For making sure that what happens in Vegas doesn’t just stay in Vegas.
Can a group of tech investors turn downtown Las Vegas into a hub for innovative digital businesses? That’s the goal of Zappos founder Tony Hsieh’s Vegas Tech Fund. Jen McCabe oversees the company’s hardware-investments division, which seeks to turn promising ideas into physical products. So far, she has funded such startups as Skycatch, which uses drones for agriculture and construction, and littleBits, which makes colorful, Lego-like circuit boards. She’s currently turning a 15,000-square-foot building in downtown Vegas into a lab for hands-on development of prototypes. “My job is to find companies that I think are groundbreaking, that are obsessed with a beautiful product experience, that know their customers, and that are providing a solution that is cost effective and wonderfully designed,” she says.