CliffsNotes Version Of MWCN Deal Flow Report & 2016 Innovation That Matters Tour

If you were one of those lazy students who skimmed through CliffsNotes instead of reading entire novels, I got you covered.

If you were one of those lazy students who skimmed through CliffsNotes instead of reading entire novels, I got you covered.

Two reports were recently released with specific ties to the Utah tech and startup community: the MountainWest Capital Network Deal Flow Report, an examination of all the deals publicly reported in Utah in 2015; and the key findings/metrics from the 2016 Innovation That Matters tour, an 8-city tour that included Salt Lake City.

MountainWest Capital Network Deal Flow Report

  • Over 524 Utah-based deals happened in 2015 totaling $9.9 billion, down from the amounts posted in 2014 (544 deals done worth $11.7 billion). To nobody’s surprise, the top-ranking industry was technology/software with a total of 196 deals.
  • **(This section has been updated to correct an error in the report regarding the amount of investments by Kickstart Seed Fund, initially listed as 8. That is not true and we have updated with the actual numbers. Carry on.) **Of investors, Kickstart Seed Fund completed the highest amount of transactions (18) involving Utah-based businesses, with Peak Ventures (13) and the Park City Angels (10) rounding out the top-3.
  • If you thought that Salina had the highest amount of deals in Utah, I have bad news for you: they had zero. Cottonwood Heights is actually the city that did, accumulating 43 deals in the past year and bringing great honor to the 84121 area code. As expected, the vast majority of deals were spread throughout the Provo and Salt Lake areas.
  • Domo raised the largest amount of private placement dollars, checking in at a healthy $360 million. They were followed by Extra Space Storage LP ($139M), Purch ($135M), InsideSales.com ($90M), and Health Catalyst ($70M). As for public offerings, the top-5 broke down accordingly: Extra Space Storage Inc. ($775M), Extra Space Storage LP ($500M), Huntsman International ($319M), inContact ($100M), and Sportsman’s Warehouse Holdings ($77M).

Innovation That Matters

  • “Strong engagement from anchor institutions and established businesses are strengths of the Salt Lake City startup ecosystem, but a lack of cheerleaders to highlight the region’s successes is a major weakness.” Hmmmmmm. Let’s see here….(reads sentence again)….well this seems like a slap in the face to Beehive Startups….(reads sentence again)….yup, definitely a slap in the face to Beehive Startups….(reads sentence again)….so this means I’m probably terrible at my job….(reads sentence again, starts questioning self-worth)….looks like it might be time to choose another profession….(reads sentence again, hands in letter of resignation to Clint Betts)….if only I hadn’t been such a weak cheerleader for Salt Lake City’s startup ecosystem….(sadly trundles home and starts browsing through all the profiles written about Salt Lake City area companies on Beehive Startups)….hey, some of these are slightly funny and informative, seems like a decent way of cheerleading for SLC businesses….(regains self-worth, starts regretting decision to retire as Managing Editor of Beehive Startups, hands in letter of retraction of resignation to Clint Betts)….maybe Beehive Startups should just continue highlighting Utah startups, holding startups events, and at some point cheerleading won’t be a major weakness….(Beehive Startups crushes it for the remainder of 2016, accepts prestigious award for “Strongest Utah-based Startup Cheerleader” from Forbes, celebrates by forming human pyramid out of all employees, is featured in 2017 Innovation That Matters tour as a distinct strength of the SLC community, celebrates by balancing bottles of Sangria atop employees heads).
  • “Lack of openness to new ideas points to a cultural challenge for the region….they noted a distinct lack of openness to novel ways of thinking within the community.” Well that’s unfortunate. This paints SLC as filled with country bumpkins, religious zealots, or a combination of both. It also seems like more of a comment on Utah’s position as an incredibly conservative state, rather than a comment on Salt Lake City being closed to new business ideas and ways of innovating. I can’t imagine an area that is recognized for successful startup companies and innovation being opposed to new business ideas, but maybe I’m wrong.
  • “Salt Lake City’s startup community is gaining momentum, but it hasn’t broken out yet….Salt Lake City is headed in the right direction.” What I’m taking from this is SLC 2016 is the equivalent of Steph Curry 2014 — people are intrigued, there are flashes of brilliance but not consistent enough to elicit anything beyond the occasional mention, but if you look closely, something is there. Taking this one step further means SLC 2018 will light the entire startup world on fire, transform the way innovation occurs, and learn how to celebrate via dance.
  • “The region’s ability to harness its capital base may be its most distinct advantage.” This circles back to the MWCN Deal Flow Report, where a high concentration of deals/dollars showered the SLC-area. If you want to learn more about SLC’s capital base, I encourage you to click on the Deal Flow Report and browse to your heart’s content.
  • “Ed Tech is becoming Salt Lake City’s strongest specialization in the new digital economy.” SLC is quickly rising as a player in the EdTech space, already housing such companies as Instructure, Knod, Degreed, MasteryConnect and Pluralsight in the surrounding area. BoomStartup also recently launched an EdTech accelerator, concentrating on bring even more EdTech companies to SLC. Time to prepare for more growth.

Published 5/20/2016