About the program

The Sierra Accelerator for Growth & Entrepreneurship (SAGE) creates opportunity for tech entrepreneurs in Northern Nevada, providing expertise to help companies secure funding from the U.S. small business innovation research grant programs.

SAGE is a public-private partnership offered through the University of Nevada, Reno’s office of Enterprise & Innovation, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Office of Economic Development and APIO Innovation Transfer (APIOiX), a global innovation ecosystem development firm. SAGE provides onsite training, webinars and one-on-one assistance.

Personnel and leadership

University of Nevada, Reno

Grace Chou, Ph.D.
SAGE Director
Chief Innovation & Commercialization Officer

Cara Baird
Technology Manager, Enterprise & Innovation

Carlos Cardillo, Ph.D.
Director, Nevada Center for Applied Research

Jo Sumrall
Administrative Coordinator, Enterprise & Innovation

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Bo Bernhard, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President of Economic Development

Kegan McMullan, MBA
SAGE South Coordinator


Michael Batalia, Ph.D.
SAGE Program Manager
Director, APIOiX

Arundeep Pradhan, M.S.
President, APIOiX

Kristin Rencher, MBA
Managing Director, APIOiX

SAGE Board of Advisors

Mridul Gautam, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research and Innovation, University of Nevada, Reno

Winnie Dowling
Nevada Small Business Development Corporation

Jeff Saling

Staci Emm
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

Kelly Northridge
Managing Partner at Audacity Institute