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Rexburg hoping to foster a new era in, raising home grown businesses

REXBURG, Idaho (KIFI) - Rexburg is working hard to support the needs of its community's budding entrepreneurs and small businesses. To do so, they have created and opened a Startup Incubator, a small space that is available to those who wish to grow their very own business.

"About eleven years ago, we recognized that we really wanted to focus on entrepreneurship," Rexburg's director of economic development and public affairs Scott Johnson said. "So we started doing some events. We have some business competitions, startup weekends and some other things. And that's been very successful. But we realized that many of these companies that are just beginning didn't have a place to go to actually begin to work."

Johnson says people have really warmed up to the space.

"So far, it's been fantastic," Johnson said. "We've got a few individuals and a couple of small companies that are using the space and the feedback's been phenomenal."

Johnson says they have provided a variety of tools to help people get their businesses off the ground.

"We have some programing, the startup academy that I mentioned. We also have some events that we do, but we also are very, very much in to helping to network with professionals. These businesses need so they're in need of funding." he said. He says the incubator will give people large networking opportunities. "If they're in need of marketing those types of things, we we put them in contact with individuals that can help them. And so really, we're here to to really make all the connections that they need."

Johnson also says the incubator has a monthly fee of $25 a month.

Ryan Gifford, a data analyst for a startup medical data analysis company, says the space has helped him get work done.

"I work remotely, a lot of my work's just online, so it's nice to actually have a physical place to come into work and having this open space is nice and just really great," Gifford said.

Gifford says having a space with networking oppurtunities to help grow his business is what drew him to the space.

"As we're trying to grow, and I'm sure that I'll meet other people and other connections that I can and that may be beneficial to our success," he said.

Kennedy Kingston is part of the social media team for the Research development center, the company who has partnered with the city to help get this incubator running. She says the space allows her to focus more on her work.

"Personally, it's nice to just be able to get out of my house," she said. "I have ADHD, so I get very distracted very easily. So coming here allows me to just focus strictly on work with no distractions."

Kingston says for someone to express themselves is a big draw.

"There's a lot of unique spaces in here that you can go to, that you can kind of let your creativity run wild," she said. "And so I just appreciate the space that they provide to let you kind of work in the way that you feel comfortable."

Mayor Jerry Merrill says having the space helps his goal of building and maintaining the quality of life in Rexburg.

"We felt like an effective way to empower people, especially we have so many young people here in Rexburg, BYU- Idaho students and young families that we want to be able to empower people to take an idea and run with it, have coaching and mentors for them in our in our center here and just be able to help people start up businesses," he said.

He says the goal is to have more buisness headquartered in Rexburg.

"We'd love to have those businesses headquartered right here in Rexburg, Idaho, and empower people to be able to do that also."

Mayor Merrill also thanked everyone who has helped to put the center together and says they have "done a great job."

Article Topic Follows: Rexburg

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8.


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