Cedar City Center for Business and Innovation to host 2nd ‘Innovation Talk’ highlighting area entrepreneurs – St George News

Cedar City Business and Innovation Center Director Isaac Askerot (left) and BEX Sunglasses founder Jason Adams discuss entrepreneurship during the center’s inaugural Innovation Talk, Cedar City, Utah, June 9, 2022. | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — The second “Innovation Talk” in a monthly series of free business forums organized by Cedar City Business and Innovation Center is scheduled to take place on Thursday evening.

Attendees at the inaugural Innovation Talk featuring BEX Sunglasses founder Jason Adams, Cedar City, UT, June 9, 2022 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

July’s featured speaker will be James Barlow, CEO of Building Zone Industries Steel (BZI Steel), a Cedar City-based steel mill and construction business.

Members of the public are welcome to attend, said Isaac Askerot, director of the innovation center, which is located at 510 W. 800 South in Cedar City. The one-hour event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m

Askerot said Barlow is expected to speak for his own businesswhich began with five men erecting a one-post barn and has since grown into a multi-million dollar company with 400 employees.

“He’s very motivating to listen to,” Askerot said of Barlow. “Hearing the different ways they’ve done so many different things, just to help them get off the ground or help the industry. They’re not just doing things the old way they’ve always done it. They find this faster, newer, better way.”

Last month, on June 9, the Innovation Talk series kicked off with BEX sunglasses founder Jason Adams as featured speaker.

BEX Sunglasses founder Jason Adams speaks during the inaugural Innovation Talk hosted by the Cedar City Business and Innovation Center, Cedar City, Utah, June 9, 2022 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Adams, citing his own rodeo experience, talked about how he started with the idea of ​​making a high-quality, durable pair of sunglasses that would stay on the rider’s head.

He then talks about the ups and downs he’s experienced since starting the company in 2009, offering insights and suggestions for others who may have similar ideas and aspirations.

“There’s no day-to-day manual for being an entrepreneur because every situation is different,” Adams said during his speech, which also included a question-and-answer session. “Every situation is unique and you never know what to expect.”

He also emphasized the importance of staying committed and having the courage to keep going.

He said:

You will never miss the hard work. Something can happen at the very beginning of the business, it can happen somewhere in the middle, or it can happen at the end. But you’ll never be able to skip that step when it’s really hard … down and dirty, roll up your sleeves … whether it’s digital, physical, mental, emotional … you’re going to go all in, you’re going to get through it. This one, you won’t miss it. Especially if you want to be the company you intend to be.

Digital promotional flyer for the July 14, 2022 Innovation Talk featuring James Barlow of BZI Steel, Cedar City, UT | Image courtesy of Cedar City Business and Innovation Center, St. George News / Cedar City News

Although BEX is headquartered in southern Nevada, Adams is in the process of opening a small office in Cedar City, Askeroth said, noting that BEX has also signed on as a major sponsor for a full year of monthly innovation conversations that will be hosted at center every second Thursday of the month.

“I think he came here and saw what he liked,” Askerot said of Adams. “He wants to launch in other markets.”

To watch last month’s Innovation Talk featuring Adams, click here (Facebook Live archive).

Event details

  • What: Innovation Talk featuring James Barlow, CEO of BZI Steel.
  • When: Thursday, July 14, 6 p.m
  • Where: Cedar City Business and Innovation Center510 W. 800 South, Cedar City.
  • Admission: Free and open to the public. Spectators can also watch the event live at the center Facebook page.

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