A New Startup Community Begins In Ogden

Mobile app developers, programmers and entrepreneurs in Northern Utah will soon come together to form a thriving community of startup businesses to help bolster Utah’s economy.

Startup Ogden, part of Weber State Downtown, is poised to become the go-to destination for entrepreneurs to work together and accelerate their projects.

Located at 2314 Washington Blvd. in Ogden, the Weber State Downtown building will officially open on Nov. 21. The grand opening celebration will begin at 10:30 am with tours, live music, food, prizes and a ribbon cutting ceremony.  

The project was funded by collaboration between Ogden City, Weber State University and other partners.  Weber State Downtown is a three-story, 18,000 square foot  facility that will house a Weber State campus store, office and meeting space, a classroom hosted by Weber State Continuing Education   and Startup Ogden’s co-working space and Mobile App Lab. The layout is open and modern amongst the 103 year old brick walls and 40 foot ceilings. The open space, modern furnishing and fiber Internet speeds promise to promote collaboration among its community members.

“One of the coolest parts is that it will never need ongoing funding from anyone,” said Alex Lawrence, vice provost for Weber State University and chairman of the board for Startup Ogden. “It is totally community and market supported once it opens. That’s a very unique financial model and one we are excited about.”

The first floor will house Weber State’s campus store and students will be able to pay tuition, get parking passes, tickets for athletic events and buy technology products to help them with their education. The community at large can purchase Weber State University clothing and other licensed products as well. Additionally, the first floor campus store will have a café and open seating where visitors can connect to the fiber speed network and enjoy a warm drink and snack in an urban setting.

Startup Ogden, a co-working space and accelerator for mobile app development, occupies 10,000 square feet of the building and has space on both the second and third floors.  Also on the second floor is a 40-person classroom for Weber State’s continuing education program and for mentors of Startup Ogden to teach classes.

Startup Ogden and its Mobile Apps Lab will be accessible to members 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For a yearly membership fee of $99 plus a monthly fee of $50, $75 or $99, members can enjoy a variety of amenities ranging from desk space, fiber internet speeds near 500Mbps, conference room access and food, to color laser printing and even showers and lockers.

Lawrence says that once a year, Startup Ogden plans on running a mobile application accelerator and out of state entrepreneurs will be invited to live and work in Ogden during the winter for three months while they are paired with local entrepreneurs and students to work together on their new startup.

“We’ll help them with a great place to work, a great place to live, and even a great place to ski and snowboard via our partners at  Snow Basin and Powder Mountain,” said Lawrence.

Joel Grasmeyer, an app developer based in Ogden, thinks that Startup Ogden and the Weber State Downtown building will be beneficial economically to Ogden because it will create a technology hub that will spin off new companies.

“The goal of Startup Ogden is to create new technology related jobs in Weber County over the coming years,” said Grasmeyer. “App development is a growing industry, and there are so many interesting niches and opportunities for great new apps.”

Startup Ogden is appealing to Grasmeyer because of the possibility for collaboration. “The main thing I’m excited about is the collaboration with fellow designers, developers and entrepreneurs, and the ability to learn from what they are doing and to network with them,” said Grasmeyer.

Local entrepreneur Randall Bennett says he’s looking forward to the shared workspace as he is currently operating his company, Vidpresso, out of his home and Startup Ogden will provide him with a space and a collaborative environment.  

“I’m excited about Startup Ogden because it’s a place for local people working on interesting projects to meet up,” said Bennett. “Right now it’s kind of difficult to meet people doing cool projects in Ogden, because there’s not a place where we can gather. Having a designated headquarters will be a great way to meet interesting people around Ogden and around Utah. I think it will be a draw for people all around the Wasatch Front.”

Lawrence says that even though the space is geared towards tech-oriented startups and entrepreneurs, the doors are always open for anyone who could benefit from the collaborative environment.

“Even though most of the occupants of Startup Ogden will be tech-based, anyone is welcome. It’s not just for tech startups,” said Lawrence.

Memberships will be available starting November 21st at the grand opening and Lawrence believes the building will fill up quickly.

For more information about Weber State Downtown, visit www.weber.edu/downtown and for Startup Ogden visit www.startupogden.com .