You might not think of Las Vegas as a technology hub, but the revitalization of downtown is turning the tide. Web giant Zappos is moving its offices from Henderson to Las Vegas later this year. In anticipation of the move, a group called the Downtown Project is creating a community with investments in real estate, restaurants, entertainment and a tech startup fund.

(Photo Courtesy of Tom Ellingson)

(Photo Courtesy of Tom Ellingson)

One of those companies involved in the Downtown Project, is The CEO of is Tom Ellingson.

The company provides sports fans with the ultimate game-day experience. Fandeavor allows the average sports fan to enjoy experiences like pre-game field access, time in the press box and behind-the-scenes tours usually only open to celebrities and the rich.

How did you come up with the idea for Fandeavor? 

“When I worked for Zappos in its PR department, I would get to attend all of these sports events as a sponsor and get the red carpet treatment. I thought about how great it would be if normal people could experience this, so my partner and I conceptualized Fandeavor.”

Do you see a lot of promise for tech jobs in Las Vegas?

“Downtown has already become a hub for technology in Las Vegas. The Downtown Project and Vegas Tech are a breeding ground for new tech startups. As these companies expand and new ones form, there will be a lot of opportunities for software engineers, programmers and developers. Tech companies will also need good people on the business side, with marketing and finance backgrounds as well. Las Vegas also has a lot of tech jobs not in traditional tech companies. For example, there are dozens of gaming companies that employ software engineers and developers.”

What advice would you give to people looking to get into technology field?

“Stop thinking about it and just get out there. Don’t worry about the experience you may or may not have and start networking. There are all kinds of networking groups out there where you can meet people and find others looking to either create a startup or staff an existing one. An internship at one of these companies is a great way to learn about the industry and figure out where you fit in. Keep in mind that when you work at a startup, you have to be willing to wear a lot of hats and fill in the gaps.”

Christa Emmer is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in broadcast journalism. She has experience as a news writer, editor and producer in television news. Christa has been a Las Vegas resident for more than 20 years. Follow her on twitter @ChristaEmmer. Her work can be found at


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