Salt Lake City is ripe to develop a pipeline of new tech and life science startup businesses and amplify the culture of tech that already calls the capital city home. And now more than ever, it is time to imagine and build a more sustainable economy to benefit all city residents. Since her first day in office, Mayor Erin Mendenhall and her administration have been working on the ‘Tech Lake City’ initiative, a plan that calls for attracting more innovation and tech talent to our City.
Clark Cahoon has been hired as a Technology and Innovation Advisor to help support and carry out the vision. Cahoon formerly served as the Life Science Industry Director and Technology Commercialization and Innovation Program Fund Manager at Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development.
“We’ve seen just how important the life sciences industry is for public health during this crisis, but we also know it will be a key component to economic recovery in the months and years ahead,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “The addition of Clark to our team will bolster our ability to make strides in our recovery and we couldn’t be more excited.”
In this role, Cahoon will join Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development and serve as a leading voice for a multidisciplinary task force engaging Salt Lake City’s business, academic, scientific, and labor communities.
“Salt Lake City is a safe-haven for life sciences and tech. We have everything necessary to attract capital and the right entrepreneurial spirit. It’s that culture of pulling together and figuring it out – this is how we will rethink our current economic landscape and emerge from this crisis in the strongest possible position. I’m excited to support Mayor Mendenhall’s vision moving forward,” said Cahoon.
"The recent pandemic has shown how important Salt Lake City’s life science industry is to both our community and the world,” said Jared Bauer, CEO of Cibus Biotechnologies. “Mayor Mendenhall's actions will leave a lasting impact on our community for generations to come. I have had the honor of working with Clark for many years, and I look forward to him bringing his first-hand industry knowledge to City Hall."
Kelvyn Cullimore, President and CEO of BioUtah added, “The life sciences industry in Utah is one of the fastest growing in the nation. The high paying jobs, life-saving products and recession-resistant nature of the industry make it an extremely attractive focus for economic development. BioUtah commends Mayor Mendenhall on the appointment of someone as industry knowledgeable as Clark Cahoon to lead the City’s biotech economic development initiative.”
Cahoon will work to attract life science and technology-based businesses that value diversity and sustainability. He will work to help make it easier for these businesses to get started and thrive in Salt Lake City by sourcing locations, updating and improving the city’s permitting processes, and improving the talent pipeline.
“Mayor Mendenhall’s focus is to ensure that Salt Lake City is a dynamic and diverse city that attracts, retains, and grows employers who can offer career pathways and economic opportunities to the city’s residents,” said Celina Milner, Senior Advisor and Community Outreach for Diversity and Human Rights. “This position is an addition that will help to ensure Salt Lake City is a globally competitive city to which employers flock, communities thrive, and innovation abounds; to recruit and retain a diverse set of businesses; to foster economic opportunities for all Salt Lake City in all neighborhoods; and to partner with workforce development programs and local businesses on talent development ensuring that all Salt Lake City residents can find and retain living-wage jobs."
“Salt Lake City is building a stronger and more innovative tech and life sciences ecosystem. We’re taking aim at the high-paying jobs that slip away elsewhere in the Silicon Slopes landscape and making it easier for our residents to access these opportunities,” said Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development Acting Director Ben Kolendar, “Under Mayor Mendenhall’s leadership, we now have a dedicated point person to help lead and coordinate all efforts to meet that goal. We’re excited to have Clark join the team.”