Biggest Little Startup Fair Draws Businesses, Job Seekers

By Carla O’Day

Biggest Little Startup Fair 2016
Photo: Carla O’Day

Job seekers and more than 30 of the area’s newest businesses were able to connect Thursday at Greater Nevada Field for the Biggest Little Startup Fair, which attracted companies looking for a wide range of employees.

“We have a lot of local startups and we’ve met with more than 100 in the last year,” said Shyla Pheasant, program manager of entrepreneurial development at the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN). “Over half of the startups here are looking for skilled workers. We have everything across the board.”

The event’s theme was “Big ideas, little companies.” Those from EDAWN, Truckee Meadows Community College and the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) helped put on the event with hopes of promoting a thriving startup community, bringing together local startups and raising awareness about jobs locally.

It also combined the elements of a career fair and being a place for businesses to display products and services.

Biggest Little Startup Fair 2016
Photo: Carla O’Day

Flirtey Inc. showcased a six-rotor done.

“We’re looking for operators and we need pilots, programmers and anyone generally interested in the tech field,” said Andi Kilgore, administrative and communications officer for Flirtey, a drone delivery service.

Flirtey mainly focuses on humanitarian relief but recently partnered locally with 7-Eleven to deliver its products by drone, lowering tethered items down to the customer from about 50 feet in the air.

Several businesses have taken advantage of the Pack Internship Grant Program, which funds UNR student internship costs for new businesses that might otherwise find hiring an intern too costly. Funding comes from the Associated Students of the University of Nevada. More than 50 students are taking part this semester.

“It’s a mutually beneficial program,” said Elizabeth Loun, UNR internship and employer relations coordinator. “Students build skills and refine their interests.”

The UNR Career Studio was also promoting its upcoming Fall Career and Internship Expo, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 3 on campus. It’s open to students and alumni seeking work. Businesses interested in taking part can reserve a table by calling 775-682-7114 or emailing Loun at eloun@unr.edu.

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Carla O'Day
About Carla O'Day 191 Articles
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.