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 and Apio Innovation Transfer (APIOiX), a global innovation ecosystem development firm. SAGE provides onsite training, webinars and one-on-one assistance.

The SAGE leadership team standing in front of a campus building
SAGE program leadership (left to right): Michael Batalia, Arundeep Pradhan and Ellen Purpus.

Personnel and leadership

University of Nevada, Reno

Ellen Purpus, Ph.D.
SAGE Director
Assistant Vice President, Enterprise & Innovation

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

Grace Chou, Ph.D.
Director, Innevation Center

Cara Baird
Technology Manager, Enterprise & Innovation

Jo Sumrall
Administrative Coordinator, Enterprise & Innovation


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