Utah, which had previous ranked as 44th in entrepreneurial activity, is now ranked at 23rd. The state’s jump is making headlines because it’s the biggest jump in ranking from the past year. Researcher with the University of Nebraska’s Bureau of Business Research compared various factors, including business growth and number of patents. Craig Bott, who heads up Growth Utah Ventures, believes part of the reason is because funding sources are continuing to grow in the Beehive state. Many of these new funding sources are not traditional banks.
“We have many more organized ‘angel groups’, private individuals who are investing their own dollars in companies of their choice,” said Bott. “We’ve got some see funds that have been established through the public sector, and through some universities, that have been making a difference.”
Grow Utah Ventures, Bott’s non-profit company, has helped launch 85 companies in the state through a competition for entrepreneurs. The competition, called “Concept to Company”, usually receives 150 or more applications for mentoring and start-up capital each year. Some of the proposals Bott has seen are for things like energy companies, medical devices, mobile apps, and more.
The top five states for entrepreneurial activity include: California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and North Dakota.