UNLV Incubator helps turn students' ideas into real business models

Photo: Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal

The UNLV Incubator at Hughes Center opened on September 29th. This new facility was created to promote students' innovative ideas with commercial potential.

According to hub director and UNLV professor Dr. Robert Rippee, the goal of the UNLV Incubator is "to launch businesses, to launch them into the economy, to launch startups out, to take their product to market, to take their company public, to employ more people, to be a success."

Ideas don't have to be related to tech, hospitality, or gaming. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the hub is accepting applications from any academic discipline on campus. Students will have a mentor in the industry to which their idea is related.

Dr. Rippee told Fox 5 Vegas that the most important aspect of the incubator is to diversify the economy. "Think of adding a technology component to that, or just a new sector that creates new jobs, new companies. You know that creates better opportunity and more diverse opportunity, which helps makes us more resilient to economic downturns."

The first cohort of students, comprised of 12 students split into four teams, started in September and more cohorts of 12 students will start at the hub.

The Incubator is similar to Silicon Valley in that it fosters an entrepreneurial culture. Dr. Rippee told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he thinks the incubator was the missing piece in the three-step process of taking concepts to market: idea generation, incubation and acceleration and scaling.

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