The goal of the Innevation Center University of Nevada, Reno—Powered By Switch is to empower Nevada’s next generation of technology and business leaders. So when a young business outgrows the space and decides to move, it’s a mark of success, both for the entrepreneurs and the co-working space.
Such is the case with Clickbio which located to the Innevation Center in 2016. Now, with seven full-time employees, including an engineering team of three, and plans to soon hire three more employees, Clickbio recently made the decision to locate to a new space in south Reno.
Following its tagline of “smarter labware by design,” Clickbio designs, manufactures and markets high-performance and customized products primarily for use in research laboratories of large pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Their business falls into three main categories: marketing injection modeling plastics, developing new products and developing medical devices.
Speed of innovation and customer engagement are guiding tenets of Clickbio’s success.
For Clickbio’s customers, the development of customized equipment to reduce the cost-per-data-point can have important financial and efficiency impact. To do this, said Mykle Gaynor, Clickbio chief executive officer, “We engage with the customer to develop solutions that they will buy. We stick with the customer until we get to the core of their problem.”
Clickbio uses the Innevation Center’s Makerspace to develop and reiterate many product concepts.
“The Makerspace allows us to prototype and move to better ideas quickly. We have the ability to flip things round in minutes, hours and days ... quick,” Gaynor said. “Much of what we do may be bad ideas at first, but they lead to something better.”
To Gaynor, the most important benefit of the Innevation Center has been the opportunity to be part of a network of entrepreneurs and business mentors. As an example, he notes the related aspects of business – accounting, legal, human resources, planning – that must be considered.
“We have done a lot of learning on the fly,” he said. “But we have to get the important things right. It’s great in the Innevation Center because we are one degree of separation from the answers or the resource we need to keep things moving forward.”
As assistant director overseeing operations at the Innevation Center, Rose Catron knows the ups and downs that entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses face. Time, stress, travel and financial concerns are among the challenges, and Catron has seen Gaynor face them all.
“It’s an iterative process,” Catron said. “It’s as if you are your own customer, assessing your businesses needs and figuring out how to improve.”
Catron also sees the importance of resiliency: “It’s heartwarming to see a team that has been stressed out to start laughing and enjoy a cup of coffee.”
In addition to being open to faculty and students, the Innevation Center is open to the community through a membership model. Though Clickbio has moved, the company will maintain a membership in the Innevation Center where, Gaynor said, “We keep our fingers on the pulse of what’s going on and on the best students.”
Fifty-seven companies, including six venture-funded companies, and 127 members are presently engaged with the Innevation Center. Named to take the "no" out of innovation, the Innevation Center also hosts the InNEVator pre-accelerator program and the Reynolds School of Journalism Podcast Center and is home to Nevada Industry Excellence. Learn more at unr.edu/innevation.