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Ecosystem for Innovation – Acceleration through Cooperation

Nestled in the heart of Silicon Slopes country is a unique incubator and business support center, Utah Valley University’s Vivint Business Resource Center (BRC). A host of state and federal resources and a number of startup businesses call the center home.

In addition to the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), SCORE and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah), the BRC also features a SMART Lab (a cutting-edge marketing research lab using technology to quantify customer response) and provides office space to 20 plus incubating businesses.

“Having agencies with complimentary resources where we can refer clients is very valuable. Being able to walk down the hall and introduce them to those agencies in person is priceless,” said Camille Pendleton, director of the Orem Small Business Development Center.

The diversity of businesses—which range from high tech robotics and Internet of Things companies—promotes a unique ecosystem of innovation.   With this ecosystem, USTAR’s regional office in Orem provides additional support to the startup and early-stage company community in the area.

“The USTAR G2M grant really helped us out in the beginning,” said Bruno Lima, founder of Purascent, a SMART fragrance dispenser company in the building.  “It’s nice to have other startups to get tips and share resources.”

The key ingredients for success with this center seem to be accessibility, cooperation and affordable rent. In one central location an entrepreneur can access a variety of resources to grow their business. To start, they can discuss company creation and financial reporting with the SBDC, meet with PTAC to help land that government contract and work with USTAR’s grant programs and resources to help them build that new technology for the contract. They can also work with the SMART Lab to ensure their marketing is effective and efficient and if they grow beyond the capacity to stay EDCUtah can help them find the best place to relocate their business within Utah.

Collaboration and innovation are rarely easy concepts, but by working together to provide entrepreneurs with grants, expertise, and support, the Vivint Business Resource Center tenants are benefiting from the efforts to coordinate programs.

To learn more about the BRC or available resources, visit https://www.uvu.edu/brc/. To learn more about the USTAR regional office contact Donna Milakovic at dmilakovic@utah.gov.

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