Local Businesses Receive $50,000 from Startup Ogden at WSU Downtown

Three Ogden businesses will receive a total of $50,000 from Startup Ogden, a collaboration with Weber State University and Ogden City to promote local businesses.

The money will be awarded Oct. 5 during the monthly 1 Million Cups Ogden event held at Weber State Downtown and led by WSU’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Awards begin at 8:30 a.m. followed by complimentary breakfast and presentations from Goldman Sachs, Bene Bolognese and the Community Film Project.

In November 2013, Weber State opened WSU Downtown. The ground floor houses the Wildcat Store and café. The second and third floors house Startup Ogden, a tech community partner whose setup is conducive to co-working, a collaborative approach to business. The location offers entrepreneurs, students and other community members a world-class, cutting-edge, technology-enabled space to meet and work.

With its unique approach to business and entrepreneurship, Startup Ogden has generated enough revenue that its advisory board opted to offer grants of $15,000 or more to eligible local businesses. The board is awarding grants two years ahead of its original goal because of the positive response to the co-working-space concept.

To qualify, companies had to be Startup Ogden members and keep their company headquarters in Weber County for two years. These are the first grants to be awarded; one of the business will receive $20,000 and another two will receive $15,000 each. Awardees will be selected each quarter.

“These awards are not for new concepts or ideas,” said Alex Lawrence, Startup Ogden advisory board chair. “Companies have to be open for business and have customers, but they also have to be at the stage where the grant would be meaningful.”

The advisory board anticipates awarding three grants per quarter, but that could fluctuate based on the need and number of qualified applicants.

Startup Ogden has 75 desk spaces for rent. Members also can use a conference room equipped for state-of the-art meetings and presentations and several “living room” areas with modern furniture, televisions and game stations, which provide a relaxed, cooperative atmosphere.

SBDC is also housed at WSU Downtown and provides training, consulting and referral services to area business owners and prospective entrepreneurs. The SBDC also coordinates referrals for consulting and financing services with Ogden City’s Business Information Center.

In less than three years after its inception, tech companies that originated at Startup Ogden are beginning to rent space and operate successfully in nearby buildings in Ogden.

“The energy, ideas and enthusiasm generated downtown have been infectious,” said Tom Christopulos, Ogden City's director of Community and Economic Development and a member of the Startup Ogden advisory board. “It’s an economic driver in line with Ogden’s strategic plan to create high-paying, high-tech jobs downtown.”

For more information about the application process or about WSU Downtown, visit weber.edu/downtown. To apply for the grant, visit startupogden.com. To register for the 1 Million Cups event, visit eventbrite.com/e/1-million-cups-ogden-october-tickets-27464130955.

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

Allison Barlow Hess, Director of Public Relations
801-626-7948 • ahess@weber.edu

Alex Lawrence, Startup Ogden advisory board chair
801-626-8940 • alexanderlawrence@weber.edu