Utah Economy Rocks On; Business Thrives

The Utah economy rocks on in 2015 following one of the biggest economic years ever. In 2014, Utah continually ranked as one of the best places to conduct business, unemployment hit its lowest rate in years, nearly $1 billion in venture capital investment flowed into the state, Utah companies began to find it difficult to recruit enough people they needed and some of the biggest executive names in the country permanently relocated to the state. for example, recently hired veteran executives from Salesforce, eBay, Citrix and McAfee. Just this month, the company announced Jim Steele, former chief customer officer at Salesforce, joined the company as the new president of worldwide sales and chief customer officer, while Brent Peters, former chief technology officer at eBay Enterprise, joined as senior vice president of engineering. Steel and Peters joined Mick Hollison, CMO, formerly of Citrix, and Todd Riesterer, senior vice president of talent acceleration, formerly of McAfee, who also relocated to Utah.

Jim Steele

Jim Steele

“These are some of the most strategic and widely-admired executives in the technology industry today, and their experience will provide an invaluable contribution to Utah and to the next phase of our company’s expansion into global enterprise markets,” said Dave Elkington, CEO and founder.

Top-notch businesses and recruits relocating to Utah were only one part of the story. 2014 was one of the largest venture capital investment years in Utah history as Provo-Orem and Salt Lake City found themselves in the top-20 U.S. VC funded cities with $463 million and $275 million respectively for a total of more than $737 million. Utah companies including Domo, Qualtrics,, Pluralsight (which each closed rounds over $100 million), Vivint, AtTask, and others participated.

“It’s safe to say Utah has been discovered,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “We’re [Utah] getting accolades for our business climate, unemployment and job growth. As the world finds out about Utah, these investors are wanting a piece of the action and investing in some of our great companies.”

“We’re fortunate to live and work in one of the hottest tech centers in the country,” said Elkington. “The technology development going on here hasn’t been seen since the early days of Silicon Valley.”

The funding rounds help companies hire more people at a faster rate than would normally be possible in areas such as research and development, marketing and operations.

Utah’s unemployment rate is a U.S. leading 3.6 percent, and with Utah companies hiring at all levels of the spectrum it can be difficult to find all the talent needed to fill all the positions available. There are opportunities for newly graduated college students who want entry-level jobs with exciting career paths, mid-managers, executives, PhDs and scientists specializing in mathematics, computer science, engineering and others.

According to Forbes, all of these factors combine to make Utah the best state in the U.S. to conduct business.

Many companies along the Wasatch Front are experiencing great success and growth similar to In addition to raising more than $100 million this year, doubled its customer base to more than 2,000 with the likes of Microsoft, Groupon and Marketo; exceeded more than 100 percent annual revenue growth for the fourth year in a row; and opened additional offices in Salt Lake City and Virginia.

“The rest of the country is taking notice of our success here in Utah,” said Elkington. “That’s why we are able to recruit great talent to our company and to the state. This is only the beginning of great things to come for business here in Utah.”

Author: A. Cory Maloy |