Image by Darius Riley via HOUR VOYSES

Image by Darius Riley via HOUR VOYSES

Our startup accelerator program, the InNEVator, drew to a close this week. The Spring 2021 cohort consisted of four teams – Pigeon Loans, Drank, Giftata, and Cirrus Medical Network. Over the last seven weeks, the teams met with mentors, participated in various workshops, and connected with the Reno community. 

The program provided weekly mentoring sessions and a variety of workshops delivered by experienced entrepreneurs who imparted their wisdom on starting and running a young technology company. Throughout the program, each team had the opportunity to directly apply the advice and lessons learned to their conversations with customers and investors. 

InNEVator concluded on May 6th with a Demo Day event where the company founders pitched to the Reno entrepreneurs and investors community. After the pitch event, the cohort came together for one final time to network and reflect at Bundox Bocce in downtown Reno.

Although the program finished this week, it is not the end of the Reno entrepreneurship experience for one of these teams. Cirrus Medical Network is a Reno local company that plans to continue building out its operations here. Its telehealth platform provides autonomy for physicians and self-pay healthcare options for patients. This platform enables patients to connect directly with their doctors, without the additional administrative steps found in a traditional medical setting. Cirrus Medical Network could potentially increase access to healthcare, allow continuity of care, and reduce overall costs for patients. 

Dr. Chris Highley, the founder of Cirrus Medical Network and a physician himself, has balanced his time between the InNEVator and his medical practice. Being a Reno local has allowed Chris the opportunity to participate in the program on his lunch breaks while forming long-lasting connections with the local entrepreneur community. 

Chris has enjoyed seeing the university expand its entrepreneurial efforts over the last few years. As a local, he is particularly grateful to be included in the entrepreneurship discussion, especially with the influx of talent from other regions. He shared that Nevada has always been business-friendly, but recently he has seen a cultural shift toward entrepreneurialism and a growth of startups by local founders. He’s happy to see a burgeoning entrepreneurial community in his “backyard.”

Over the next few months, Chris is looking forward to refining his product, expanding his team, and continuing to build strategic connections.