The Nevada's Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology and the Reno Gazette-Journal annually award individuals who show excellence in technology and entrepreneurship throughout Northern Nevada. This year, four individuals from the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business will receive awards for their innovative ideas and leadership within the community.
Bret Simmons, an associate professor for the College of Business, will receive the New Entrepreneurial Activity of the Year Award. Simmons is credited for founding TEDxUniversityofNevadaReno, bringing 18 different speakers and a sold-out crowd to the University in January. The all-day event included four sections: health and hope; the promise and challenge of education; business and entrepreneurship, and bold ideas worth spreading.
"I think the award recognizes the hard work individuals from the College of Business, across the University campus, and from the Reno community that made TEDxUniversityofNevada a big success in its first year," Simmons said. "It validates the efforts the College of Business is making to be relevant to the citizens in our local community and the state of Nevada."
Colin Loretz, a former College of Business student, will be awarded the Technology Advocate of the Year Award. Loretz is the CEO and co-founder of Cloudsnap, an online application programing interface that helps build, manage and extend apps.
Dan Herr is currently a student in the College of Business and will receive the Entrepreneurial Program of the Year Award. Herr is the program manager at the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization, a nonprofit organization involved in forming innovation and working toward promising clean energy technologies into job-creating businesses.
Howard Olsen, a former marketing professor for the College of Business, co-founded and is a lead market researcher and strategist for M3 Planning. M3 Planning is a family run business that offers services such as market research, meeting facilitation, strategy development and execution management. Olsen will receive the Software Company of the Year Award, tying with Richard Kelsey, president and CEO of Sun Science Corp.
"The College of Business has always taken pride in its ability to be a place where people can make connections, collaborate and exercise creativity in their endeavors," Greg Mosier, dean of the College of Business, said. "Being associated with so many of the honorees in so many different ways highlights the role we play as one of the hubs of innovation and economic development for Nevada."
The award ceremony begins with cocktails at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21 in the grand ballroom at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa.