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Startup Weekend Ogden

04 November 2012
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Ogden played host to over 150 entreprenurs, developers and new business visionaries at Startup Weekend Ogden this past week.

Held at the new Hilton Garden Inn and sponsored by Ogden City, Weber State, Tech Media Network and Grow America Ventures, Startup Weekend was an experience loaded with excitement, creativity, and teamwork.  The event started on Thursday evening with a remote presentation from Steve Blank, respected author and Silicon Valley visionary investor.  After the presentation action was quickly underway.

Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups.

The event was organized and directed by Alex Lawrence, Vice Provost of Innovation and Economic Development as well as an Adjunct Professor of Internet Marketing and Entrepreneurship at the John B. Goddard School of Business and Economics at Weber State University.  Alex also earned his MBA at Weber State.

Alex has been launching and growing successful companies for more than 20 years. Alex’s current partnership, Lendio, ranks #34 on the Inc. 500 list.

Alex is also the Director of USTAR (Utah Science Technology And Research) Technology Outreach for Northern Utah. USTAR is a long-term, state-funded investment to strengthen Utah’s “knowledge economy.” This revolutionary initiative invests in world-class innovation teams and research facilities to create novel technologies that are subsequently commercialized through new business ventures. Alex serves as the Executive Director of the Weber State University Research Foundation (WSURF), a wholly owned WSU entity that fosters and supports on campus innovation and commercialization with students, faculty and the surrounding business community.

Highlights of the event included visits for Utah Governor Gary Herber, Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell, President of Ogden's Convention and Visitor's Bureau Sara Toliver, and Ogden City's Director of Community and Economic Development Tom Christopulos, Deputy Division Manager of Business Development, Terrance Bride, an Alan Hall from Utah Technology Council, , Weber State University, Mercato Partners and Grow America Ventures.  The event was also visited by KSL 5 TV where the event and participants were interviewed on live TV and the audiance was invited to participate to pick their favorite startup concepts.

Judging and mentoring during the event was provided by

  • Bryce Roberts,  Managing Director, Cofounder of OATV. Occasional suspender of disbelief. Drinker of portfolio company Kool Aid.  Investor in Bit.ly, Bloom, Chartbeat, Codecademy, Devver, Fidelis, FitnessKeeper, Foursquare, Gamelayers, Get Satisfaction, Jirafe, OpenX, Parakey (acquired by Facebook), Path Intelligence, SonicLiving, Strobe, Sweet Labs, and Wesabe.  Student of Philosophy at BYU.
  • Al Doan - Quilt Mogul - A curious mix of determination, bewilderment, drive, and accomplishment. Al works hard, plays hard, and takes advantage of life with no shame. An entrepreneur through and through with enough life experience in other fields to be able to say that with confidence. Al's greatest joy comes in helping others recognize and realize their dreams and vision.
  • Alan Martin - CEO, Campus Book Rentals - Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the year winner. CBR was #17 on the Inc. 500 list in 2012. Hundreds of employees and $35m+ in annual sales make Campus Book Rentals a global force in the college textbook and technology market.

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