I’ve talked often about Utah’s tech scene. While it doesn’t always get the publicity it deserves, there is an incredible booming tech scene happening here in the Salt Lake City area right now. Just last Wednesday I attended a Launchup event, where about 100+ entrepreneurs, investors, and bloggers all conjoined in this monthly meeting to hear 3 other startups have their claim to fame. Kynetx, Simler, and iActionable were all given advice and free help from those 100+ peers hoping for them to succeed. With a very tight-knit environment, coworking spaces like BetaLoft and CoWork Utah, along with close proximity to the mountains, 15 minutes from great skiing, rock climbing, hiking and other outdoor activities, along with some of the hardest working people I’ve ever been around, it deserves more attention. Along with all this, BoomStartup, a new Mentoring and Seed-Capital program that hopes to mimic TechStars (out of Boulder, CO) announced it is taking applications for its Orem, Utah (just outside Salt Lake City) location.
BoomStartup brings such mentors as Josh James, former CEO and John Pestana, his co-founder of Omniture, Inc., which just sold to Adobe. Joining them is former Novell Luminary, Ralph Yarro, former Cisco Executive Martin Frey, and former former HP Executive Warren Osborn. Also participating are Nobu Mutaguchi, one of Utah’s most prolific angel investors and Warren Osborn, an active venture and private equity investor.
John Richards, an early founder of InfoSpace, Inc., and later investor in Omniture and EnticeLabs, founded BoomStartup to “provide current and aspiring tech entrepreneurs an ideal opportunity to get their businesses up and running by presenting each company with seed capital, mentoring and networking from successful entrepreneurs and technologists.” BoomStartup provides each selected company in the program “with seed capital (up to $15,000), mentoring from successful entrepreneurs and technologists, free office space and resources, and education that takes them through the various steps of getting a tech startup off the ground. Key to the program is the involvement of “investor-mentors” who give of their financial resources and their time as mentors.”
Applicants must meet specific criteria including a founding team of 2 or more, focus on the web, mobile, software, or non-hardware tech, must be scalable, must be able to apply full-time commitment from May to August during the program, work from their Orem, Utah based offices, and have a CTO/master coder with at least 20 percent equity in the company. They are hosting a series of “Meet the Investor/Mentor” days, the first happening today at 4pm at their offices in the former WordPerfect buildings at Canyon Park Technology Center, Building J (1401 N. Research Way, Orem, Utah). At the event, applicants can talk and ask questions about the program from the Investors-Mentors.
Living in Utah I’m very excited about this program. With the wealth of experience here, former Novell Execs, WordPress Execs, and many of the early Web 1.0 startups that formed the history of the software world as it is today, there’s no doubt there will be enough experience to foster some very interesting companies from this program. I’ve also offered my help if they want it to mentor in the realm of social media, getting blogger attention, etc. so perhaps you’ll see me around as well.
If you’re looking for a cool place to live during the summer, along with some great mentors, and what I know will be a very successful startup mentoring program, I encourage you to apply. Applicants can apply at http://www.boomstartup.com – and while you’re out here, look me up and show me what you’re working on!