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Intel: Gathering to connect startup communities underway

On Aug. 13, 1 Million Cups, a weekly gathering that aims to connect startup communities over cups of coffee and conversation across the country, launched in Las Vegas.

The weekly event, located in the inNEVation Center, powered by Switch, seeks to engage, educate and connect entrepreneurs.

1 Million Cups began in April 2012 in Kansas City, Mo., the hometown of its founding organization, Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. With the launch in Las Vegas, 1 Million Cups has expanded its network to 50 U.S. cities and accomplished the growth goal Kauffman program leaders set for 2014.

The program’s model is consistent in each location as each Wednesday morning, two early stage startups present their companies to an audience of mentors, advisers and other entrepreneurs. Each founder speaks for six minutes and then fields audience questions for another 20 minutes.

Las Vegas entrepreneurs, innovators, and other interested community members will meet at 9 a.m. each Wednesday at 6795 Edmond St., Third Floor.

In each event city, local entrepreneurs drive the program as community organizers. Assuming the leadership roles in Las Vegas are Phil Randazzo, Adam Kramer, Mark Brown, Chris Hanway, Ann Diab and Thomas Typinski.

“We’re totally pumped to partner with the Kauffman Foundation to bring 1 Million Cups to Las Vegas and look forward to inviting entrepreneurs across Southern Nevada to join us each week,” Randazzo said. “This program is a great opportunity for our entrepreneurs to share what they’ve been working on.”

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NEW VENTURES: Ryan Doherty and Justin Weniger, the team behind Commonwealth and Park on Fremont in downtown Las Vegas and the new BLVD. Cocktail Co. at The Linq on the Strip, have announced they will open two ventures: Due &Proper and Whist Stove and Spirits, at The District in Green Valley Ranch this fall.

“Due &Proper will blend elements of a classic pub from London, Ireland and the East Coast, while Whist Stove and Spirits will be Henderson’s answer to a contemporary, neighborhood restaurant,” Doherty says. “I live just a few minutes away, and we developed these concepts to fill voids that we have seen through the years, as well as a hangout for friends that are close to home.”

Like Doherty and Weniger’s other concepts, Whist and Due &Proper will be design, mixology and art forward, which have become signature qualities of their ventures. Each space, which will occupy the former neighboring bar Al’s Garage and restaurant Presidio, which will be completely transformed.

Whist, a 3,000-square-foot restaurant and bar, will offer cocktails and fare in a laid-back setting. Designed by Doherty, the prominent features include mismatched wooden furniture, crystal chandeliers, tarnished arches and oversized imagery on the walls. Low Brow art will accent the walls, and layers of overlapping copper will canopy the room. An oversized lounge with movable furniture will be the foreground of the dining room, and the rectangular space will break off into an indoor-outdoor opening to the patio, which will have the feel of a rose garden. Although each area is distinctive, glass and wood come together to create unity between the lounge, dining room and patio.

Whist will be open 24 hours a day, offering breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night dining, along with a playful weekend brunch.

Due &Proper will blend elements of the classic pub in a 2,500-square-foot restaurant, bar and patio. The menu will offer an array of pub fare, including British bangers and mash, Irish fish and chips, and American hot pretzels, burgers and more. A beer-centric beverage menu will offer a curated selection of craft, domestic and imported beers.

Whist Stove and Spirits and Due &Proper will continue to offer the same rewards program, as well as all points accrued through District Tavern Group.


MORE ACCESSIBLE CANYON: The west end of the Grand Canyon got a little more accessible to Southern Nevadans last week.

A long-disputed paving project was completed on Diamond Bar Road, the only public access to Grand Canyon West and the Hualapai Indian Tribe’s tourist attractions in northwestern Arizona.

Southern Nevada tourism enterprises have sold tour packages to Grand Canyon West for years, including trips to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped glass-floored overlook attraction at Eagle Point.

With the new paved road and the 2010 opening of the O’Callaghan-Tillman Memorial Bridge over the Colorado River, the travel time from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West was reduced by an hour. It now takes less than two hours to reach the area.