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Could the State Farm building house the next Google?

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A man who claims he's invented the next Google is showing interest in purchasing the State Farm Insurance Co. building. However, he's still working on launching the company "Qpon Locator Network" and no official proposal has been presented.

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According to a letter Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens received July 28, John Matthias said he would secure $300 million by selling Qpon Locator Network stock to major advertisers in order to open the company this fall.

But State Farm spokeswoman Ann Avery did not confirm that information and said all talks regarding prospective buyers will stay private.

"The property remains on the market," she said. "It is not currently under contract with anyone."

The president and CEO of the start-up company said he has been working on launching Qpon Locator Network for the past several years and has always wanted to move into a building like State Farm.

"This is another Google in a different way," Matthias said, adding, "I know it's hard to believe, and I can understand that, but it's very true."

He didn't elaborate on what exactly the company will offer, though -- aside from being an online coupon system.

"We're trying to keep it as private as possible until we're ready to launch it," he said.

So far he said he's secured about half of the total $300 million he'll need to purchase the property and will continue to raise money in the upcoming weeks.

Matthias said he's working with manufacturers and restaurants to raise the money, but said he couldn't announce who some of the major contributors are.

"I realize that's a lot of money but for the people I'm talking to it's a drop in the bucket," he added.

The letter to the city included an informal proposal. Matthias plans to remodel the building "to meet all green standards," update the security system, as well as hire 2,200 employees at the potential corporate office.

"Of course we're supportive of anyone's effort to bring good paying jobs to that site," Stephens said.

However, it's too early in the process for the council to engage in any discussions.

"His company is a start-up company, I think it's just him or a few employees," Stephens said. "So it might be a little premature for the city to get involved at this point."

Qpon Locator Network does not currently have a website, but Matthias seems optimistic and said he's sure the company will launch in late October or early November.

"It's a unique system," he said.

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Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.
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