Conferences like this are one of the ways we find interesting companies.

As human beings, we are all capable of producing clear and unique thoughts on a daily basis. In the entrepreneurial world, the vast majority have fantastic ideas — the problem is taking those thoughts and expanding them from infancy into something special. So, if we assume that all people are operating on the same mental plane, what separates the successful entrepreneur from the unsuccessful? Contacts.

If you’re an entrepreneur, meeting people is key — everyone has good ideas, but finding the right people to expand, invest, and sharpen those ideas is ultimately the problem. If only Utah had a way of bringing people together in a way that benefits all parties — oh wait, they do.

The Utah Data & Analytics Summit is being held on January 22 with entrepreneurs, established companies, and investors of all shapes and sizes coming together at the eBay Auditorium in Draper. The event, organized by Utah Capital, offers participants what they ultimately crave, the chance to meet and mingle with interesting people.

“I think people see Utah as a place that can’t be ignored anymore, that there are some real companies growing here,” Utah Capital’s Managing Director Bret Jepsen told Beehive Startups in a recent interview. “It’s (the Utah Data & Analytics Summit) definitely going to be a mindshare of data and analytics, but at the end of the day, it really needs to be a connecting event for people and whatever their needs may be.”

Don’t be the entrepreneur — down on his/her luck, bruised and bloodied by constant rejection from your peers and investors — that turtles up and sucumbs to the unfairness of life. Pick yourself up off the ground, dust off your clothes, and go listen to advice, encouragement, and wisdom from some of the smartest business minds.

Mark Siegel, Managing Director of Menlo Ventures and panel participant at the Data & Analytics Summit, is one of these minds and he understands the value currently available in the maturing Utah startup scene.

“Utah now has a number of successful companies and having successful, venture-funded companies gives you this community of entrepreneurs, technology people, marketing people, sales people, who then populate the next generation of startups,” Siegel told Beehive Startups. “It takes a couple of generations where you have people succeed, you have people fail, then there’s a wisdom built up in that entrepreneurial community that makes the next generation of companies more likely to succeed. And I really feel like there are many more interesting companies in Utah than there has been in the past.”

If you’re looking for a chance to get noticed, to create useful contacts, even if you’re just looking for a place to hang out and heckle knowledgeable people, then give the Data & Analytics Summit a chance. Utah’s startup scene is real, people, and it’s here to stay. Any entrepreneur looking to go big-time should take advantage of the many available opportunities. This is one of them.

“Conferences like this are one of the ways we find interesting companies. As long as it’s an area we’re interested in, which in this case it very much is, this is just an efficient way to see a lot of companies,” Siegel said. “And for entrepreneurs it’s a good way to make initial contact with an investor.”

For any interested parties, register for free tickets via this link.

Published 1/15/2015