With thousands of attendees, StartFEST 2022 boosts the community startup vibe of the state of Silicon Slopes
With a cast of characters, supporters, and attendees numbering in the thousands, StartFEST 2022 represented both a blast from the past and a predictor for the future as organizations and individuals from across the state of Silicon Slopes gathered recently in Lehi, Utah to celebrate the startup community of Utah.
StartFEST is Utah’s original startup festival, and it was supported in 2022 by presenting sponsor, American Express, with dozens of additional sponsors and community partners each joining together to help entrepreneurs connect and celebrate Utah's startup ecosystem in the outdoor plaza adjacent to the Silicon Slopes headquarters in Lehi on Friday, June 24.
Although the global COVID-19 pandemic prevented StartFEST from being held in 2020 and 2021, this year’s event had no such limitations, and attendee after attendee noted how wonderful it was to come together again in a public setting to renew relationships and make new connections.
In addition to the party-like festival setting of StartFEST 2022, there were two primary competitions that were central to this year’s StartFEST:
- StartMadness (a pitch competition for business startups looking for seed funding, with presentations made before 10 Utah-based investor groups), and the
- Slopes Serves + Hyperquake Creative Sprint.
For the StartMadness program, 10 finalists were selected from a pool of over 80 applicants:
- Ethik Collective (Provo);
- Geneial (Provo);
- GYVR HUB (Lehi);
- Hallo (Provo);
- Joonto (Lehi);
- Kado (Salt Lake City);
- Kilter (Lehi);
- Savvy Learning (Provo);
- TranzIT Fleet (Salem); and
- Useless Crypto (Orem).
As final preparations for the public portion of StartFEST were wrapping up outside of the Silicon Slopes HQ, each startup noted above was gathered inside the Slopes offices to deliver a brief presentation and answer questions before representatives from these local investor firms:
- Album VC;
- Assure Syndicates;
- Elevation Capital;
- Kickstart Fund;
- Mercato Partners;
- Pelion Venture Partners;
- Peterson Ventures;
- Sorenson Ventures;
- Tamarak Capital; and
- University Growth Fund (UGF).
This year’s StartMadness program represented the first time in history that so many venture capital firms and investor groups had gathered in one setting to collectively see and review pitches from startup organizations.
As such, StartMadness provided a forum for each startup team to hone its investor story and make connections with potential funding sources.
Winners Selected for the Slopes Serves + Hyperquake Creative Sprint Program
The Slopes Serves + Hyperquake Creative Sprint was an innovative program designed as a community-focused initiative to help serve Utah's entrepreneurs by bringing the story of their vision to life.
This unique new program provided Utah-based startups the chance to receive at no cost professional creative services from Hyperquake, as well as support in crafting their brand's strategy, story, and execution.
For additional information, please see “Hyperquake and Slopes Serves Announce Winners For Their Creative Sprint Giveaway.”
Special Thanks Extended to the Sponsors and Community Partners of StartFEST 2022
Silicon Slopes extends its deep thanks for American Express as the presenting sponsor of StartFEST 2022.
It also expresses its thanks to the dozens of other sponsoring organizations and community partners who helped make StartFEST 2022 a great success. (To see a list of these sponsors and community partners, please visit the StartFEST homepage.)
For individuals interested in participating in StartFEST 2023, please sign-up for notifications here.