Reno wasn’t on the radar for Breadware, an Internet of Things (IoT) product development company that builds smart, connected products…until it was. They got their start in an unconventional way—living and working out of a mansion in Santa Barbara, CA. More on that in just a bit. Reno was calling via an angel, in this particular case—an angel investor.
That angel investor told Daniel Price and Danny deLaveaga, co-founders of Breadware that they should come to Reno and check it out. The startup was in a growth stage. In 2016, all nine employees of Breadware ended up in a 15,000 square foot mansion quite by accident. After receiving his mechanical engineering degree from Santa Barbara, deLaveaga worked at a mechanical design firm. An older gentleman kept coming in with motorcycle parts that needed fixing. It turns out he was the person that commercialized the first microscope to view an individual atom. He also had a vintage motorcycle museum. The two struck up a friendship. When it came time to scout office space for Breadware, deLaveaga was able to negotiate rent in one of the inventor’s homes which allowed the business to keep costs down and give all employees free room and board. Like a true startup, there was a lot of work and little play as the entire Breadware team lived and worked in one location. They were ready to expand.
Breadware moved to Reno in 2017 after being in Santa Barbara for just about a year. Prior to moving here, they checked out popular tech hubs like Los Angeles, Boulder and Seattle. On deLaveaga and Price’s second visit to Reno, Doug Erwin of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) introduced them to other startup tech companies like Filament and Trainer Road. That’s when they began seeing Reno in a different light and understood what it has become known for—a vibrant tech start-up community. They were sold. Now they needed to convince the other team members that Reno was the place to be. They did just that.
“Part of what we wanted to do as a startup, was raise money for our venture in the place we are living. We’ve achieved that here. We are in close proximity to our investors and utilize their experience, not just the money. We have been able to pull together a strong investment team and that has helped us grow,” said deLaveaga. The cost of living, strong startup community, no state income tax and the close distance to Silicon Valley were selling points. It turns out the Breadware team also enjoys the outdoors. Mountain biking, skiing, kayaking and simply enjoying the Truckee River that runs through Reno have become perks as well.
“As far as the startup community in Reno, there is a lot of support for each other. The collaborative nature came as a bonus. The University of Nevada, Reno also has been extremely supportive of the startup and tech culture here. They have helped us find employees, network and even asked for our input on course teachings. We like the eclectic nature of Reno and find it a really good place for a startup. We are so glad we came,” deLaveaga concluded. It turns out the road from Santa Barbara to Reno isn’t very far at all.