BY RYAN J. NEGRI, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IRON YARD VENTURES
Outside investment can transform the future of a budding startup. It can take a company from a college dorm room, garage, or even the trunk of a car, and lead it down the path to becoming a multi-million or even billion-dollar corporation. To fund this investment, many entrepreneurs are turning to accelerators. These programs connect startups to venture capitalists who bring in seed money and give startups access to their experience and resources. In many cases, accelerators will provide office space, mentorship and other assets companies need to plant their roots and thrive.
Accelerators are a relatively new concept — according to Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, more than 70 percent of existing accelerators were founded in 2008 or later. These programs have been helpful in guiding businesses to success. More than three out of every four businesses that participated in an accelerator program have a high survival rate.
According to the Seed Accelerator Ranking Project, one of the top accelerators in the country is Iron Yard Ventures. Founded in 2012, the organization touts its success in investing in more than 50 startup technology companies that have collectively produced hundreds of jobs and built a stream of capital topping $70 million.
Accelerators can be developed for any industry. Iron Yard’s hospitality accelerators, for example, focus on synchronizing top early-stage startups with industry-leading corporations in hospitality and gaming. Tech entrepreneurs connect with mentors, partners, investors and hospitality and casino companies to develop a business plan to success.
It’s this spirit of progress that attracted University of Phoenix. The University views Iron Yard Ventures as a major player when it comes to forward-moving innovation. Connecting talent with the means necessary to reimagine business in a burgeoning tech mecca is a recipe for success and has led to the creation of RedFlint, an innovation experience center that offers a hands-on learning ecosystem developed jointly by the University’s College of Information Systems and Technology and School of Business and Iron Yard Ventures. This trifecta of business development, educational experience and inventive culture will spark innovation and incubate the skills and strategy development necessary to revolutionize business and industry from the inside out.
RedFlint will serve as a testing lab where users will face real-life problems to cultivate creative thinking and develop forward-looking business solutions. Users will incubate concepts through the use of the latest technologies, such as data analytics and digital marketing tools, allowing startups to have an edge and avoid traditional early business mistakes. And with the help of Iron Yard Ventures, RedFlint will accelerate startups by connecting them with the necessary resources, mentoring and connections needed to get of the ground and running.
The path to building and growing a business is evolving and must be more collaborative than ever. RedFlint allows students, businesses and the community to come together to create solutions through new technologies, bringing to life the 21st century model of entrepreneurship and business growth. Learn more about RedFlint at: redfintvegas.com
1. Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs; Bridging the “Pioneer Gap”: The Role of Accelerators in Launching High-Impact Enterprises, pg. 5 and 19
2. Iron Yard Ventures; Announcing the Las Vegas Hospitality Accelerator powered by Iron Yard Ventures
3. Iron Yard Ventures; Las Vegas Hospitality Accelerator