Weber State University and Ogden city have collaborated to bring a quickly growing industry to Ogden.
WSU Research Foundation and Ogden’s Community and Economic Development staff have created a program to foster mobile application software for devices such as iPads, iPhones and Android devices.
“With mobile application development, you have an industry that is growing faster than almost any other,” said Terrence Bride, Ogden’s assistant business development manager. “And it brings with it high-paid jobs. The median salary for these types of jobs in this area is about $80,000 a year.”
Mobile application entrepreneurs will now have access to mentoring, training, legal services and small business loans.
“We would be taking in those that have a good, marketable concept and provide mentoring and funding to turn that concept into a real business enterprise that employs people,” Bride said.
The primary focus of the program will be to generate jobs in Ogden, in particular for WSU graduates, in related fields.
The city estimates that the program could create 750 jobs during its first 10 years.
Bride said, “WSU produces a large volume of software graduates each year—more than any other school in the state aside from Brigham Young University”.
“Weber State is a big reason why this industry fits in Ogden,” Bride said.
A $1 million federal Economic Development Administration grant was approved by the Ogden City Council which will help cover the initial costs such as paying for the building which will serve as the “mobile app center,” and will provide mentoring and training services.
The city has provided $285,000 to purchase and renovate a building at 2314 Washington Blvd. In addition $145,000 will be provided for a loan fund to be used for business loans for costs incurred in the program.
The city also will be proposing an additional $70,000 in funding in the fiscal year 2013 budget for the loan program, along with WSU giving $50,000 towards the new building. WSU Bookstore will lease space in the city’s building and will provide a retail outlet for educational supplies. The bookstore will also sell Apple products.