DSU Hosts A Fierce Code Camp Competition This Year!



Mark you calendars now to join the Techs next month for what is always our highest attended meeting –Code Camp Winner Demos! If you attended this year’s event, you know the competition was fierce and the projects amazing. If you missed this year; you missed out!

The 2016 annual event featured:

• Over 270 individual registered participants

• 80 teams ranging from 1-4 participants per team

• 4 categories: Rookie, Novice, Collegiate and Industry

• 5 genres: APP, Game, Maker, Rookie and Service

• Over 80 VIP “fans” who support Code Camp and are uniting for the cause

Code Camp participation is growing and the event is gaining attention from leaders and influencers! RSVP early because we may just run out of space this year!

Founders Weekend to be Held at Electric Theater in September

By Rusty Lee  •  1 year ago  •  Uncategorized

Utah State University Extension in Washington County and Outlier Magazine, an online publication for startup businesses and entrepreneurs, host Founders Weekend entrepreneurial conference Sept. 22-24 in St. George’s historic downtown Electric Theater.

The conference includes presentations, panel discussions and breakout sessions hosted by a lineup of top entrepreneurs along with designers, hackers, marketers, thought leaders, educators and city officials.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn how to start, grow or scale their business; network with fellow entrepreneurs and successful founders; participate in breakout sessions; and receive personalized mentoring from conference speakers, who will also touch on St. George as an entrepreneurship-friendly city. Participants can mingle with high-profile entrepreneurs from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Portland, St. George, Cedar City, Provo and Ogden. In addition, attendees can participate in a pitch competition by building a team and working on a business idea throughout the weekend, then pitching it to a panel of judges for prizes and cash awards.

Paul Hill, USU Extension associate professor and conference co-director, said the event will provide an abundance of valuable opportunities for attendees to connect with fellow entrepreneurs and receive feedback from mentors.

“It’s the confluence of time, place and purpose that gives significance to the exchange of ideas at Founders Weekend,” he said.

Ever Gonzalez, Outlier Magazine founder and conference co-director, said there will also be a post-conference dinner with city officials and founders from other cities to talk about Southern Utah’s pro-business strategies.

“We want to help put southern Utah on the entrepreneurial map,” he said.

For a listing of conference presenters and registration information, visit




MOUNTAINWEST CAPITAL NETWORK – Recognizing Utah’s Fastest Growing Companies

Each year the MWCN Utah 100 recognizes the 100 fastest growing companies in Utah and honors the 15 Top Revenue Growth companies and the 15 Emerging Elite companies.

MWCN recently opened the application for companies to participate in the 22nd annual MWCN Utah 100 fastest growing companies in Utah for 2016.

2016 Utah 100: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 Rankings are determined by revenue growth from 2011 through 2015. Company revenues are not disclosed to the public and used only to determine ranking. You can apply at  The deadline to apply is June 30, 2016.

To be eligible, the company nominee must complete all applicable information on the application and meet each of the following criteria:

  •     Be a for-profit Utah-based corporation, limited liability company, or partnership.
  •     Have five full years of operating history.
  •     Had a minimum of $50,000 in total revenues in fiscal 2011.

Emerging Elite: A company with less than $50,000 in total revenue in fiscal 2011 may be eligible for the Emerging Elite. The application for the Emerging Elite is found here: The deadline to apply is June 30, 2016.

The Emerging Elite are Utah businesses with great prospects for future growth and success, but which do not otherwise qualify for consideration in the Utah 100 fastest growing companies. To be eligible, applicants must complete all applicable information on the application and meet the following criteria:

  •     Be a for-profit Utah-based corporation, limited liability company, or partnership.
  •     Have a minimum of two years of operating history.
  •     Had a minimum of $50,000 in total revenues in fiscal 2015.

More information is available at<

Washington County Robotics Team Honored as a Role Model Team for International Organization



US FIRST FTC team, The PrestidigiTaters competed against 36 other teams at the state championship and took 3rd overall in the robot matches. They credit having a team that presents themselves very well, and is well rounded, but with all the veteran teams there were not expecting to win a major award. However, their hard work paid off because The PrestidigiTaters were awarded the Inspire Award.

Inspire Award Description from the FTC website:

“Given to the team that truly embodied the ‘challenge’ of the FTC program. The team that receives this award is a strong ambassador for FIRST programs and a role model FTC team. This team is a top contender for many other judged awards and is a gracious competitor. The Inspire Award Winner is an inspiration to other teams, acting with Gracious Professionalism™ both on and off the playing field. This team is able to communicate their experiences, enthusiasm and knowledge to other teams, sponsors, their community, and the Judges.”

This year’s challenge was particularly difficult, the robots were required to scale a 3 foot high mountain while going over obstacles and ultimately hang from a bar under it’s own power. To accomplish this, the team custom-built a winch out of a tape measure and used a 3D printer and laser to engineer parts (all of their own design, except for the hook, which they got from Thingiverse and modified). They custom built tank tracks out of bike chain, machined aluminum, 3D printed parts, and homemade rubber (2 parts silicone, 1 part cornstarch, and food coloring or concrete dye depending on the color). No small potatoes! In the process they’ve learned a lot about technology, such as Java programming, parametric CAD using OpenSCAD, and web design (the team created their web site by themselves).  They’ve also learned a lot about problem solving, engineering, leadership, planning and organization, and most importantly, themselves.

Coach, Brian Allen said, “as a father (of Madi and Bailee), I have to say this is an excellent way to spend time with teenage daughters!  I’m sure Curtis would say the same about the time spent with his son (McCade).”

Paul Hill, Washington County 4H Program Director and The PrestidigiTaters team sponsor encourages parents, of all skill levels, to participate in US FIRST programs. In addition to spending quality time with your children, you are helping them (and yourself) develop skills that have the potential to benefit the future of many.

This rookie team (first year participants in US FISRT FTC) has worked hard and performed well, they stand as testament to the talent that exists in southern Utah. In addition to the Inspire Award, the team also earned a spot to advance to the Super Regionals in Oakland, CA in late March.

The team is currently looking for sponsors to help them represent Utah and Washington County. Team coach, Brian Allen said, “We’ve raised $3,340 so far through a GoFundMe campaign (which includes $1,500 that Washington County 4H is providing).  We’re hoping to raise more than that, though, to cover our next year’s season, since it will be much easier to fund raise now after a big win, than at the beginning of a season.” Brian promised that anyone who sponsors them now, will be listed as sponsors for next season as well.
This team needs more support from our community. Sponsors can contact the team directly (especially if they’d like the team to come and demo the robot) through our website (, donate through our GoFundMe page (, or donate directly to Washington County 4H with a note that it goes to The PrestidigiTaters robotics team:

Washington County 4H
Attn: Paul Hill
475 S. Donlee Dr.
St. George, UT 84770

Team coach prefers that donating go through 4H, since there are no fees (as with GoFundMe), and 4H is a non-profit, so the donation is tax-deductible.

The PrestidigiTaters are:
Madi Allen (11th grade at Dixie High School / DSU Success Academy)
Bailee Allen (10th grade at Dixie High School / DSU Success Academy, LaunchPad at busybusy)
McCade Larsen (10th grade at Dixie High School)
Kason Peacock (10th grade at Desert Hills High School)
Brian Allen, Coach (Software engineer)
Curtis Larsen, Coach (CIT at DSU)
DJ Holt, Mentor (CIT at DSU)

DSU to Host Tech Savvy March 19th



Hosted by Dixie State University, the St. George, Utah branch of AAUW has been selected nationally as one of only 22 pilot sites for this unique one day event in 2016.

Tech Savvy is a one-day conference with workshops designed to introduce girls in grades six through nine to the endless opportunities presented by careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The event is scheduled to be held on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at Dixie State University from 9:00am-5:00pm.

If the United States is to maintain its global leadership and competitive position, then we just have to motivate our most promising students into the STEM fields. However, if we fail to encourage and inspire girls to pursue STEM, at a young age, then we cut our pool of those with potential in half. The girls in our community are highly capable; they need only to be exposed to the possibilities.

In the St. George program girls select hands-on activities in math, science, and related fields from a range of hands-on options, attend workshops on STEM careers and topics, and enhance other important “Savvy Skills,” such as public speaking, critical thinking and negotiation. Over the course of the day, they are empowered by their capabilities and encouraged to think about themselves not just as a young women but also as future scientists, engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists. Tech Savvy has proven to have a lasting impact on girls and their communities by exposing girls to the possibilities afforded by pursuing STEM subjects and careers.

The organizers of this event would like local businesses and tech professionals to get involved:

  1. Send a female STEM professional to attend the event, set up a booth, and let girls know that their involvement in STEM fields matters (from 9:30 AM-2:30 PM lunch will be provided)
  2. Contribute 150 small items such as stickers, pens, small gadgets, or other useful promotional items to a back pack that each girl who attends will receive
  3. Make a tax- deductible donation at
  4. Sponsor lunch, snacks, prizes, or T-shirts to help support our local Tech Savvy event (contact Rusty Lee @ for more information)


For more information visit the website: and get involved!

Scissors and ribbon

Join Generation Labs For Their Ribbon Cutting March 17th!



You’re Invited!
Generation Labs is very excited to announce their
Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening on St. Patrick’s Day.

Please join us for Giveaways, food by Kilo’s Italian Ice, and Fun!
Wear green or bring your business card to be entered into our drawing!!

March 17th
Ribbon Cutting 11:30AM
Grand Opening 11:30AM – 1:00PM
511 E. St. George Blvd | Ribbon Cutting in Zion Plaza Parking Lot

2015 Code Camp Winners!



The following campers took home bragging rights at the 6th annual Code Camp event on November 14, 2015:


  • 1st – PedigiTaters with Myth-busters
  • 2nd – Code Changers with Shooter Man!
  • 3rd – Carson with Macrophage Massacre 3


  • 1st – Code4Food with Smart Chart
  • 2nd – Hunter84 Production with Word Comparix
  • 3rd – Grassbear with Apollo nine-one-one


  • 1st –  Paint Music with Paint Music
  • 2nd – Voltron with Build-A-Creature
  • 3rd – VirtuallyDone with Bowling for Baddies


  • 1st –  Ornery Ibex Farm with JangleBells
  • 2nd – Blockheads with Minecraft OS
  • 3rd – Is This Plugged In? with Light Bomb

Special Categories

  • Game – SpaceRangers with SpaceNodes (Industry Division)
  • App – Code4Food with Smart Chart (Novice Division)
  • Service – Django Unchained with BuilderLogic (Industry Division)
  • Maker – Ornery Ibex Farm with JangleBells (Industry Division)

Fall 2015 Launchpad Wraps Up In Style



Launchpad is an apprenticeship program for students interested in programming, app design (UI/UX) and product design (maker movement). The 10-week program takes place at local software companies and tech start-ups and is guided by industry experts who are as passionate about their crafts as they are about teaching.

Each 10-week session focuses on a specific topic (e.g. mobile development, design, etc) and set of technologies (e.g. Xcode, Illustrator, etc.). The company hosting the launchpad determines which topic they will teach. When applying for Launchpad, students select which topic(s) they want to focus on. If accepted, students are assigned to the company teaching the desired topic.

This fall 23 students in Utah County and 22 in Washington county participated in Launchpads hosted in St. Geroge  by, Rocketmade, Busy Busy, and Y-Draw Marketing, and in Utah County, by Izeni, Verisage, and Rocketship. Following the 10 weeks of instruction and hands on learning the Launchies got together for some food, fun and to demonstrate what they learned to one another.

The next Launchpad will begin on January 19th 2016. Applications are being accepted now at

Dixie State University hosts Code Camp for 24 hours straight



ST. GEORGE — For 24 hours, Dixie State University’s Gardner Student Center was alive with activity Friday, thanks to 280 programmers and designers competing for bragging rights and tech prizes at the sixth annual Code Camp.

A programming, design and entrepreneurship contest all rolled into one, Code Camp gives those who are or aspire to be programmers, designers, entrepreneurs, project managers, mentors or investors 24 hours to build a program, app or product.

Novice, collegiate and professional programmers and designers participate in the 2015 Code Camp at Dixie State University’s Gardner Student Center. St. George, Utah, Nov. 13, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News
Novice, collegiate and professional programmers and designers participate in the 2015 Code Camp at Dixie State University’s Gardner Student Center. St. George, Utah, Nov. 13, 2015 | Photos courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News

Participants started working on their projects at 8 a.m. Friday, and judging began at 8 a.m. Saturday. After delivering a short presentation to the panel of judges, teams, which range in size from one to four participants, are assessed on their projects’ complexity, completeness, aesthetics/design, uniqueness and viability.

Prizes include handmade quilts, blankets and oven mitts provided by local 4-H clubs, as well as tech-geek treasures for the winners.

Teams were placed into the following competitive groups:

  • Industry teams | comprised of one or more full-time professionals
  • Collegiate teams | comprised of enrolled college students
  • Novice teams | comprised of participants exploring the industry and learning new techniques
  • Rookie Kit teams | comprised of participants exploring the industry who want to base their project on the provided rookie kit

Within each track, teams choose one of four categories from which to compete: game, app, service or maker.

Code Camp started as a project initiated by SEED Dixie, a Southern Utah entrepreneurial program, and exists to build a pipeline of talented programmers. The camp is open to students who don’t have programming backgrounds and serves as an avenue for students to start learning programming at a young age — a move that makes the industry feel less daunting. Additionally, the program prepares youth for a profession that is in desperate need of qualified workers.

Written by or for St. George News

‘Concept to Company’ Contest Offers $58,000 for Innovators, Inventors



Entrepreneurs with new products or existing businesses who believe they have the next big thing are being sought for the upcoming 2015 Concept to Company contest, with cash prizes totaling $25,500 and services worth $32,500. Applications are being accepted through Nov. 25.

Our focus is on companies that solve consumer needs and business problems

“The category is very broad this year,” said Joshua Aikens of Dixie Technical Association, or Dixie Techs. “It can include any type of innovation or startup business. Our focus is on companies that solve consumer needs and business problems and those that can ultimately market to customers outside the region.”

Southern Utah economic development organizers, entrepreneurs and local investors want to identify and encourage entrepreneurs who can bring value-added growth to the area.

There is no cost to apply. Applications will be received from throughout the state, with Iron, Washington, Kane, Garfield and Beaver counties receiving special preference. Registration and complete contest rules are available online.

The competition focuses on general business startup concepts, including tech and nontech concepts.

Types of innovations or products can include tools, devices, inventions, software solutions, medical technology, mobile apps and a variety of other products. Existing companies with new products, as well as startups, may enter the contest if their product idea has been in the market for less than one year.

“Dixie State University is thrilled to co-sponsor the 2015 St. George Concept 2 Company startup contest and to host the final pitch session and judging on our campus” said Kyle Wells, dean of the DSU School of Business. “We are eager to see the outstanding startup and innovation projects that are submitted by entrepreneurs from throughout Utah. This C2C competition will enhance the growing culture of entrepreneurship within our regional business community and on our campus.”

Although it is not required, staff from USTAR and the St. George and Cedar City branches of the Utah Small Business Development Center Network will be available by appointment to review entries prior to submission.

Contests like these provide an exciting platform to showcase new ideas and products

“Our goal is to support Southern Utah’s entrepreneurs in turning their concepts into viable entities,” said Shirlayne Quayle, director of USTAR South. “Contests like these provide an exciting platform to showcase new ideas and products while the networking opportunity is an invaluable added prize that every participant walks away with.”

The 2015 contest prizes include:

  • Grand prize winner — $23,500 total package: $10,000 cash, $13,500 in-kind services
  • Two runners-up — $12,000 (each) total package: $5,000 cash, $7,000 in-kind services
  • All contest finalists will be eligible for screening by the Dixie State University Foundation’s Investment
  • Committee for potential follow-on investment of up to $100,000

In-kind services include legal counseling from Durham, Jones & Pinegar Law; accounting services from Savage, Esplin & Radmall, CPAs; web development from Velocity Webworks; digital marketing services from Voxxy; technology services from Watchman technologies; marketing communications from RUKKUS Communication; and mentoring from experienced local entrepreneurs and investors.

Finalists of the 2015 contest may be eligible to pitch their business concept for up to $100,000

Finalists of the 2015 contest may be eligible to pitch their business concept for up to $100,000 of additional investment from Dixie State University Foundation’s Investment Committee.

Final awards will be presented Dec. 11 at a public awards ceremony at Dixie State University.

About the contest

The Concept to Company contests are organized by Grow Utah, a nonprofit whose mission is to expand economic development through entrepreneurship in Utah. To date, Grow Utah and its major backers of Zions Bank, Arches Healthcare, Durham, Jones & Pinegar Law and Mountain West Small Business Finance have held 26 contests throughout Utah and distributed over $1.2 million in cash and services to winning entrepreneurs.