Las Vegas Sun

June 18, 2024

University of Phoenix opening innovation center in Las Vegas

RedFlint Innovation Experience Center

University of Phoenix

In September, the University of Phoenix expects to open the RedFlint Innovation Experience Center in the Bank of America Plaza, 300 S. Fourth St., in Las Vegas.

Calling all entrepreneurs and business visionaries: An 11,000-square-foot space in downtown Las Vegas could become a hub for turning business ideas into reality.

In September, the University of Phoenix expects to open the RedFlint Innovation Experience Center in the Bank of America Plaza, 300 S. Fourth St. The center will serve as a gathering spot for people who want hands-on experience learning new skills that could help them innovate in their careers.

For instance, people interested in learning more about cybersecurity, virtual reality or data analytics could attend a showcase featuring those topics, said Dennis Bonilla, executive dean of at the University of Phoenix’s College of Information Systems and Technology. The idea, he said, is to address a skills gap created by rapid technology advancements.

The University of Phoenix also is partnering with Iron Yard Ventures to enroll hospitality-related startup businesses in an accelerator program, which will invest in the chosen teams and provide mentorship to help them thrive, officials said.

Applications for the accelerator program are due Sept. 1, and the program will begin later that month.

“We want to make a community impact,” Bonilla said. “Our primary intent is to drive economic impact and skills and competency needed in the community.”

RedFlint Innovation Experience Center is the first of its kind for the for-profit institution, which has a strong presence in Southern Nevada.

University officials said the center is, in a sense, an example of innovation because it’s providing bite-sized pieces of education needed in the workforce rather than relying solely on degree programs.

When it came time to choose a location for the center, Las Vegas seemed like a natural fit, officials said. The hospitality and gaming industry needs innovation, and the city has plenty of room for businesses to grow here. Plus, officials said, the city’s culture gels nicely with the center’s mission.

“It’s a place for high-risk, high-return, bold moves that are game changers,” Bonilla said.

The open-concept center aims to foster a collaborative workspace, where people can share ideas and skills.

In that environment, RedFlint hopes to educate through no-cost workshops and professional development opportunities, incubate by helping established businesses or startups build their business plans, and accelerate by providing entrepreneurs with financial backing and mentorship to launch their businesses.

“Having this innovation center in our urban core is not only going to benefit downtown, but our community as a whole,” Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Coffin said in a statement. “Adding resources to the community leads to innovation and keeps our city on the cutting edge.”

RedFlint will focus specifically on the Las Vegas business, education and government communities. It will be open to the public.

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