Nine years ago, Izeni launched. Today, it becomes Start Studio.
If you attend Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in January, this is what greeted you:
Hmmm, you must have thought as you scanned the list, what a great list of Utah companies….Pluralsight…Domo…Sorenson Media…START STUDIO?!?!? WHO IS THIS AND WHY HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF THEM? WHO ARE THEY?!?!? TELL ME THIS SECOND, I DEMAND IT!
First of all, relax. Second, you are probably familiar with Start Studio, you just knew them by a different name: Izeni. That’s correct, the artist formerly known as Izeni is now Start Studio and I spoke with CEO Jordan Gunderson (who also happens to work in the same office as me) to get the inside scoop. In the interest of full disclosure, Jordan and I used to play guitar together in a warehouse in Payson — keep that in mind as you read.
Let’s get biblical and trace a little lineage: Izeni was started nine years ago by Jordan and Gabe Gunderson. At the time, the plan was to install Izeni as a parent company that no one would know the name of — instead, both brothers spent almost a decade getting Izeni firmly entrenched as one of Utah’s top dev shops. And while people became familiar with the name Izeni, misspellings and mispronunciations were endless.
Three and half years ago, Beehive Startups was launched out of Izeni. I’ll let founder Clint Betts explain the connection:
Beehive Startups would not exist without Gabe and Jordan Gunderson. Every meaningful, positive thing Beehive has done for Utah’s startup and tech community over the past three and a half years can be credited back to the monumental effort and dedication of the two most fearless, driven, humble, hard-working entrepreneurs I’ve ever met.
More recently, Izeni and Beehive launched a brand called Start Studio. The idea was to create an early-stage startup studio that works with founders to help develop new products and launch their company. Again, I’ll let Betts explain:
Start Studio is an answer to a question we’ve been asking ourselves for years. What if we could help extraordinarily talented entrepreneurs get off to a better start?
This leads to today’s rebrand announcement. At the origin of Izeni, Jordan had always envisioned the company turning into an all-encompassing startup studio, a place that could spin out multiple startups per year. When the Izeni team began exploring options for a rebrand, one option just made sense — proceed as Start Studio, the brand they had helped launch two years ago.
“A startup studio as a concept is an engine that creates startups,” said Jordan. “We want to do that for our customers and ourselves. Start Studio is more reflective of what we’ve wanted to do and the kind of company we are transitioning into. It reflects the focus we have on startups: we are a place you come to start your business.”
To be clear, Start Studio will continue doing client work but with plans to explore other untapped areas. A large part of that includes a new concentration on internal projects, and a goal of developing companies in house. This means open access to a wide variety of entrepreneurial skills, and that’s exactly what Start Studio plans on having.
“Start Studio will offer all of the same services that Izeni offered, plus we’re adding others — video, marketing, finance, and more,” said Jordan. “Our goal is to offer everything a startup would need to launch their business.”
So to recap, Izeni begat Beehive Startups, which helped beget
Start Studio, which became the name and vision Izeni will use moving
forward. So go home and tell your kids, tell your friends, tell your spouse: Izeni is dead. Long live Start Studio!