Startup Weekend St. George Concentrates on Recognizing Talent in the South

We’re trying to help our homegrown talent here in Southern Utah become more visible.

Fairly or unfairly, Utah’s startup community is usually divided into thirds: the Ogden area, the Salt Lake area, and the Provo area. Don’t get me wrong, all of these startup communities are fantastic, as everyone who is reading this article most assuredly knows. But this division fails to recognize contributions from the beautiful men and women of Southern Utah.

That’s what Startup Weekend St. George is designed to do.

“We’re trying to help our homegrown talent here in Southern Utah become more visible,” organizer Ever Gonzalez said. “Let everybody know that St. George has some talent and companies that are making a little noise.”

To do this, Gonzalez is putting together a three day event (April 23–25 at Outlier Labs in St. George) to celebrate the full bloom in Southern Utah’s startup pool. No more treating the Southern Utah scene as the red-headed stepchild to their Northern counterparts. Startup Weekend St. George is here to show that excellent talent comes from all parts of the state.

“We want to get young entrepreneurs together to pitch their ideas, form teams, and then develop those ideas within that 54 hour period, in order to be able to pitch to our judges and investors by the end of the weekend,” Gonzalez said. “Kind of give them a taste of real life, what it’s going to be like when they’re out there doing their own projects and pitching to investors for money.”

In addition to the pitch competition festivities, Startup Weekend will also feature a few select speakers (Paul Ahlstrom, Managing Director of Alta Ventures Mexico; Brad Harker, author and professional speaker) with ties to the startup scene. And don’t forget the multitude of mentors that will be there waiting with open arms.

“We’re going to have mentors and coaches throughout the weekend, working with the different teams,” Gonzalez said. “We’ll have several different people with different skillsets walk around and help the teams, either with the business plan or the sales strategy or the software. Help them get to that next level.”

For those interested in participating in Startup Weekend St. George, you can purchase tickets here. A discount is offered to anyone traveling from Northern Utah.

Published 4/16/2015

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