A Tech Ecosystem in the Mountains
In Truckee, a culture that is passionate about balancing live, work, and play welcomes newcomers who share the same values. This kind of community support creates the perfect atmosphere to think, connect, create and be productive. Business concepts that grow local jobs, and are not seasonally dependent are particularly viewed with special interest. Developers will find App beta testers in the local marketplace for just about any idea–from healthcare to trail wayfinding.
In fact, a rapidly growing Tech Ecosystem from Truckee to South Lake Tahoe, Incline Village and Reno includes startup, entrepreneur, and networking groups. At weekly meetings and events, people are serious about business and ROI, yet also collaborative, helpful, and connecting–born from a shared desire to recreate in fresh air and stunning mountain scenery.
“The entire tech community is very interested in working together–networking for the greater good,” says Tim Olesnavage, co-founder of Elevate Blue, a venture accelerator in Incline Village also launching as a coding school.
Unlike the fiercely competitive and stressful city life (and without all of the distraction, noise, friction and time spent commuting), efficient business owners can play (ski, ride, bike, paddle, climb, hike run…) then get work done at a local business, home, co-working, studio or makerspace until it’s time for a cold brew or dinner with the family.
But a startup doesn’t need to be digital, or created behind a computer screen. In 2015, Bike Truckee (bike rentals) popped up within easy pedalling distance of the Legacy Trail, a beautiful paved 4.1 mile path running along the Truckee River. Getting set up and operating quickly is easy to figure out with help from the Town of Truckee, offering an online tool to help entrepreneurs determine what it takes to open a business that requires are physical location. Check out OpenCounter on TownofTruckee.com home page.
“A lot of people who come to live in the mountains are determined, tough, and creative individuals, who are used to being innovative and resourceful to sustain their lifestyle. These are some of the same qualities that help make them successful as entrepreneurs.” -Rachel Arst McCullough, Tahoe Silicon Mountain, Head of Promotions
A Creative Culture
Complementing a heating up tech scene is a creative side to Truckee that blends art, cuisine and mountain living. Opening in the fall of 2016 is a 3,400 sq. ft. new community makerspace, Truckee Roundhouse. Celebrating its second year is Truckee Open Art Studios Tour (TOAST), a 10-day collection of events throughout the town of Truckee featuring interactive, behind-the-scenes access to artists–from sculpture to multimedia, painting, woodworking and more.
Some TOAST artists are also represented in historic downtown Truckee with galleries and art supply stores offering creative workshops. And, if you’ve got a creative at-home idea, the Sierra Small Business Development Center partners with Etsy to offer training that will help you get up and running online. Sierra College’s Truckee Campus offers photography, welding, drama classes and more.
Truckee’s culinary scene includes farm-to-table popups that range from elegant dining/open kitchen experiences at Stella, to ski area dinner events held in grand lodges, and food trucks at Truckee Thursdays (weekly summer event). A network of regional farms, local gardens and organic foods are promoted by Tahoe Food Hub and Slow Food Lake Tahoe at popup events that are packed with local friends and family. In summer, vibrant farmers markets offer flowers, produce, locally raised meats and more.