Startups: A strength to Utah’s economy

It all began in 1979 in Provo when Novell was founded as a maker of computers and disk operating systems.

With Novell laying the foundation, Utah’s environment would soon foster future startup opportunities. Startups have changed the way Utah does business. Not only are they beneficial for future entrepreneurs, but for anyone doing business in the state as they provide concentrated growth and expansion supporting economic prosperity. Utah Valley has fostered several technology startups making a name for itself in this innovative technological world. Utah Valley is not the only startup hub in Utah; throughout the state, you will find a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit. In 1979, Novell was one of the few companies able to successfully grow in Utah, but now, the opposite is happening as many companies want to start their business here. Startups are an important aspect of Utah’s economy.

Both Utah’s private and public sectors encourage startup growth. Universities throughout Utah provide resources to students to support entrepreneurial activities. The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah offers graduate seminars, scholarships, and community outreach with a goal of providing transformative experiences. Utah State University has a “One Hundred Dollar Startup” challenge, encouraging students to think innovatively and pursue their goals. In Utah County, The Rollins Center at Brigham Young University focuses on mentoring and teaching students while providing an atmosphere to network and compete to create companies that will change the world. What these universities support often shapes the economic landscape of a state, making a positive impact on Utah as these startups attract talent and bring lasting growth. Many startups began in these university programs, but there are a few recognizable startup “unicorns” that really put Utah on the map.

DOMO is one of these “unicorn” companies. Founded in 2010 by Josh James and John Pestana, DOMO provides data visualization to business leaders through customizable dashboards. Likewise, Ryan Smith began Qualtrics, a leading survey-based insight platform. Both founders have been recognized by Forbes and others for their drive and innovative tech ideas. Qualtrics brings the majority of its new hires from out-of-state which contributes to Utah’s high population growth. These tech “campuses” that are created by these booming companies attract all types of businesses, not just tech companies, creating more jobs for Utahns to fuel the economy.

Utah’s startups are successful not only because of the thriving business environment in the state but also due to the significant resources found throughout Utah. Church & State is a non-profit business incubator that provides free resources to entrepreneurs by helping companies avoid “predatory” services that may charge exorbitant fees. Impact Hub is another startup resource that provides community leased office space. Many other resources are available to Utah startups, equipping companies to grow and thrive. The opportunities available in Utah invite businesses in all industries to consider Utah for expansion. The fact that Utah’s business climate is well diversified allows for prosperity in all areas of business. The natural success of startups proves that Utah’s economy provides a rich environment for anyone looking to grow.

Utah has come a long way since Novell’s beginning in 1979. Since then, startups have become a large part of Utah’s business climate. The startup culture provides invaluable assets to both individuals and other companies throughout the state. Utah has become an epicenter for startups, and the progress of that startup world continues to improve, strengthening all sectors in Utah.