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PROVO — Ryan Smith, CEO of Qualtrics and owner of the Utah Jazz, has announced an ambitious plan to create a “technology incubator” where people with startup ideas can live, work, and realize their visions in the new Provo community. I’m making plans.
He wants to create a vibrant work environment with residential neighborhoods and office space for entrepreneurs to use as they learn how to grow their companies. The River District, as the project is named, will be located on the west side of University Avenue near 800 North and at the foot of Provo Canyon.
The site has gone through a rezoning and design process and is in the permitting and approval stage. The 26-acre development would include 198 residential units on the west side of the river and 300,000 square feet of office space on the east side, with the potential for commercial space.
“Ryan’s vision is for Provo to be ground zero for intellectual and technological development around the world, where the brightest minds from around the world come here to develop the latest and brightest technology concepts,” said Provo Economics Director Keith Morley. It’s about developing.” Development director.
Provo city officials will help Smith facilitate the development, including planning and zoning to ensure the development adds value to the area, but Smith will provide the funding himself. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring.
“The work we have done with the City of Provo over the past 10 to 15 years has been extraordinary,” Smith said in a statement to Provo. “We are creating Utah’s first true incubator for technology and business. We invite people from all over the world to Provo, where they will be part of one of the greatest business and opportunity environments in existence. They can live there and actually set up a company in a place that we think is a good place.”
“We have a chance to do something iconic in Provo,” he said.
Morley said Smith’s project and other startup efforts make Provo a “fertile ground” for a new generation of entrepreneurs to explore opportunities.
History of innovative spirit
Morley said Provo is the “startup capital of Utah” and has been around since the 1980s, employing about 15,000 people from BYU and pioneering word processing and network operating software. He cited technology companies such as WordPerfect and Novell.
“There has never been a greater technology presence in the world than here,” he said. “Those companies were eventually acquired and broken up, but the intellectual capital that made up those companies, the brain power that developed those companies, all of the engineers stayed in the area. Time. As time went on, they began to spin off and develop new companies.
Morley said there are three factors that contribute to Provo’s “secret sauce” as a “seedbed” of development opportunities. It has a pioneering spirit that’s been around since pioneers founded the state, high-quality nearby universities with nationally ranked technology and entrepreneurship programs, and a This is due to the low income level of the residents.
“People who have a lot of money go out and buy what they need. People who don’t have a lot of money start thinking of creative ways to get things done. How do we pioneer new concepts and new technologies?” “There’s an underlying culture that says, “Do you want to do something? Maybe it’s not even thought about,” he said.
Companies like Qualtrics, Domo, Pluralsight, Podium and Vivint “come from a pioneering spirit, and I think that’s built into our genetic code here in Provo.”
Morley said Provo children are raised by parents who are technology developers and college professors, so they are taught to think differently and problem solve. He added that the Provo School District also fosters innovation through professional learning programs such as CAPS.
This adds to the overall innovative spirit and “the rawness and creative energy that I think we inherently have,” Morley said.
Morley said he agrees with Gov. Spencer Cox’s idea that Utah is an entrepreneurial economy, but that the innovative energy started in Provo and Utah counties.
“It’s been going strong for more than 50 years, since these original technology companies began to germinate, develop, grow, and eventually spin-off companies, and we’re reaping the benefits today. ” he said. “It’s important to remember that the genealogy (of technology) goes back to great people, visionaries, who changed Utah forever.”
Morley said the benefits of these startups extend beyond Provo and Utah County.
“Qualtrics is a globally recognized international brand that benefits businesses and individuals around the world. It’s amazing that it started here in a basement in Provo before evolving into what it is today. And that’s amazing,” he said. “And while we certainly have had incredible benefits and are very grateful for Qualtrics’ presence here, its global impact is undeniable.”
Morley said he thinks it’s very special that Utah’s rich and vibrant startup culture creates technology that not only benefits Utahns, but also benefits the world.
Much of the technology created by Provo startups is taken for granted because it’s so ubiquitous and used so often, he said. For example, word processing software created by WordPerfect and Ancestry.com revolutionized genealogy from a religious hobby to a religious hobby. How people find connection.
“I am the genetic beneficiary of people who have lived well for thousands of years and I take it for granted…this technology is all the same way,” he said. “Even with that, you never really realize the fact that all of those guys were here in Provo at some point creating and developing great concepts and ideas that we utilize every day. You don’t have to face it,” Morley said.
Morley said seeing others succeed in creating new businesses “fertilizes” the environment and makes others feel inspired and less afraid to try new things. .
Kiln., a company that creates technology-driven lifestyle work environments where people can grow their businesses, has communities in Lehi, Park City, Salt Lake City, and just opened in Provo. Business Development Manager Brent Garlick said the Kiln’s CEO, Provo native Arian Lewis, calls the Kiln an “ecosystem” in the city for nurturing startups.
“(Lewis) said there’s something special about Provo that people don’t understand. So here we are looking around the world and saying, ‘I don’t know what it is, but there’s something special about Provo. There are experts in the startup world who say, “There’s something unique about this.”’ And Ryan Smith said the same thing, “I’m not leaving Provo.”” Garlick said.