CARSON CITY – The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) this week is touting the success of a collaborative project that promises to spur innovation for Nevada’s gaming and hospitality sector—important for its success in a post-COVID-19 pandemic era.
The CoLab Esports Innovation Lab Project brings together the University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute’s Hospitality and Esports Labs with Rainmaking, an innovation and development firm. It’s funded in part through GOED’s Knowledge Fund. Staff at GOED also brought the two partners together through an introduction and the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show.
“GOED’s funding is perfectly placed to leverage the explosive demand for online entertainment and esports with the pressing need for real-world revenue and economic recovery for Nevada’s most significant industry,” said Michael Brown, GOED executive director. “This Knowledge Fund project combines strengthening Nevada’s gaming and hospitality sector and ensures that this industry in which Nevada has enjoyed a global competitive advantage for decades will stay ahead and continue to thrive, which in these challenging times is more important than ever.”
According to a statement from GOED, Rainmaking helps industry leaders work to solve problems through entrepreneurial and innovative thinking that result in immediate economic development activity.
GOED anticipates that the project will help “produce revenue through commercialization of these highly targeted innovative projects developed in the CoLab.”
The initiative is being directed by the International Gaming Institute’s Director of Hospitality Lab and Esports Lab, Robert Rippee, with Lewis, and with direct oversight and involvement by Bo Bernhard, Executive Director of the IGI, and Zach Miles, UNLV Associate Vice President for Economic Development.