Utah’s start-up businesses and technology communities have had an amazing year, according to Clint Betts, the Executive Director at Silicon Slopes, a non-profit organization based in Lehi.
“Two thousand eighteen is going to go down as a year to remember for decades to come,” said Betts. “It has been huge with the number of companies who have either gone public, had successful fundraising or have been acquired.”
The success of companies like Qualtrics, who was acquired by SAP for $8 billion in the largest transaction in Utah tech history; Pluralsight, who went public with an initial public offering; Purple, who merged with another public company; DOMO, who also had an IPO; and Teem, who was bought by WeWork for $100 million, has brought attention to Utah.
“The whole world is listening and watching to what is happening with start-ups and tech companies in Utah. We have stepped onto the world stage. In the next few years, Utah will be known as the hub of all tech companies in the country,” continued Betts. Silicon Slopes (siliconslopes.com) was started about four years ago and its founders include Betts, who is also the founder of Beehive Startups, Josh James, CEO at DOMO, Dave Elkington, InsideSales.com CEO, and Aaron Skonnard, CEO at Pluralsight. The organization is headquartered in Lehi but has 13 different chapters from Logan to St. George.
More than 6,500 start-up and tech companies are in Utah and Silicon Slopes has a mission to “empower Utah’s startup and tech community to learn, connect and serve in an effort to make entrepreneurship and opportunity in Silicon Slopes open and accessible to all.”
“We want the world to learn about what is happening in Utah. We are a media company that tells the stories of start-ups and tech communities through social media, podcasts, and magazines,” said Betts. “We connect entrepreneurs by hosting over 200 events a year – that is almost one every business day. Our biggest event is our upcoming Tech Summit, which is a globally recognized two-day summit on January 31 and February 1 at the Salt Palace,” said Betts. Twenty-thousand people are expected to attend the 2019 Tech Summit. “Our other mission is to serve and give back. We are passionate about improving education in Utah and fighting to improve childhood literacy by hosting book drives. We have committed to work towards having computer science classes in every Utah school by 2022. We tend to get loud about the issues we care about,” said Betts.
“There are a lot of reasons why start-ups and tech communities are attracted to Utah,” said Betts. “We have three great universities nearby; Brigham Young University, University of Utah and Utah Valley University, that provide a powerful workforce and new entrepreneurs. The state is also very business friendly with a governor that is very supportive. Utah’s culture and beautiful outdoors is also a draw, and we have a community that exists to support each other and the next generation of entrepreneurs.”