With downtown Reno views and stocked with high-tech toys and the comforts of home, you will find a small staff - collaborating in a creative space - making big things happen. We met the Inqiri staff as they gathered around a colorful wall of Post It notes; each color representing a person and their tasks. As a project moves forward – so do the Post It notes. Don’t let the rainbow mosaic of sticky notes fool you though; this group of tech-savvy strategists make up one of Reno's newest start-up companies.
Inqiri designed a web application that helps businesses and organizations improve decision-making by getting virtual feedback from employees and consumers. As co-founder, James Elste says, “There's a science behind it. It applies phenomenon-like collection intelligence, which is called the wisdom of the crowd sometimes, to help an organization identify better alternatives." The start-up company creates an "inqiri” - or ongoing, evolving surveys. The more input received - a more informed management - and better decision-making. "You're going to have better profits, more revenue to be able to hire more people," explains Elste.
Inqiri is just one of the think tanks converging on downtown Reno. “We found that there are over 20 start-ups just in the Reno area - all building very fascinating solutions."
Many of them opened on First Street, just north of the Truckee River, which is now being dubbed Startup Row. The exciting new district is attracting the attention of city, state and even U.S. leaders. Senator Harry Reid signed a signature flag that will adorn the First Street corridor, along with Governor Brian Sandoval and Reno City Manager, Andrew Clinger. The flag will join dozens more along Startup Row, which runs from Washington Street, where you will find Trainer Road (a company striving to make athletes faster), to Arlington Avenue, which houses the Reno Collective (a collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs), all the way down to Virginia Street, which is home to a few more startups like Inqiri. “I'd say it's probably a mile and there are lots of opportunities for other startups to move in here. There's plenty of real estate available."
Elste and his fellow entrepreneurs hope this area will become a hotbed for innovation, where entrepreneurs can share ideas and where the Biggest Little City's startups can become an economic epicenter in our community.
If you would like to learn more about the startup community or to find out which small businesses are hiring, you are invited to the Biggest Little Startup Fair Friday, May 9th at West Street Market between 2-6 p.m. Admission is free and there will even be free shuttle service provided from Morrill Hall on the University of Nevada campus. The University of Nevada, the City of Reno, Tech Connect, EDAWN, the Young Professionals Network and the River Walk District have all teamed up to host this event.