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Why I Built My Business in Reno, Nevada

These business owners came for the lifestyle but appreciate all the perks of doing business in Reno.

By Trista Ridge on October 18, 2022

Montreux Golf & Country Club in Reno, NV
VisitRenoTahoe.com

Location is everything when building a business, so we sat down with two Reno-based business owners — Adam Kiefer of Talage and Relina Shirley of HideIt Mounts — to discuss why they built their companies in the “Biggest Little City in the World.”

Even if they initially moved to Reno for one reason (ahem, like being close to Lake Tahoe), they found many additional advantages to staying.

Let’s talk about them.

Adam Kiefer | Talage

What brought you to Reno?

“I actually came to Reno (from the Bay Area) for the university, and I would put an asterisk on that because I came to the university because of the mountains and the lake. Once I was at the university, I fell in love with the town, so when I graduated, I never left.”

Why did you decide to stay in Reno to build your business?

“(Laughs) For the livability — it was a lifestyle choice first and foremost. There are definitely some tax and government implications, especially when you’re looking at it against California, so that makes Reno pretty appealing. But above those (reasons), frankly, it was absolutely a lifestyle decision. The cool part about Reno, from our perspective being a VC-backed start-up, the proximity to Northern California was really, really important. We can be down there in three hours, have a lunch meeting, and be back home in our own beds that night.”

What about your lifestyle in Reno do you love the most?

“I’ve got three kids and a wife, so a big part of it is the family aspect. I’m not spending an hour before work and after work in a car. Even though I work a long day, I can be home in 15 minutes. Saving that time for family is a big part of it.”

“Another thing is just the outdoor aspect of it. Reno is very much an outdoor town, so being able to get up to Lake Tahoe quickly, and the trails and the river — even just being out in the suburbs and being able to walk to Starbucks because the weather is nice!”

Can you tell me a little bit more about your business?

“We’re an insurance software company, and the idea is that we enable the distribution of insurance. Essentially, we replicate a Kayak type of experience for insurance agencies and distribution channels so that business owners and agencies can compare multiple options at the same time.”

“I got into it because after I graduated, I needed to get a job, so I went into insurance and learned about the industry. What’s cool about the Northern Nevada region is that even though people are competitors, it’s a really friendly business community.”

Relina Shirley | HideIt Mounts

Can you start off by telling me about your business?

“I started HideIt Mounts to hide and store cable boxes, media players, gaming consoles and sporting goods. So, essentially our gig is wall-mounted storage units. We’re pretty big on the gaming side — people are creating really cool, custom setups with our mounts. Initially the concept was to hide it, because I wanted to hide all of it, but there are quite a few people choosing to display it.”

What brought you to Reno?

“We moved to Reno in 2010, and it was one of those scenarios where we came out to visit some friends for Presidents Day Weekend, the recession was kicking in, and we were feeling it in Southern California — we realized, ‘Gosh this is a beautiful place and there’s tons to do.’ We hit the mountains for skiing, then we were down in Reno and not in snow, but in a bunch of sunshine. So, we decided to make the move.”

Had you started your business when you moved?

“The business was very, very young — it was this little seedling that we were starting. We (Relina and her husband) still had our day jobs, so we spoke with our boss and asked if we could move and work remotely. We were afforded the opportunity to move, so we did, and it was definitely a personal decision — it wasn’t really business-oriented. I know there are a ton of businesses that come to Reno because Nevada doesn’t have state taxes, but that wasn’t a driving factor for us. Did it end up being an added benefit? Heck yeah!”

This article was sponsored by EDAWN.

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