This month, Utah Business partnered with Holland & Hart and Big-D Construction to host a roundtable event featuring technology specialists to discuss the state of tech in Utah, tech talent, and trends in tech. Moderated by Sara Jones, COO at the Women Tech Council and CEO at InclusionPro, here are a few highlights from the event.
What is the state of the tech community in Utah?
Cydni Tetro | CEO | ForgeDX
I think Utah and the Silicon Slopes have this sense of community, which lots of tech scenes don't have. I think together we're collectively trying to solve problems from a state level, from a capital level, from an education level, and from a people level. I think that's actually really unique to the ecosystem in Utah.
Rob Goates | CFO | Solutionreach
Silicon Slopes has done a great job in raising awareness of the Utah tech community. And, that has been a really positive thing. I think Utah has a lot to offer. We've seen some huge wins, particularly in the last couple of years. Our company has seen a lot more inbound interest from both coasts, or areas that are sort of similar in Utah. There's a consistent theme that people are becoming more aware of what Utah has to offer. And I think that speaks well to not only the entrepreneurs that have created great businesses here, but it speaks well to those who evangelized in Utah.
How do you expect the next round of IPOs will impact the community?
Grant Gordon | CEO | Artemis Health
I think there are two ways for those people to invest back in the community. The easy way to think about it is just money. I actually think the biggest challenge we still have here is a lack of depth of experience. We haven't had that many generations of successful companies yet. And so, when it comes to hiring anybody like a director and above, it's really hard. There aren't that many of them and they're usually locked up in another company. And so, I think for those folks, I would hope that they would go out and start new companies themselves with their wealth, even beyond just investing to help cultivate future generations here, because it's actually really hard to import them. And so, we have to do better at opening our arms and welcoming people, but we also need to help build that next generation.
Sunny Washington | CEO | Because Learning
You have the Googles and the Facebooks, and there's been this waterfall effect of them, the money that was made from them to starting new companies, or starting VC firms, and...