Project Vesto Aims to Build Up Startup Tech Companies

LAS VEGAS -- In a push to grow Las Vegas' tech industry, Project Vesto is offering a $100,000 prize.

The deadline already passed for submissions, more than 10 Nevada companies are still in the running in the state business competition.

Las Vegas is known for its underperforming schools and unskilled workforce, but Project Vesto is aiming to fix those problems.

Judges for this contest said to forget preconceived thoughts.

Fitronix founder David Rolley is proud of his prototype, Smart Workbench. So proud, he demonstrated how it worked, all while wearing a suit.

Smart Workbench measures fitness metrics during a workout to help prevent injury.

"You never learn too much," Rolley said. "The best thing to know is to know what you don't know."

Fitronix is one of more than five Las Vegas valley tech startups making it to the finals of Project Vesto, which offers seed money, mentoring and support from the governor's office.

'Any great idea that entrepreneurs have, we can build it," Project Vesto judge Xavier Cross said.

Cross said this is just the beginning of building a sustainable tech hub in the valley and that starts with access to top leaders in their fields.

"There's over 20,000 conferences that go on every year," Cross said. "You have some of the brightest minds from all over the world pass through."

Even more than that, it's building a skilled workforce.

By the end of the summer, Revitalize Las Vegas will open up training centers for valley residents to hone their skills.

"All the stuff that we were told that, oh, I'm just not good at math, that's actually incorrect now," Cross said.

The training centers could be a big plus for start-up tech businesses not just looking for Project Vesto prize money, but also area workers who can help them grow.

"I'm looking forward to what they're doing and I hope to be a part of it," Rolley said.

 EDITOR'S NOTE: This story originally reported Revitalize Las Vegas was state-backed and worked with city and state officers. We regret the error.


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