April 1, 2012

Cover Story

Student 25

The Rules To be eligible for Student 25 consideration, a company must:...Read More

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Utah’s Legacy of Innovation Continues

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Utah’s Legacy of Innovation Continues

Sarah Ryther Francom

April 1, 2012

Utah has a long and storied legacy of innovation, forged by industry leaders such as Alan Ashton and Bruce Bastian, co-founders of WordPerfect; Ray Noorda, co-founder of Novell; and Edwin Catmull, president of Pixar Animation Studios. Today that legacy continues, with companies like Omniture, Fusion-io and IM Flash developing innovative tools and processes, and paving the way for tomorrow’s generation of leaders.

In this issue of Utah Business, we are proud to present two features that showcase the state’s continuing spirit of innovation. In our cover story, we present the Student 25, a program that honors 25 young entrepreneurs who manage to juggle the demands of a full-time education with running a successful business. These smart and ambitious student entrepreneurs are already making a difference in Utah and are quickly on their way to becoming tomorrow’s major players. We applaud their accomplishments. Read their stories beginning on page 52.

Our second feature showcases the latest and greatest homegrown inventions in the 2012 Utah Innovation Awards. Presented by Stoel Rives LLP and the Utah Technology Council, this annual awards program celebrates the state’s top innovations in eight categories ranging from biotech to computer hardware to consumer products. Read about each company’s groundbreaking creations beginning on page 60. We think you’ll agree that the finalists and their innovations are another testament of the state’s robust inventive community.

This issue also includes an in-depth look at USTAR. Launched in 2006 with the ultimate goal to create 422 companies and 123,000 new jobs by 2036, read what this innovative program has accomplished so far and where it’s headed. You’ll find that article on page 74.

Utah’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit remains strong as evidenced by the state’s many accolades and accomplishments. The University of Utah continues to lead the nation at launching more startup companies based on faculty research than any other university, outranking the likes of MIT, Columbia, Cornell and other major research institutions.

The state’s record of entrepreneurialism is further solidified by the number of patents filed each year; according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Utah consistently ranks as one of the top patent-producing states per capita.

And Utah’s tech industry is growing. According to UTC’s CEO Richard Nelson, the industry has grown from a few hundred companies to nearly 6,000 in recent years. The UTC also reports that some technology sectors, such as information services, have experienced outstanding growth of more than 40 percent.

These impressive accolades and figures, coupled with the state’s proven innovative spirit and its growing funding and startup infrastructure, demonstrate that Utah’s innovative and entrepreneurial legacy is still a story in the making.

From the Editor

Sarah Ryther Francom

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