RENO, Nev., April 17, 2014 – The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) and the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization (NIREC) have agreed to become co-recipients of the Nevada Entrepreneurial Success Tracker (NEST) grant awarded originally to NIREC by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

The NEST program is focused on organizing entrepreneurial events, education and mentorship for early stage companies, and in line with that mission, the funding will build upon the sucessful programs that NIREC won and administered previously.  NEST will specifically facilitate the creation of the Summit Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) modeled after MIT’s mentor program. The Summit VMS program is designed to support the most promising early stage companies in achieving high growth potential.

The EDA’s mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA investments are results driven, embracing the principles of technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and regional development.

Since 2012 NIREC has broadened its scope from clean technologies and encouraged innovation and entrepreneurship on all levels and industries with the development of The Spark website ( that provides startup education using video modules. It also spearheaded Startup Weekends in Elko and Reno and created Project Vesto that ecouraged over two hundred new businesses and ideas statewide to compete in a buisness competition for seed captial and other resources.

EDAWN President and CEO Mike Kazmierski said, “EDAWN has made support of entrepreneurs a priority and this grant, for organizing entrepreneurial events, education and mentorship, will lead to more opportunities for entrepreneurs and help them to create the jobs of our future right here in Reno-Sparks.”


The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada is a private/public partnership established in 1983 committed to recruiting, expanding and supporting newly forming quality companies that bring jobs to the region and have a positive impact on the quality of life in Greater Reno-Sparks-Tahoe.

The Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization (NIREC) is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization actively involved in igniting innovation, driving commercialization and fueling acceleration as a clean energy innovation intermediary in Nevada. Its activities are designed to help diversify the Silver State’s economy by working closely with its primary research institutions to transform clean energy ideas into sustainable enterprises.