When people talk about startups, images of Silicon Valley tech playgrounds often come to mind. However, there’s one state that doesn’t usually get brought up in tech discussions but has established itself as an economic powerhouse nonetheless – Utah.
When Brookings Institution fellow Mark Muro did a study on super sectors in the USA, he was surprised to find Utah’s three cities of Ogden, Provo and Salt Lake City making a mark in the entrepreneurial scene. And it’s not just startups either; a big name like Adobe calls Utah its home.
So how has Utah achieved all of this while slipping under the radar? Here are a few reasons Utah is actually “The Next Silicon Valley.”
Muro and his team found something that super sector states have in common: local colleges that produced a lot of S.T.E.M. graduates. Utah has many such graduates. Utah’s most notable S.T.E.M. university is Brigham Young University.
Unlike a lot of states, Utah has a robust venture capital industry, and several startups have successfully raised money there. This includes Pluralsight, which has raised $135 million in funding. For rising businesses looking for smaller amounts of money, getting SBA loans in Ogden, Provo and Salt Lake City from companies like Wasatch Peaks Credit Union is much easier than it is in other places.
3. Government Support
There are strong ties between the local government and the economic sector, and the state has made running a business in general very easy to do. Utah entrepreneurs can enjoy a variety of services such as the government’s Business Resource Center, OneStop Business Registration, and laws that are very easy to follow.
Utah has slipped under the radar but is doing an excellent job of revitalizing the economic sector and creating jobs by making it easier for small businesses to set up shop. If you’re based in Utah, and you’ve been wanting to start a business, count yourself lucky because you’re in the right place! And if you’re not, you could always relocate!