tech salt lake ceo silicon utah slopes

techsuch May 9, 2021 0 Comments

Utah tech leaders say their industry is booming – but it needs more women,more diversity and more people to move here to fill jobsNearly 14,000 people were at the Salt Palace Convention Center when DaveElkington announced Thursday that Microsoft was investing $35 million into hisProvo-based tech company, size of both the investment and the audience reflected the growing statureof Silicon Slopes, the nickname for the high-tech community in northern Utahand southern Salt Lake counties.“That’s one of the largest private investments Microsoft has ever made,”boasted Elkington.The companies’ partnership, begun in 2015, promotes the development ofartificial intelligence to help clients accelerate sales and improve customersatisfaction.He revealed the investment at the opening session of Silicon Slopes TechSummit 2018, a two-day meeting that is attracting almost three times as manyparticipants as just last year.(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Dave Elkington,, CEOspeaks in the opening session to over 14,000 at the 2018 Silicon Slopes TechSummit at the Salt Lake Convention Center Thursday Jan. 18.“That’s unbelievable, isn’t it?” Silicon Slopes CEO Clint Betts askedrhetorically, adding, “We should be proud of this state and what we’veaccomplished as a community. We’ve become a globally recognized tech hub.”Elkington was one of eight local tech company CEOs who kicked off theconvention, individually walking onto a Salt Palace stage accompanied byblaring music, to answer questions from Betts about the status of Utah’s techindustry.While there were a few concerns, the CEOs generally were high on what Utah hasto offer and the direction things are going.(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Marcus Liassides, Sorenson Media, CEOspeaks in the opening session to over 14,000 at the 2018 Silicon Slopes TechSummit at the Salt Lake Convention Center Thursday Jan. 18.“I’ve set up businesses in three other countries. It was nothing like here,”said Marcus Liassides, an Englishman who is now president and CEO of SorensonMedia, a software company that delivers high-quality video online and tomobile devices. Based in Taylorsville, the company has doubled its workforcein the past year and now has nine offices overseas, he said.“I love the belief here. Belief is important to me,” Liassides added. “Ifyou’re an entrepreneur, you have to have belief in yourself. Utah has thatculture of belief.”Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard said he reached a similar conclusion whenlooking for a new headquarters complex for his company. It had outgrownoffices in Lehi and Farmington as it developed video training courses forsoftware developers, information technology administrators and other computer-savvy professionals.“We had lots of choices of places where we could go, but it was clear — thisis the place,” he said, obviously enjoying the response of the crowd thatunderstood his play on the words Brigham Young allegedly uttered beforeleading Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.Having added 477 employees in 217, Skonnard said Pluralsight “will be buildinga campus that will last for decades,” developing products and working throughits philanthropic foundation to help people in marginalized communities haveaccess to technology.(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Aaron Skonnard, Pluralsight, CEO speaksin the opening session to over 14,000 at the 2018 Silicon Slopes Tech Summitat the Salt Lake Convention Center Thursday Jan. 18.While many in the large crowd were Utah natives, a question from Qualtrics CEORyan Smith illustrated that almost half were transplants.“We’re kind of a state of implants,” he said, predicting the trend willincrease. “For everyone [in the tech community] to be successful, we need torelocate more people to Utah. If every person here could invite one person torelocate, to fill the tech jobs we need filled … it would go a long way tosetting the stage for future generations.”His point was echoed by Carine Clark, CEO of Banyon, which developscommunications systems to help healthcare providers connect with patientsonline. She cited statistics showing that Utah will create 1.1 million newtechnology jobs by 2024, but only 45 percent of those positions will be filledby graduates of the educational pipeline provided by Utah’s universities.“I’m worried about diversity. We do not have enough. Companies with diverseteams are better,” Clark said, predicting local tech companies will end upengaging in “a war for talent. And we don’t have enough women in tech, inleadership positions. … It’s not a gender issue. It’s a business issue.”(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Carine Clark, Banyan, CEO speaks in theopening session to over 14,000 at the 2018 Silicon Slopes Tech Summit at theSalt Lake Convention Center Thursday Jan. 18.Two CEOs, Josh James from software supplier Domo and Todd Pedersen from home-security company Vivint, offered advice to the numerous students and youngprofessionals in the audience.Pedersen said it’s a mistake to have a goal of simply making money. “Whateverbusiness you’re getting into, whatever concept you have, has to be customer-focused: you have to have the best product that makes the biggest differencein a person’s life,” he said.“We can do anything we put our minds to,” added James, recalling a recentconversation with a student who said he was “young, dumb and broke. That’swhere I was, but great things can be done. Shoot for the stars and you’ll endup on the moon.”

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