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Inside a Polish-Nevadan’s efforts to bring more international business to Nevada

When Rafael Kartaszynski moved to Nevada from Poland five years ago and wanted to start his own tech consulting company, he found success thanks to connections he made in the state and wants to help others looking to make the move.

He was lured to the state after having the chance to attend a Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development trade mission program that highlighted the benefits of operating a business in the Silver State. Kartaszynski went on to launch Tech Edge Developers, a consulting firm for other tech companies and startups, after moving to Nevada in 2019.

But not all international entrepreneurs have that opportunity, especially as Nevada isn’t a place with a long history of supporting novel business ventures.

To make it easier for other international entrepreneurs to find resources and get a head start in Nevada, Kartaszynski created Visionaries NV, an organization designed to connect others like him to Nevada-based mentors and those with international contacts.

“When you’re a startup, you are usually alone and when you grow your company, you feel alone,” Kartaszynski said. “In these cases and situations you need mentors, you need people to talk to.”

Attracting international companies to Nevada is another avenue to diversifying Nevada’s economy. But according to GOED, only 12 international companies have received tax abatements to relocate to the state since 2015. Another 10 international companies are working with GOED to bring operations to Nevada.

Nevada’s location on the West Coast and taxes are some of the most common factors cited by companies looking to come to the state, said Amanda Flocchini, international business development director for GOED.

“We are right next to California, without being in California, we have access to some of the world’s biggest ports, like Long Beach, Los Angeles, the Bay Area,” she said. “We don’t have personal income tax, we don’t have franchise tax … companies look at us and they go, ‘Wow, that’s nice.’”

GOED looks to boost the state’s economy by connecting businesses in the state with ways to export their products across borders and ways for foreign companies to invest in the state, she said.

What is Visionaries NV?

Visionaries NV will host networking events, conduct case studies, build a referral list of businesses and investors and help businesses navigate the government processes required to bring operations to Nevada, Kartaszynski said.

“This is about accepting people from outside (Nevada) and making this a one-stop shop for what they need,” Kartaszynski said.

Visionaries NV officially launched at an event earlier this month at UNLV’s Black Fire Innovation building. Several Polish tech companies gathered to hear about the benefits of relocating to the state and allowed the companies to make quick pitches for themselves.

One of the Polish companies, CTHINGS.CO, works with businesses to build software systems that can enable remote maintenance of machines and connecting machine operations to the internet. The company made the trip to Nevada since it’s considering creating a U.S. headquarters as American demand for its services has grown. CEO Arnold Wierzejski said he wanted to see what the Silver State had to offer.

Wierzejski said he likes the concept of Visionaries NV but isn’t fully convinced yet about bringing his company to Nevada, but he did say the state’s location and tax structure are its biggest draws.

“It seems like from what we heard so far is that Nevada is a nice gateway,” he said. “It’s close to (California). It’s close to other states as well and has good commuting capabilities to other states.”

Ease of travel is important for CTHINGS.CO’s U.S. operations since the company has clients in many different states including Wisconsin, Texas and New York., Wierzejski said.

Other international business efforts

While the state has other economic recruitment priorities outside of luring international tech startups, Flocchini said GOED looks to add international firms in key industries such as mining, lithium production, renewable energy, manufacturing and tourism. But she said Visionaries NV can provide key support for smaller companies looking to make Nevada their home and can help further diversify Nevada’s economy.

“That’s just sort of the Nevada way, right, we want people to make this their home,” Flocchini said. “And when you’re attracting businesses here, it’s sort of like you share that core value (of Nevada being home).”

Moving forward Flocchini wants GOED and Visionaries NV to focus on helping companies come to the state that have long-term growth plans for Nevada.

“I think we’re really focused on creating a sustainable workforce here,” she said. “So companies that want to move here, we do take that into account … we want to create jobs that last.”

Kartaszynski said that he hopes Visionaries NV can create a lasting impact for companies and places Nevada as the starting point for any company looking to expand or locate operations to America.

“I want Nevada to be a hub for these companies and for them to stay here but spread out in the U.S.” he said.

Contact Sean Hemmersmeier at shemmersmeier@reviewjournal.com. Follow @seanhemmers34 on X.

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