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$350 Million Might Not Be Enough to Save Las Vegas

350 Million Might Not Be Enough to Save Las Vegas The Atlantic


There are other cities that have focused on replacing disappearing industries such as steel or autos with technology, but they have big research universities or hospitals that naturally feed students and startups, Lang said. Pittsburgh, for instance, has Carnegie Mellon, which has focused on turning campus ideas intonew businesses. And Cleveland has the Cleveland Clinic, which has spurred the creation of medical device startups. But Las Vegas has UNLV, which has not yet had a track record for exiting startups.

Even a place like Orlando, which is also strong on tourism, has more startup infrastructure than Las Vegas does, Lang said. That’s because Orlando has big entertainment companies such as Universal Studios and Disney World, where there is game development and entertainment.

"Orlando puts Vegas to shame in tech," Lang said. "There's less technology here than the boosters would lead you to believe."

Ultimately, Las Vegas’s downtown may succeed as a tourism destination, Lang said, but it will have a much harder time driving a tech sector.

“It’s like a lifestyle enclave,” he said. “It’s not an innovation district yet, it’s not like Pittsburgh, which has legitimate innovation.”

Many entrepreneurs seem to see Vegas as a place to grind their teeth and work hard and save money. 

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I wonder what it will take for UNLV to get a track record for exiting startups.

They make a good point that Vegas is a place to save money.

I'm surprised the article does not mention the Detroit scene.

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