It started quietly as just one manufacturing company, the ERC office and a community educational facility. It grew into a dynamic, interactive, collaborative space for the tech community in Nevada County. 104 New Mohawk is now the Nevada County Tech Hub – and it has earned its name!
Build it and They Will Come
The Economic Resource Council (ERC) had an idea in 2016 to create a space where tech companies and talent could work together side by side, exchanging ideas and forming the heart of a united tech community in Nevada County. Two years later, that community is a reality, and it is thriving. Twelve tenants now occupy the Nevada County Tech Hub space at 104 New Mohawk in Nevada City. They include manufacturing companies, start-ups, non-profits, and a handful of individuals (a writer, an attorney, a radio and television show producer) who specialize in the tech industry.
Collaboration at the Tech Hub
Shavati Karki-Pearl, Administrator and Founder of the Nevada County Tech Connection (NCTC), is grateful to have so many different people in the building to collaborate with. “The other residents are an important part of what we do because they provide mentors, teachers, and speakers for the Connected Communities Academy and NCTC Meetups.” she said. “They help out with, attend, and sponsor NCTC events. They give us ideas for classes – they are good people to brainstorm with.”
Random Networking Leads to Customer and Talent Referrals
Lafe Redd is the co-founder and CEO of Augmntr, a start-up specializing in AR and VR technologies that interact with complex data sets. He collaborates with his office neighbors in several different ways. Augmntr refers customers back and forth with Gyro-Stabilized Systems (GSS), which manufactures complementary custom stabilized platforms for camera systems. They trade horror stories and talk about cameras with Nevada County Television (NCTV) employees. They have referred talent to Traitware, which provides web hosting, authentication, and security solutions. And, like many other building residents, they rely on office neighbor Eric Little for legal services. Redd enjoys the social aspect of working at the Tech Hub: “You never know who is going to come in on a TechTonic Tuesday night for a presentation,” he said. “It’s good for random networking.” (Augmntr will be presenting at the April TechTonic on the state of AR/VR industry and what is possible with geo-registration and multi-system imaging integration.)
Space for Event Hosting and Digital Media Production
Jessica Carr, Program Manager for Small Business Development Center at the Sierra Business Council (SBC) also benefits from the random networking. The SBC is a nonprofit that fosters community vitality, environmental quality, economic prosperity, and social fairness in the Sierra Nevada. Though a contract with the ERC they recently opened an office at the Tech Hub, which makes it easier for their many consultants to offer small business consulting and workshops in Western Nevada County. They were happy to meet their office neighbor, attorney Eric Little. “We can’t consult on anything legal because we are a Federal agency – we can refer to him,” said Carr. “If he finds clients who need support in growing their business, he can refer to us.”
Carr also appreciates the space – the SBC is hosting a Small Business Success Series of workshops at the Tech Hub in June, and providing a space for the Small Business Administration’s Meet the Lenders workshop/forum on April 5. There is also space for digital media production at the Tech Hub – NCTV’s Nevada County Digital Media Center offers a fully equipped production studio that includes a 20×20 greenscreen, a well-equipped creative lab, a control room, and mobile production and streaming capabilities.
The Future of the Tech Hub
Karki-Pearl would like to build on the synergy that is already happening at the Tech Hub. “I’d love to start an incubator and have people learn skills and then provide employees for the tech companies at the Hub,” she said. Contact Shavati Karki-Pearl at email@example.com if you are interested in funding this effort. There is a lot happening at the Tech Hub, and we are just getting started. Come and see for yourself — drop into one of our Meet-ups or other events.