Some time ago I was involved in a panel discussion at an event along with other investors. At one point in the conversation a participant on the panel referred to the technology startup community in Utah as an “ecosystem.” This is a fairly common metaphor, of course. I use it all the time and I never really think about it, it just seems to be a convenient verbal shorthand.

As the conversation shifted to another participant, the investor commented that he really didn’t like the term. “ Ecosystem conjures up images of decay and death,” he said. …


This month, Utah Business partnered with Comcast to host a roundtable event featuring Utah’s tech leaders speaking on tech trends, innovation in a pandemic, and coming back to the office. Moderated by Cydni Tetro, CEO of Brandless and founder and president of Women Tech Council, here are a few highlights from the event.

2020 was one of the most active years in tech in a very long time. What is driving that growth?

Wes Swenson | Founder & CEO | Novva Data Centers

For our business, the geographic boundaries have really changed for our clients―where they used to be very proximate customers to their own server locations, now they want to spread their servers out. But I think that also…


Located in Delta, Utah, the Intermountain Power Project is a coal-fired power plant commissioned decades ago to serve 35 municipal electric companies and rural cooperatives. Although the project is operated by a political subdivision of the state of Utah, and located in the state, the majority of the power generated by the IPP serves southern California, including the city of Los Angeles.

Or, it did.

Seven years ago, as California continued to advance its state-level climate and energy policies, it became apparent that the project’s largest customers would be barred from purchasing coal-fired power in the near future, according to…


As the global airline industry lost $370 billion in 2020, private aviation companies were quick to pick up the slack. CB SkyShare, for one, has seen an explosion in growth as more people have turned to flying private during the pandemic.

“You have at the top end of private flight, the NetJets and the FlexJets, which basically appeal to that top 0.05 percent,” says Michael Patwin, VP of marketing at CB Skyshare. To contrast, CB Skyshare caterers to the top two percent. …


After having successfully started and grown a business over a long period of time, many founders are ready to hand over the reins to new management and enjoy the fruits of their labor: a diversified personal balance sheet, family time, and opportunities for travel while unplugged from everything required to run a business.

Often, I encounter business owners who have mentally crossed the Rubicon and are ready to sell their companies only to realize that they have not adequately laid the groundwork to allow for a successful management transition or transaction. And this approach needs to change.

Business owners frequently…


In speaking with CEOs and heads of product or engineering for smaller high-growth companies, they often ask me about outsourcing. The question is usually whether or not their company should consider expanding beyond their in-house development talent to include outsourcing models.

In my experience with high-growth companies, outsourcing has always been a question of when―not if.

A leadership team’s ability to augment in-house engineering teams with contractors can have a direct impact not only on volume and quality of product output, but also on the effectiveness of available budget. For example: outsourcing with a trusted partner gives companies the ability…


When Utah billionaire Ryan Smith bought the Utah Jazz for $1.6 billion several months ago, the transaction ended the 35-year reign of the Miller family’s ownership of the professional basketball team.

On the surface, it looks like another billion dollar transaction. But Smith’s big outlay underscores a dynamic shift that’s occurring throughout Utah. He’s part of a new generation of young tech wealth in the state, and the Miller family has long been billion dollar royalty.

“It’s a changing of the guard,” says David Stringfellow, chief economist for the Utah State Auditor. “There are new people in the mix. …


Four years ago, Ritch Wood was looking for a better way to grow plants. As the CEO of global skincare company Nu Skin, he ran into ingredient shortages every winter when fields went dormant―and when he moved grow operations to the equator he ran into water and land shortages, along with a host of quality control issues.

Nu Skin needed reliable, quality ingredients for their skincare products. But farming was too unpredictable an industry. “If there was a way to grow indoors,” he thought, “and be able to do that 24 hours a day, 365 days a year―if we could…


The Founder Series is a monthly column by and about Utah founders and how they got to where they are today. Click here to read past articles in the series.

For a really long time, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I went to junior high and high school in Applegate, Oregon―a small town with 200ish people. I played a lot of sports and was, athletically, a “big fish in a small pond” during my years there. My athletic competition was like eight people out in the country, so part of me delusionally…


Utah’s own Fluidx Medical Technology is shaking up the anti-cancer therapy world with a novel embolic therapy solution, GPX Embolic.

In February 2021, the first human clinical trial results were released, showing successful tumor embolization using Fluidx’s proprietary polymer-based therapeutic.

“It’s essentially a novel polymer-based material that fully blocks blood flow to tumors,” explains Libble Ginster, president and CEO of Fluidx. “Other polymer-based products on the market require a toxic solvent, dimethyl-sulfoxide (or DMSO), to exert their effect, which can cause pain and blood vessel spasm in the patient. …

Utah Business

The magazine for executives and entrepreneurs in Utah.

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