Startup Weekend Encourages Entrepreneurs in Ogden

OGDEN, Utah – Get ready. Get set. Go!  Wishful entrepreneurs throughout Northern Utah will start the clock for a marathon 54-hour session of pitching, planning and perfecting their business ideas Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Ogden.

The event, hosted by Weber State University, will begin Thursday night with a frenzy of pitches. Teams will form around the most popular ideas presented and then spend the rest of the weekend brainstorming and creating business plans and basic prototypes.  

The weekend is designed to provide experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs throughout the community. 

“Entrepreneurs are very creative people and we are open for ideas about how to help them develop their business concepts,” said Jeff Steagall, dean of the John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics. “Several of our students will participate and they look forward to receiving honest feedback and coaching that will help them move their business idea to the next level.” 

Zarin Ficklin, a WSU student majoring in computer science, won second place at the event in Salt Lake with his website ratemytenants.us. It allows landlords to look up future tenants and find out if they made their payments on time or violated house rules. Ficklin is now gearing up for the Ogden event. “It’s 54 hours fueled by a lot of caffeine and problem-solving energy,” Ficklin said. “I have a million ideas in my head. The challenge is choosing one that is doable in the time allotted.”

Alex Lawrence, Startup Weekend organizer and WSU vice provost for Innovation & Economic Development, says Startup Weekend is an international event with 330 competitions being held around the world. “With big sponsors like Google and Microsoft, the Ogden event is expected to draw a large crowd,” Lawrence said. “It’s a great opportunity for students to collaborate and receive validation on their ideas.”

Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell hopes the event will engage the community in dialogue. “Some of the ideas will work out great, while others may sputter,” Caldwell said. “But the process will be worthwhile in giving creative people a chance to network with other entrepreneurs and build lasting relationships for many years to come.”

Saturday afternoon, participants will be asked to put their shyness and reservations aside and present their ideas. They will receive honest and “gut-checking” feedback from coaches and judges followed by an awards ceremony at 9 p.m. Nov. 3. 

For more information, or to register for Startup Weekend, visit ogden.startupweekend.org

Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.

Contact:
Alex Lawrence, WSU vice provost for Innovation & Economic Development
Author:
Kimberly Jensen, University Communications
801-626-7581 • kimberlyjensen6@weber.edu