December 6, 2013

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Southern Utah

December 6, 2013

Outlier Labs Aims to Support Southern Utah Startups 

By Devin Felix

St. George – Ever Gonzalez and his business partners have a simple but lofty goal: to help turn Southern Utah into a hotspot for technology companies. 

Gonzalez is one of the founders of OUTLIER LABS, a new organization created to provide resources and support to entrepreneurs and startup companies in Southern Utah. Outlier Labs includes an online business magazine, a conference series and a co-working space. Any entrepreneur or type of business is invited to join, but Outlier Labs is particularly interested in tech companies, Gonzalez says.

“Our goal is to bring them in, help them in whatever way we can, and phase them out into the Southern Utah community, where they can rent their own space and employees,” he says.

Outlier Labs is located on the ground floor of the BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTER, located in University Plaza in St. George. It includes Wi-Fi, common work areas, board rooms, classrooms and conference rooms. Outlier Labs is meant to be a place where entrepreneurs can collaborate and work among similar people. It is especially intended for those running businesses out of their homes and looking for a public place to meet with clients and hold meetings. The space will be accessible to members 24 hours per day to accommodate people working regular jobs and running startups in their spare time.

Gonzalez says he and his partners hope to be able to move the workspace to its own building soon.

The concept of a collaborative space for entrepreneurs is not new. Similar spots have played a role in launching successful companies in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, and Gonzalez and his partners decided Southern Utah could benefit from it.

 “I want my kids to have the choice, once they graduate college, to be able to find jobs and stay here if they’d like,” Gonzalez says. 

Outlier Labs plans to collaborate with DIXIE STATE UNIVERSITY. Students will work with companies as interns and earn college credit. The university’s president, Stephen Nadauld, serves on Outlier’s advisory board.

In addition to the workspace, Outlier Labs plans to create a series of conferences, with the first being held January 2014.

Family Dollar Opens St. George Distribution Center 

St. George – FAMILY DOLLAR celebrated the grand opening of its distribution center in St. George. The St. George facility is the 11th distribution center for Family Dollar, and it will serve 800 stores in the region.

“Opening our 11th distribution center is an important milestone for us,” says Howard Levine, Family Dollar’s chairman and CEO. “This facility is ideally located to support our growth in the West, helping us keep our stores well-stocked as we continue to provide customers in this region with great value and convenience.”

The 817,000-square-foot facility is located at 4815 S. River Road. It will employ about 400 workers and, at full capacity, will ship 40 million cases each year.

“The state of Utah is proud to welcome Family Dollar’s world-class facility in St. George. Their distribution center will be staffed by Utah’s highly productive workforce and provide hundreds of jobs for Southern Utah residents,” says Gov. Gary Herbert.

Hurricane – Iowa-based KPI CONCEPTS, INC. purchased the 85,000-square-foot Mikohn Gaming & Sign building in Gateway Industrial Park. The company designs and manufactures custom wood laminate store fixtures for national and regional retailers. It plans to work with the DIXIE APPLIED TECHNOLOGY COLLEGE to provide specific employee training courses. At full capacity, KPI will have more than 50 employees working at the site. CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD | COMMERCE negotiated the building purchase.

Grand County – Texas-based IACX ENERGY began helium production and sales from a new facility located at Harley Dome. This facility is the first helium-only application on federal lands and is IACX’s third helium plant.

Uinta Basin – BILL BARRETT CORPORATION signed a purchase and sale agreement with an undisclosed purchaser for the sale of its West Tavaputs natural gas property located in the Uinta Basin.

St. George – LOGMYCALLS launched Conversation Analytics, which uses speech recognition technology to listen to calls and simultaneously analyze the conversation.

St. George – Attorneys Bryan J. Pack and K. Jake Graff joined law practices to form PACK GRAFF, PLLC, a full-service law firm.

St. George – WATTS CONSTRUCTION has nearly completed construction on the RIB & CHOP HOUSE, a new restaurant facility located at 1676 S. Convention Center Drive. Construction began in early August and the restaurant is expected to open by mid-December.


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