This week the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit took place in Salt Lake City bringing together technology entrepreneurs from Utah and beyond.
At the Salt Palace convention center, several thousand software engineers, venture capitalists and aspiring techies converged to listen to CEOs from Utah and Silicon Valley companies about the business of tech.
Josh James is the CEO of Domo, a data analytics company based in American Fork. He helped organize the summit.
"Everyone knows we've got good skiing. Everyone knows that there’s great outdoor lifestyle. Most people know that it’s much more affordable. They don’t know that there’s a vibrant tech community," James says.
James says they modeled the summit after Austin’s South by Southwest. He described it as a way to show people in the industry what’s happening in Utah and stimulate the kind of exchange of ideas that are more common in California.
"You live in Silicon Valley and your neighbor is working for Facebook. Your kindergarten teacher for your kid – her husband, or his wife, or his husband very well may be working at Twitter. That just doesn’t happen here," he says.
With Utah companies like Pluralsight, Qualtrics and Ancestry.com, and local offices for Adobe and eBay, Utah is on a path to a critical mass of companies.
"That cross breading and being able to go and learn from each other is extremely important," James says.
James says in this first year of the summit 5,000 visitors registered within just a few weeks of them putting it together, proof of the local industry’s momentum.