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techsuch May 9, 2021 0 Comments

Utah, It’s Time to Be Proud of Your Tech Industry… and Everything ElsePlease note: This information was last updated many years ago and is here topreserve a historical record. The contents of this post may be out of date andno longer applicable to GOED’s work.Not even the Silicon Valley rivals Utah in this year’s tech industry VentureCapital investments. This victory only adds to the long list of national andinternational recognition the state has received. Time and time again, Utahhas proven that it’s more than just a nice place to raise a family; it rivalsthe best of the best in economy, industry growth, real estate prices, cultureand talent.In October, The Associated Press released venture capital statistics on thedollar amount invested in tech startups during the first nine months of 2014.(See the rankingshere.) The finding listed Provo-Orem at #8 with nine dealsthat reached a total of $462 million. The study also listed Salt Lake City-Ogden as #12 with 16 deals totaling $275 million.A Utahn might read those rankings and say, “that’s nice,” and move on. ButINC. magazine saw this ranking in a different way—a way that sheds light onjust how strongly Silicon Slopes rivals Silicon Valley, and in a way thatshows just how little Utahns realize that it’s playing with the big kids now.The INC. story which leads with the headline “Move Over, Silicon Valley: UtahHas Arrived,” author Ilan Mochari notes, “When it comes to staggering sums ofventure capital raised in 2014, there’s Utah, and then there’s everyone else.(Read INC. magazines take on the study here.)Inc. Magazine found that when looked at by dollar-per-deal averages, Utah isat the top of the list. The magazine calculated that Provo-Orem ranked firstwith a $51.3 million per average deal, and Salt Lake City-Ogden ranked thirdwith a $17.2 million per deal average. This left room for San Franciso tosqueeze into second place with an $18.4 million per average deal.IT and software is not the only industry where Utah is catching the eye ofbusinesses around the world. “We’ve been working hard to streamline the growthprocess for manufacturers and other businesses here in Utah,” said Todd R.Bingham, president of the Utah Manufacturers Association. “Not only is Utahgrowing in the tech industry—which is a significant part of what makesmanufacturing so great here in the state—but Utah is growing significantly inother industries, and that only makes for an even more promising future.”Mr. Bingham is right. It’s not just in IT manufacturing where Utah is playingwith the big kids. Utah has stepped up to play in the industry big leagues inlife sciences, energy development, aerospace and defense and in otherstrategic economic clusters.A group of “site-selector’s” who are corporate location consultants, recentlyheld their national meeting in Salt Lake City and the general tone of the feedback they gave state economic development officials was “you don’t have to bearrogant, Utah; but it’s time to be proud of the business friendly environmentyou have created because that is what has attracted us to Utah,” said ValHale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development(GOED).For too long, Utahns have been too self-deprecating and modest to blow our ownhorn. However, on a regular basis, Utah is recognized for high-profilebusiness acumen, unrivaled language talent, business friendly “best practices”in economic development and is seen as a place where companies need to be andwant to be.Recently the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) compared the states forbusiness creation and deaths. Utah blew other states away with new business“creation,” substantially beating such states as Massachusettes andCalifornia. Significantly, and contrary to popular belief in Utah, the statewas only “average” with business “deaths” leaving Utah with a growing numberof successful new businesses, year on year.In all of these accomplishments, outside observers like INC. magazine showUtahns its time to get over being embarrassed about how good we are, acrossthe board—not only in business, but in culture, in talent, in real estateprices and in community values.It’s time, Utah. It’s time to be proud.

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