The Wasatch Innovation Network builds Utah’s tech ecosystem
When the Salt Lake Chamber, TechBuzz News and IsoTalent launched the Wasatch Innovation Network (WIN) nearly two years ago, it was on a simple premise: Utah would go further if we built and valued an ecosystem over an “ego-system.”
In Utah, we care about our hive and want to see individuals succeed. This founding purpose radiates throughout the ethos of WIN. Layered within this idea is the belief that supporting a broader ecosystem will foster innovation and competition with a diversity of achievable products, views and outcomes. In short, business leaders should be stewards of the whole, not just their particular part.
WIN is designed to catalyze Utah to even greater heights as an international leader in innovation, technology transfer, advanced manufacturing and consumer products through a supportive network. This network includes established leaders in the community who continue to lift Utah’s economic landscape. Several key initiatives have begun to take root in the community, and progress is being made through the WIN100 network as well as the newly launched WIN50 Consumer.
The concept of WIN100 relies on crowd wisdom to identify the best innovators likely to succeed in building a high-growth company in Utah. This process aims to identify and then give these entrepreneurs the ability to collaborate through networked partnerships and seasoned mentors.
From the outset, WIN100 has aimed to:
- Increase visibility and collaboration in the entrepreneur and innovation space.
- Deepen networks between peers and partner organizations.
- Build entrepreneurial profiles with venture capitalists to support capital linkages.
- Support and sustain a self-directed, innovative community.
- Foster a collaborative culture infused with Utah values in the startup ecosystem.
The WIN100 filtration process is remarkably accurate in predicting who and which companies will be successful disruptors as the new wave of innovations take root. As we prepare to launch the next WIN100, we hope for even greater participation and reach to expand the network and, therefore, the ecosystem of Utah talent.
Beyond the mentoring network, WIN facilitates connections between a large group of startup founders and Utah’s growing venture capital community. Linking capital to entrepreneurs is the lifeblood of any economy and helps spur more economic diversification. As we connect these entrepreneurs to venture capital, the goal is to foster the right mentors, values and community building that has made Utah a powerhouse of talent.
WIN’s partnership with Brandless and Clarke Capital Partners to launch the WIN50 Consumer segment continues to shine. Utah is filled with entrepreneurs who are successfully building fast-growing consumer product brand companies, and WIN50 Consumer is designed to accelerate and build out Utah’s consumer innovation ecosystem.
Through a process similar to WIN100, we identify consumer talent in areas including retail, wellness, food and beverage, and consumer technology. The final group includes some of Utah’s most innovative leaders and booming brands along the Wasatch Front.
If you have a dream or idea, there is no better time or place to build your business. WIN exists to help you be successful. Grow with us!