The Cedar City Business & Innovation Center, SUU Entrepreneurship Center, and SUU Startup held their first joint Demo Day, where 30 local startups were given the opportunity to showcase their products and services to the community.
Around 200 community members and investors attended the Saturday event, where they were each given “Innovation Center coins” with a value of between $10-$20 per attendee. These coins were used by attendees to invest in the businesses or to purchase their products. After the event, each business turned in their coins for real money. In total, over $3,700 was awarded to the startups based on where the attendees spent their coins.
For participating companies, the event was a fun and unique way to promote their young businesses. One participant, Chelsey Durand, owner of Yummy Tummy Sweets Bakery and client of the Business and Innovation Center, recently opened a storefront and said this event was a great opportunity to reach new potential customers. Durand is focused on marketing and bringing people into her bakery. “This was a great event for my business! I was able to share our amazing desserts with new people, and it allowed me to market in a unique way. We need to grow our customer base right now, and I think this was a big help.”
Other participating startups included Antler Tech, Bandangle, Birdies Golf Lounge, Bodhianbrains, CarLife, Celestial Bags, CKC Training, Color Me Macarons, CraftConUSA, Crypto Games, Dallas Smith Digital Studios, Etched Timber, Freya’s Garden Utah, InterMountain Performing Arts Conservatory, Knventovations, Mega Loaf, RB Tours, Rugged Material, Sharaya’s Cleaning Service, Shop Little Town, Southwest Fabrication and Mechanical, Stapel Signs, Tenant Solutions, The Glitter Nerd, The Prickly Hippie, Tiama Training, Undefined Destination, and Wax Strong.
Ellie Wheeler, SUU Startup Events Coordinator, felt the event was a great success for businesses and the community. “The Demo Day brought together small business owners and the community in a way that was really unique and fun. Everyone who attended had the opportunity to “spend” money with the startups, and business owners were able to sell and promote their products to a new audience.” Jeremy Waite, Business & Innovation Center Manager, echoed Wheeler’s comments. “The feedback we received from attendees and participants was overwhelmingly positive. Now that we’ve seen how well this Demo Day turned out, we can’t wait to plan our next one. It’s definitely something we’ll be doing again.”
The Cedar City Business and Innovation Center launched in November 2021 to help local startups and small businesses grow and succeed during their challenging early years. The center has programming and resources for accelerated and extended business launches, and includes a makerspace, studio, prototyping room, workspaces and a conference room, as well as professional mentorship for clients. To find out more about the center, visit InnovationCenter.cc.
The SUU Entrepreneurship Center is housed within the Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business and is designed to benefit students from all majors across campus. The guiding principles of the program are: Educate, Experience, and Elevate. They believe in teaching students how to run, start, and exit a business through experiential learning and mentorship. To learn more about the center, visit suu.edu/business/entrepreneurship.
SUU Startup is an information hub launched to provide an easy-access starting point and connection center for boosting and aligning resources, pitch competitions, and business-minded people in Iron County. It partners with the Cedar City Business & Innovation Center and SUU Entrepreneurship Center to support community business and workforce development initiatives. More information about SUU Startup can be found at suu.edu/startup.