NCET, which began as a forum for technology executives to nurture the industry in northern Nevada, this month celebrates its 20th anniversary and growth into the largest educational and networking organization in Northern Nevada.
“With more than 600 members and a full monthly schedule of educational events and networking opportunities, NCET shows how a volunteer-driven organization can provide important service to the community,” said Dave Archer, president and CEO of NCET.
NCET will celebrate with a 20th Anniversary Gala as part of its annual NCET Tech Awards banquet at The Atlantis on March 28. (For ticket information, see NCET.org.)
The organization has its roots in TechAlliance, a group formed in 1999 to foster development of technology-related businesses in northern Nevada.
It worked, recalls Michael Thomas, a founder of Tech Alliance and today the chief marketing officer and partner at Noble Studios.
“I recently toured the Tesla GigaFactory. I have to admit that we had our sights set on a company like that to come to Reno someday, bringing with them knowledge-based jobs,” Thomas said. “It just took 15-plus years for the organization’s vision to become reality.”
The organization changed its name to NCET in 2003, and its focus has shifted to support of small business owners and managers.
Among the major events that have been created by NCET are the Silver & Gold Venture Capital that helped put Reno on the radar of venture-capital firms nearly 20 years ago as well as the Governor’s Cup College Business Plan Competitions that provided more than $1 million in prizes to students statewide.
It also sponsors the annual NCET Small Business Expo and the NCET Tech Awards along with monthly events packed with tips for businesspeople and other events that provide behind-the-scenes looks at leading local companies.
Archer, top executive of NCET since 2006, noted that the organization is driven forward by a working board whose members handle much of NCET’s day-to-day work.
“NCET’s working board has been a tremendous success. Our board includes 30 rock-stars who support 600 members and produce 40 complex events each year,” said Archer, who noted that well over 40 percent of the group’s directors are women.
Although it was launched with the help of a federal grant, NCET has been a member-funded nonprofit since 2010.
Members of the group value the stability of NCET as well as the business connections it provides.
“NCET provides the connections and the activities that keep the business community together and coordinated,” said Fritz Battcher, a partner in the law firm at Holland & Hart and active participant in NCET events. “It has been a consistent part of the entrepreneurial community for 20 years now, and that experience and constant presence allows businesses and owners to connect with others.”