Meet the directors

A University of Nevada, Reno faculty member and a graduate student have been selected to head the Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship (OCE).

Chris Howard, Chief Executive Officer of Reno-based NorthStar Investors, Inc., will act as the OCE director. Kylie Rowe, a Masters of Business Administration student, was recruited to the project after taking Howard’s entrepreneurship class at the University. She is the OCE assistant director.

“I see the Center as introducing entrepreneurship as a career path,” said Rowe, who owns a real estate investment business.

While the OCE focuses on those with entrepreneurial interests, the project also welcomes small business startups. Entrepreneurs and small business owners are different, Howard said. While small businesses  think laundromat or pet store  generally find stability in the local economy, entrepreneurs put themselves on a shakier path.

Kylie Rowe
Kylie Rowe
Chris Howard
Chris Howard

“Entrepreneurs are people willing to take risk and initially operate a business with negative cash flow in order to create value at a large scale,” Howard said. “As a result, the process economically is additive, versus circulatory.”

“Entrepreneurs are people willing to take risk and initially operate a business with negative cash flow in order to create value at a large scale. As a result, the process economically is additive, versus circulatory.”

Howard intends to use his longtime expertise in funding and fostering start-ups through NorthStar  which he said is not affiliated with the project  to link the OCE with the University, Reno’s bustling entrepreneurship community and business assets across the United States. The Center will provide educational resources, relevant contacts and mentor-ship at no cost.

“What we provide is basic information and basic support,” Howard said. “When it comes to the more sophisticated things that happen in the course of building an entrepreneurial company, we would be handing them off to people on the next step, whether it’s private equity, venture capitalists, angel investors or banks.”