The University of Nevada, Reno Innevation Center is a space that supports startups, entrepreneurs and economic development in the Reno area. The space features a co-working space, office rentals and a fully equipped Makerspace for the startup, business and university communities.
One of the most impactful features of the space is the student workers who support its day-to-day operations. The staff of students is led by Business Manager Ania Calvillo-Mason and Makerspace Specialist Daniel Smith, who were also student workers during their undergraduate studies at the University.
Choosing to attend the University based on its proximity to her hometown, Megan shared that being a member of the Wolf Pack means holding a piece of Nevada with her for the rest of her life. She has enjoyed the hands-on experience at the labs around campus. This hands-on experience is also what she enjoyed most about the Makerspace. Megan is a senior and is graduating this December, majoring in wild life ecology and conservation. After graduation, she plans to work for a stream restoration organization in the southern United States.
Kierra Wang is a student at the Davidson Academy and the newest to join the Innevation Center’s team. While still in high school, Kierra has worked part time and plans to go on to major in computer science in college. Kierra’s favorite memory is working on a F-sport logo trinket for her dad. Since this project, she’s become an avid user of the machine shop in the Makerspace. Kierra plans to use her passion for computer science to advocate for education and healthcare by implementing innovations that can benefit marginalized groups.
Mackenzie Barainca is a recent mechanical engineering graduate from the University and Lead Maker in the Makerspace. Choosing the University for its value and being close to home, her graduation was the most exciting experience. Her passion for the Makerspace has led her to be able to operate every piece of equipment and manage the other makers. After her time in the Makerspace, she plans to begin her career in mechanical engineering.
Kazuma Sato is an international student studying international business with a specialization in marketing. Originally from Japan, the University has brought a sense of belonging to his time in Reno. His talent for marketing is evident in the social media posts he creates for the Innevation Center. He dove into the action at Innevation Center on his first day during the Open House. This speaks to his advice to jump into things rather than regret not participating later. The genuine interest he takes in others allows him to quickly build relationships.
Amaia is a mechanical engineering major working in the Makerspace. Having grown up locally, the location and working in the Makerspace motivated them to attend the University. They enjoy the practical knowledge they have gained from the Makerspace and the chance to witness the real-time development of engineering projects created there. Among their projects, the first, creating a Lake Tahoe clock has been their favorite. They recognize the value that the University has to offer and recommends others to take advantage of the resources offered by the University, including a visit to the Innevation Center Makerspace. Their ambition post-graduation is to hike the Pacific Crest Trail and start a career in mechanical engineering.
Catherine Asberger is a marketing major working in the Makerspace. Originally from Las Vegas, the University has brought her the traditional college experience she was hoping for. She spends her time enjoying the trees in the Quad or the creating in the Makerspace. The Makerspace has taught her that mistakes are a crucial part of life and the creative process, and not giving up is essential. Catherine recommends continuing to learn from your mistakes to move forward. Catherine creates much of the content on the Innevation Center’s social media accounts, where her creativity and marketing skills shine.
Alexandria is a graduate assistant in the Innevation Center. She is in the anthropology Ph.D. program and chose to attend the University for her advisor’s and cohort’s passion for the coastal areas of Mexico and California, which is the topic of her dissertation. Her advice for anyone attending the University is to tap into available networks and to ask for opportunities with confidence. She chose to work at the Innevation Center to develop leadership skills through managing the front desk team. While leading the team at the Innevation Center with compassion and gentleness, her hobby of free diving with sharks shows her adventurous nature.
Elenoa Vatikani is a public health major, minoring in accounting. She chose to attend the University to stay close to home and for its affordability. As a member of the Wolf Pack, community and supporting others are important values to her. Elenoa provides great support to her co-workers, supporting their success at work and in school. Her friendly personality makes it easy for her to network and build relationships with the Innevation Center members. She enjoys the challenge that working at the Innevation Center has brought her, allowing her to develop skills in networking and Excel. One memorable experience is a hot July day moving furniture and eating ice cream from an ice cream truck with the other students at the Innevation Center. After graduation, she hopes to travel and attend graduate school.
Paula Alvarez Garcia
Paula Alvarez Garcia is a Reno local majoring in business. To Paula, being a member of the Wolf Pack means being a team player, which is evident in her close relationships with her co-workers and members at the Innevation Center. She recommends new students have fun, get to know the people around them, and to not be too hard on themselves. Her favorite spot on campus is the restaurant in the Ansari Business building. Paula has a growth mindset and realizes that she is not a morning person, but takes the earlier shifts at the Innevation Center to work toward becoming one. She is still deciding on her post-graduation plans.
Alberto Picazo Farias
Alberto was born and raised in Reno and chose to attend the University and major in kinesiology. Alberto works in the Makerspace and has enjoyed using the tools to build gifts for his family. Making his mom’s birthday gift is his favorite memory of his time at the Innevation Center. His advice is to not procrastinate and to focus on what you truly like and enjoy. Working in the Makerspace has taught him to create 3D models and print them on the 3D printer. His first design was a donut.
Samuel Umholtz is originally from Las Vegas. He toured the University in high school, and the campus solidified his decision to attend. He is majoring in anthropology and still deciding on his minor. As a newer member of the team, he’s enjoyed learning the office processes and practicing networking skills at the front desk. To Samuel, being a member of the Wolf Pack means to be a part of the community. He has built a community with the staff and members at the Innevation Center. In his free time, Samuel enjoys collecting coins and military surplus items. He has all but one penny from 1955-2023.
Nick is a mechanical engineering major working in the Makerspace in the Innevation Center. The Innevation Center has been like a second home filled with friends, learning opportunities and his passion of woodworking. Not being born and raised in Reno, the Wolf Pack has created a welcoming community. He recommends that students get involved on campus and meet with their academic advisor to stay on track with their educational goals. His hard work and dedication come out in his work at school and the Makerspace. Interestingly, he was featured in a Metallica music video.
At the Innevation Center, located at 450 Sinclair Street, community members can benefit from the collaborative space, business mentorship, networking opportunities and access to potential investors and capital – or they can plan to hold an event at this downtown location.
For general inquiries for meeting spaces, memberships and more, please call the Innevation Center front desk at (775) 682-8612. For inquiries about the Innevation Center Makerspace, please call the Makerspace staff at (775) 682-8613.