President’s Message – 2017 Annual Report

By Utah Tech | August 18th, 2018

Utah’s tech industry continues its meteoric growth, having recently achieved national recognition as a “Super Sector.”

Thanks to the total commitment and sacrifice of leaders like you, Utah’s tech industry continues its meteoric growth, having recently achieved national recognition as a “Super Sector.” Your vision and determination have helped us accelerate innovation like never before, and drive our state to become the hottest tech spot in the country. I have been privileged to be engaged in Utah’s remarkable dynamism working closely with state legislators, governors and other key decision makers over the years to ignite Utah’s capital investment and bolster talent development at all K-20 levels. Looking back, I am proud of our accomplishments.

  • We fundamentally changed the early-stage capital structure of the state by creating the $121M Utah Fund of Funds, which has attracted more than 250 venture capital and private equity firms and helped make Utah one of the top 10 most attractive VC states with $170M invested in 19 deals in Q4 2016 alone.
  • As a result, we created a nice problem to have: Finding the talent to fuel the growth of our 6,000 tech companies, representing 10% of Utah’s total payroll. Two of our answers were to create the $40M Stem Action Center, scaling digital learning opportunities, and building the STEM Mentor Exchange app, to match needs of thousands of K-12 teachers with industry resources.
  • We significantly expanded Utah’s STEM talent supply with our Engineering Initiative, which helps power innovation from growing numbers of computing and engineering graduates. Since the Initiative launched in 2001, Utah’s forward-thinking $248M investment, which includes a 1:1 match from university presidents, has greatly increased our talent capacity and impacted thousands of Utah companies.
  • As CEO of UTC for 17+ years, it has been my honor to work closely with hundreds of trustees and thousands of our members. I have loved championing the cause of our world-class tech CEOs and their teams! Through Executive Forums and by unifying the voice of the industry, we continue to reach new milestones and build relationships with our amazing members.

    As I prepare to embark on the next phase of my career, I’m excited for the Executive Committee and Board to hire the next CEO who will be capable of creating UTC 3.0 with your help! I definitely appreciate your stellar support and confidence. When I look back, I’m awed by what we’ve achieved together!

    RICHARD R. NELSON

    President and CEO

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