Utah’s business chops just got some serious recognition.
The Beehive State topped Forbes’ 11th annual Best State for Business list released this week, claiming the spot for the third-straight year. Utah previously held the title between 2010 and 2012 as well, but Virginia broke the Beehive State’s almost decadelong reign in 2013.
Forbes ranked Utah so high for a number of reasons, such as the state's high growth aspects and the number of new businesses that open every year. The state's government is also dedicated to helping new businesses, making the legal aspects of starting a business relatively friendly in Utah.
Most of Utah’s growth aspects come from its tech center, what those familiar with the area call Silicon Slopes.
“The state is home to a handful of 'unicorns' like Domo Technologies, Insidesales.com, Pluralsight and Qualtrics. These privately held firms, which boast VC investments that value the companies at more than $1 billion, can count on a deep pool of young, educated employees from schools like Brigham Young University and the University of Utah,” according to Forbes.
Some of the other buzzing tech companies in the valley include the smart-home fortress Vivint, the organic clothing startup Coalatree, sleep-aid company Purple and Skullcandy, a microphone and headphone company, according to KSL.
But it’s not just the new kids on the block who receive recognition for making the Beehive State such a buzzing tech sector. Old favorites like eBay, Adobe, Oracle and Microsoft have all set up small operations in the state, Forbes reported.
Utah’s reign of dominance in the business market may only continue in the future. Moody’s Analytics believes the state will be the third best in the nation for job growth over the next five years, according to Forbes.
It seems there won’t be any slowing down for Silicon Slopes.
We’ve already seen this begin to play out. The analytics company Womply announced Thursday it will open a Utah office, offering 175 high-paying jobs to the Silicon Slopes area, according to Utah Business.
Womply’s main headquarters is in Silicon Valley, one that’s been ready for growth. The company uses technology and data to make it easier for people to run their small businesses. Womply provides subscribers with analytics and business monitoring to help their small ventures grow.
“Womply is a Silicon Valley company that has identified an important niche market and is experiencing rapid growth,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, to Utah Business. “Womply used a thorough vetting process to consider multiple markets for expansion and ultimately selected Utah for its high-caliber workforce. We congratulate the company on a wise decision.”
Indeed, tech companies have sought to find new talent at the local colleges, including Brigham Young University. As the school’s newspaper The Daily Universe reported, tech companies will often seek out students interested in tech from the school so the companies can start forming new, innovative ideas for the future.
“We are looking for entrepreneurial people,” said Mike Maughan, the head of global insights at Qualtrics, a company based in Provo, to The Daily Universe. “People who work hard, have a high level of integrity and who are innovative and committed to making an impact rather than fitting in as a cog in a machine.”
Similarly, companies such as Domo and NUVI, a social intelligence company, will attend BYU job fairs and recruiting centers to help find highly talented new employees who can help their businesses grow in the future.
“(Job fairs) have been extremely valuable to attract top talent and (we) don’t see this strategy changing,” said Stuart Dean, NUVI’s executive vice president of business development, to The Daily Universe. “As a fairly new company now in just our fourth year, we are building a culture of competitive, goal-oriented employees who are looking for an opportunity. We anticipate BYU will continue to be a significant part of our recruiting strategy in years to come.”