business and Industry Department by 5 p.m. July 17. The fee also provides admission for one to the conference and luncheon.

Judges will review all submissions and select 10 finalists and two alternates. Finalists will make a two-minute in-person pitch in front of the judges at the conference Aug. 25.

For more information visit:

For questions, contact Linda Gooley at 702-486-5320 or

Camp Invention focuses on innovation

Camp Invention, a summer enrichment day camp program that is supported by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the National Inventors Hall of Fame, is coming to Doral Academy of Nevada’s Cactus Campus the week of July 6.

The weeklong day camp is offered to students entering grades 1-6 and focuses on innovation and creativity while building self-esteem, teamwork, persistence and goal-setting skills.

Students develop their science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills while enjoying outdoor activities.

“We are thrilled to be offering Camp Invention to students in our community and developing skills that ensure bright futures for our participants,” Nancy Lenihan, Camp Invention director in Sumner, Wash., said in a statement.

This year’s curriculum, called Illuminate, was inspired by educators, inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and members of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It aims to encourage children to explore their inventiveness in the Design Studio: Illuminate module, investigating circuits and taking on a nature-inspired design challenge. Children will have a chance to build a prototype from scratch and explore math from a new angle when they create origami flight models during team-building exercises.

Local programs are facilitated and taught by educators who reside and teach in the community. Camp Invention serves more than 87,000 students every year through more than 1,300 camps across the nation.

For additional information, or to find the nearest location for registration, visit

Las Vegas among solar leaders

Las Vegas ranks 12th among metropolitan area in the U.S. in terms of solar installations per capita, according to BuildZoom.

The online marketplace for remodeling and construction contractors examined data on 75 million building permits throughout the U.S. to navigate the solar power landscape. The goal was to find what parts of the country lead the solar power trend and whether the rest of the country is on the same path.

From 2005 to 2014, the amount of new solar power systems increased more than 20-fold. In 2005, only 10,000 new solar systems were introduced nationwide compared to 2014 when 230,000 were added.

Out of the 40 largest U.S. metro areas, Las Vegas ranked 12th with 3.58 solar installations per 1,000 residents.

The highest ranked metro area was San Diego, which has almost 6.5 times more solar systems per capita than the nation as a whole.

Also, six of the top 14 are in California, which consistently accounts for about half of new solar power systems each year, according to BuildZoom. California’s number of solar systems per 1,000 residents is 8.89, almost four times the national figure of 2.26.

BuildZoom also found that other than SolarCity and Vivint Solar, which handle solar installation in-house, the majority of installations were completed by smaller, local contractors working in partnership with larger, national brands.

To view the full report, visit

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