CES 2020: Videos ONLY!!!

Oh wow, what a journey the 2nd week of January. CES 2020 started and ended with a bang. A conference that lasts 4 straight days, takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada, and brings in more than 170K participants, from 160+ countries, displaying 4,400+ exhibits/booths.

This is the 4th time I have attended in a row and it never gets old. Here are 5 of the top themes I saw across the board:

1. Robotic dogs/machines/toys to help in whatever aspect a human needs or wants

2. Autonomous driving, including a hover aircraft that looked sort of like a helicopter

3. Sensors for health & sports

4. Smart appliances to make your home that much cooler

5. Connectivity between everything we touch (computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, lights, cameras, stoves, refrigerators, and so much more)

Please enjoy the videos below!

CES 2020: Pictures ONLY!!!

Oh wow, what a journey the 2nd week of January. CES 2020 started and ended with a bang. A conference that lasts 4 straight days, takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada, and brings in more than 170K participants, from 160+ countries, displaying 4,400+ exhibits/booths.

This is the 4th time I have attended in a row and it never gets old. Here are 5 of the top themes I saw across the board:

1. Robotic dogs/machines/toys to help in whatever aspect a human needs or wants

2. Autonomous driving, including a hover aircraft that looked sort of like a helicopter

3. Sensors for health & sports

4. Smart appliances to make your home that much cooler

5. Connectivity between everything we touch (computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, lights, cameras, stoves, refrigerators, and so much more)

Please enjoy the pictures below!

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CES 2019 #CESReady (Videos ONLY)

It’s a three-peat for me! Wow, it feels amazing to join CES once again this new year. CES stands for Consumer Electronics Show and occurs in January each year. Please enjoy the below videos. They will show you what occurs at the event more than words can describe here.

Any questions or thoughts? Please reach out on LinkedIn (Xander Ricketts) or Facebook (XFactorPhotographyAZ).

CES 2019 #CESReady (Pictures ONLY)

It’s a three-peat for me! Wow, it feels amazing to join CES once again this new year. CES stands for Consumer Electronics Show and occurs in January each year. Please enjoy the below pictures. They will explain what occurs at the show more than words can describe here.

Any questions or thoughts? Please reach out on LinkedIn (Alexander Ricketts) or Facebook (X-Man Az).

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CES 2018: Full Review

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And so it all comes to a sad end. CES 2018 has officially ended and I cannot wait until next year (check out the videos and photos below).

Some of the biggest hits were:

1. Robot dogs– pet it, feed it, hug it, pick it up. Do as you wish, as this toy is as dog-like as they come. One little note…it has creepy eyes! (check out the video of it below)

2. Fitness trackers– there were compression socks with monitors to diagnose blood pressure, heart beat, etc. Also, shoes and insoles had monitors on them to help use statistics to help individuals change daily habits.

3. MicroLED screens– these bright LEDs allowed for an amazing picture, in what was titled “The Wall” in the Samsung booth (check out the video if it below)

4. 8K screens– double the amount of pixels as a 4K television. However, can an average consumer tell the difference between a 4K and a 8K? My assumption is no. Therefore, although this is a “wow” product, the reality is that this won’t go to market any time soon…especially at the current price point (tens of thousands of dollars).

5. Robot carriers– these help move trash cans, contaminated waste buckets, boxes, and anything else you need moving. Say goodbye to floor workers? Absolutely! I see this as a viable solution to decreasing a company’s SG&A line, decreasing on-site injuries and disasters, and increasing efficiency in the workplace. Plausible locations might take place at retail and manufacturing sites. (check out video of it below)

6. AR glasses– AR stands for augmented reality. Instead of VR, where the individual is fully immersed in a “new” world, AR allows the current “real” world to be seen, with data and information overlayed via smart glasses. This is a strong product in the manufacturing, health (think surgeries), and construction fields.

7. Smart home everything!- yes, there were hundreds of connected devices, all vying for the title of biggest, badest tech device that pairs with Google Home or Amazon Alexa. These included Wi-Fi light bulbs, smart ACs, smart sprinkler systems, smart shower heads, smart refrigerators, and smart stoves (to name a few). Who will be the next big player to integrate the majority of devices used in homes today? My take would be Google.

8. Robots in general– these robots can hang around the home and help protect those inside. Whether it be if someone is seriously injured and the ambulance needs to be called, or if a person wants to Skype her/his grandchildren in another state. Whatever it may be, these robots are the future and are going to help our generation live longer and feel more comfortable on a daily basis. Yes, these are creepy as well!

9. Autonomous driving– driving without the help of a human is Level 5. Every car company is competing vigorously to be the first-to-market for Level 5. Some of the big players include Intel (yay!), Nvidia, BMW, Nissan, Toyota, and Mercedes Benz. One of the most unique technologies in this space is LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). LIDAR uses light laser pulses to gauge how far away objects are from one another.

10. Smart security– companies like Vivint, Ring, ADT, and others are implementing fingerprint detection, 2-way cameras, sirens, and motion and light detectors in order to help secure homes even more. The benefit of some of the smaller companies like Ring is that these devices can be set up with little to no effort, and don’t require a handsome amount of upfront cash to get started. Also, the consumer can cancel services at any time, without penalties.

11. All-in-One devices– I saw a lot of features that were included within all-in-one products. For example, instead of a simple speaker, the product included a bluetooth speaker, radio, night light, weather station, and accepted voice activated commands. The reason for this consolidation of features is to reduce the amount of products that one consumer needs. These solve the problems of clutter and one device not being able to connect with other devices.

Here are the statistics from this year’s massive event:

*As a side note, CES first kicked off in June of 1967, with 250 exhibitors & 17,500 attendees in NYC*

  • This year there was more than 3,900 exhibitors
  • 2.75M net sq ft of exhibit space
  • Largest show floor in CES’ 51 yr history
  • 860,732 tweets about CES 2018
  • 450,554 uses of the #CES2018 hashtag
  • Eureka Park presented more than 900 startups from across the world
  • 900 speakers, including 240 women, across some 200 conference sessions

CES 2018: What to Expect from LV

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CES is just around the corner. It takes place from Jan 9 – 12. My father and I will be attending the 11th & 12th. I cannot wait to take the drive up to LV!

I am now an experienced “CES-er”, having attended this large event the past 2 consecutive years.

Sony will be the biggest surprise when it comes to smartphones during the conference. The Japanese firm is expected to launch several new phones in 2018.

Some of the largest players are Google, Samsung, LG, and Sony.

Last year, Samsung had Virtual Reality “rides” that participants could join in on. These rides flipped, turned, and spun participants in every direction imaginable. It will be interesting to see what Samsung has in store this year. I believe it will be their rumored Galaxy X, which can bend and fold.

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Google might feature products such as the Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL phones, Google Home Mini smart speaker, Google PixelBook, and Daydream View VR headset. They have reserved the outdoor Central Plaza of the LVCC (Las Vegas Convention Center), plus 8 suites at the Aria hotel.

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Sony will most likely reveal it’s new headphones, 4K projectors, Bravia TVs, and Xperia smartphones.

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LG will be displaying its lineup of smart TVs, with OLED and FHD technology. Their 88in 8K OLED TV might pop-in with an amazing resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels (record breaker for sure). The LG G7 smartphone and ThinQ speaker could take launch at this year’s conference as well.

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This year, the conference will feature smart fridges, 8K televisions, self-driving cars, VR (Virtual Reality), 5G, and AI (Artificial Intelligence).

How many of you will be attending this year’s CES?

 

Fun Fact of the Day: The Ever-Dying iPhone Battery

Fun fact of the day:

This one is for all of you Apple (and other “smart” phone) lovers. I recently took a trip into the much-illuminated Apple store to get my brand new battery checked out (and by recent I mean last night, lol). These are the findings associated with prolonging your tiny battery (in terms of mAh, of course):

1. Do not constantly plug in your phone throughout the day. Allow your battery to fully cycle. Let it reach 0%, then charge it thoroughly to 100%.

2. Do not use your phone while it is charging. This equates to double the work for the phone by having it perform output and input tasks simultaneously.

3. Do not put your Night Shift on for long. This actually sucks up more battery than your normal screen brightness. (Settings–>Display & Brightness–>Night Shift–>Choose time range)

4. Turn off most of your location-finding apps; they do not truly need to know your location often, or ever. (Settings–>Privacy–>Location Services–>Choose which apps you would like to have your location…and how often)

5. Turn off most of your Background Refresh on apps; they do not truly need to be refreshed every second. (Settings–>General–>Background App Refresh–>Choose which apps you would like to have refreshed)

6. Make sure your latest iOS is updated

7. Make sure all of your apps are downloaded to their latest updates

Are you going to change your habits? I know I will because a new battery cost was $85 w/ tax, out the door. [Tr]ump change, right?

Fun Fact of the Day: Foxconn Dominates

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Fun fact of the day:

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., trading as Foxconn Technology Group, is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company headquartered in Tucheng, New Taipei, Republic of China.

Foxconn is the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer & the 4th-largest info tech co by revenue. The company is the largest private employer in China and 1 of the largest employers worldwide. Its founder and chairman is Terry Gou.

This massive company produces 2/3 of the world’s iPads.

How many of you own an iPad?

Fun Fact of the Day: iPhone X Set to Launch in November 2017

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Fun fact of the day:

The *NEW* iPhone X will be available for pre-order on Oct. 27 and will ship on Nov. 3. The price is only $999.

It no longer has a home button and instead has a dedicated Siri button on the right side. On the top of the phone there is an IR camera, which allows the phone to recognize your face completely in the dark.

The screen resolution is OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode), the nicest screen to be put on an apple product to date. The phone can be emerged in 3 ft of water for 30 minutes. Don’t try and do 31 minutes…might not be a good outcome.

Instead of one swipe to get to your notifications, now if you swipe down from the top-left, you get notifications, and down from the top-right, you get the control center.

Will you buy this new phone in November?

CES2017: Las Vegas, NV

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This year was CES’ 50th anniversary. It had record breaking numbers. I had the pleasure to attend last year’s event and it was so exhilarating (thank you brother). Here are some statistics:

  1. 3,800+ Exhibiting Companies
  2. 2.6+ Million Net Sq Ft
  3. 175,000+ Attendees
  4. 55,000+ International Attendees
  5. 6,500 Media
  6. World’s Largest Innovation Event

Some of the key highlights encompassed 5G, VR, AR, autonomous driving, Ultra-ultra high-definition TVs (yes, I just made that up), and drones. Sony, Samsung, and LG showed off their baddest TVs. Whether it was 8K, QLED, or OLED. Mass production of these resolution types are within 5 years. So if you didn’t buy that 4K TV this Black Friday, don’t worry, they will be even cheaper in the next 2 years.

Samsung tried to better their name by having a booth solely displayed as “GALAXY.” Since their debacle with the Galaxy Note, reputation has been ruined. This booth included two “rides,” where users could put on a VR headset and twist and turn in the air with a machine. Believe it or not, I was not willing to wait in line to experience this…I was at CES, not Disney Land!

LG had a super awesome clothes steamer DIY system for home use. Just put your suit pants, shirt, and coat in this electric machine, and it will clean your clothes like you took them to the dry cleaners.

LG also had refrigerators that had full-size screens on the front in order to see what food you currently have in the fridge. These screens can tell you your shopping list, or tell you that ice is out and the water filter needs to be changed. I believe some day that all refrigerators will have touch screen fronts to allow users to have more visibility into what they have in their fridge. Eventually, these devices will talk with their owner and help them cook–giving them directions and ingredients to include in meals.

BMW, Nvidia, Intel, and others all displayed self-driving vehicles. BMW’s booth was outside so that driver’s could wait in line and give their cars a test drive. I predict self-driving vehicles will become available to purchase by 2020. The company in the forefront will be Tesla (because of their competitive advantage of first to market with full-blown electric vehicles).

An interesting surprise of companies was American Greetings. They allowed CES-ers to write cards to their friends, loved ones, or peers and send it to this special person, for FREE! Their booth was also outside. They were also making digital cards that included hand-drawn sketches on the computer.

If you could not attend this year, try going down/up next year. If your company does not subsidize your badge entry, it is only $100 to get in for 4 days of awesomeness! Next year’s event will occur Jan 9-12.

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New 10″ HP Pavilion Wave Desktop

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With Laptops, 2-1’s, netbooks, and notebooks all decreasing in size, it is of no wonder now to see a tiny 10″ desktop. Yes, you heard me correctly…10″!

It will be available to the public at the end of Sept 2016, for a measly $550.

HP shoved into the device up to 64GB of RAM, an Intel 6th-Gen chip (YAY! :)), and 2TB of Hard Drive (or 1TB if you want it SSD).

Check out the article below if you want more information.

https://www.engadget.com/2016/09/01/hp-pavilion-wave/

Universal Serial Bus: Different Options

There are many types of USB (Universal Serial Bus). The picture below displays most of them. The most common, which we are all familiar with, is Type-A. This is a large port.

One of the newest is Type-C. This can be inserted into a port either way (thank goodness!). The MacBook was the first computer to use this type. It is about 1/3 the size of Type-A.

There are also different versions of the USB. USB started with 1.0, worked its way up to 2.0, and is now on 3.0. USB 3.0 allows for a faster speed of transfer.

Soon, devices everywhere will be using Type-C (which has the capability to both charge and connect your device to another device).

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https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/universal-serial-bus-different-options-alexander-ricketts?published=u

10th Annual Governor’s Utah Economic Summit 2016

I had the incredible experience of attending the Economic Summit at the Grand America Hotel in downtown SLC, Utah. I sat in on a panel, representing Simply Mac, Steals.com, and Jamberry Nails. All entrepreneurs start with a problem they want to solve. Eventually they create a solution out of these problems.

It is awesome to see how far Utah has come in the entrepreneur space, and what companies have come to fruition because of the top-talent pool in the Valley. Utah’s economy is booming, housing prices are rising, labor is cheap, and the mountains are 20 minutes away. Who wouldn’t want to start a company here?

And yes, that is my classmate and I “riding” in a Tesla!

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Intel’s New Acquisition

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Intel recently acquired Yogitech, a company that helps reduce accidents and collisions in self-driving cars or IoT devices. This is a huge step for Intel in their quest to become the biggest and baddest company in the IoT space. Expect many more acquisitions to come within the next 5 to 10 years, specifically IoT companies.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3052252/internet-of-things/intel-eyes-safety-of-self-driving-cars-robots-with-iot-acquisition.html

 

2016 CES Recap

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held each year in Las Vegas, Nevada, set a ton of records in 2016. It had 2.47 million square feet of show-floor exhibits. Last year, this number was only 2.2 million. The attendance hit a record 176,000 people, albeit it was capped. Automotive electronics had 200,000 square feet, up 25% from 2015. 3D printing had 24,000 square feet, up 31% from 2015.

The number of emerging innovators went from 375 to 500 in 2016. From January 5 through the 9, there were 15.2 million billion CES social-media impressions.

My brother, cofounder and current CTO of truDigital, and I were there for two days and it was an amazing experience. Check out the pictures below.

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http://lasvegassun.com/vegasdeluxe/2016/jan/11/2016-ces-wrap-real-swingers-david-bowie-million-do/

UPS, FedEx And The Holiday Season Risks

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The e-commerce industry has really picked up in the past few years. With increasing internet connectivity and many new companies entering the space, online sales are at an all-time high. In 2013, almost 41% of the world’s internet users purchased products online. The size of the market is increasing every year in double digits and could continue to do so for the foreseeable future. To put this into perspective, the current size of the e-commerce industry is $1.6 trillion (which represents growth of about 20.4% year-over-year) and accounts for only 6.6% of total retail sales worldwide ($24 trillion). With the emergence of cost-effective smartphones, and cheaper, more widespread internet access, the potential for growth in the sector remains immense.

A positive effect of the e-commerce boom is that ancillary industries such as the courier services and delivery sectors, should see corresponding growth. Package volumes could increase consistently year-over-year, especially during the holiday season spanning November through December. Intuitively, higher package volumes should mean higher revenues for courier companies such as FedEx and UPS . However, this may not necessarily be true if delivery companies fail to cope with heavy increases in volumes, which could result in major setbacks. Accordingly, while the holiday season represents a big opportunity for the courier companies, it also represents a substantial risk.

In 2013, UPS and FedEx underestimated the volumes to be expected during the holiday season, and as a result both companies were somewhat underprepared. Heavy snowfall and harsh winter conditions slowed them down further. Since then, both companies have carried out a wide variety of changes across the board. The companies have invested heavily in technology to increase delivery efficiency, while upgrading their sorting facilities. Several hubs across the globe have been renovated to ensure the highest productivity. UPS and FedEx have also decided to hire a larger number of seasonal workers – drivers, sorters and other support positions – during peak periods to enable smooth functioning.

In response to these challenges, UPS has invested heavily in its technology. The company recently acquired Chicago-based Coyote Logistics for $1.8 billion. Coyote Logistics will provide UPS with the technology to ensure that there are no empty spaces on the company’s delivery trucks. This will allow the space on trucks to be utilized in the most efficient manner. The company has also increased the number of trucks equipped with the ORION technology in the U.S. ORION helps drivers find the fastest and most fuel-efficient ways to deliver packages. Almost 70% of the company’s trucks in the U.S. are now equipped with the technology. Apart from this, UPS has also invested heavily in Europe, increasing the number of trucks available while upgrading its sorting and automation facilities.

Earlier in the year, both FedEx and UPS introduced dimensional weight pricing, which essentially takes into account both weight and volume (length, breadth and height) of a package. This practice ensures that customers optimize their packaging in an attempt to save costs. Recently, UPS also decided to introduce a surcharge on large packages. Both changes in pricing policies should allow trucks to be filled to their highest capacities, allowing larger volumes to be moved.

A problem that both companies are facing is the difficulty in predicting e-commerce trends during the holiday season. In Q4 2014, UPS invested more than was required for the period, which had an impact on the company’s financials. While both companies stand to benefit greatly from the increased volumes, FedEx and UPS need to find the right balance to be able to make the most of the e-commerce boom.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2015/11/20/ups-fedex-and-the-holiday-season-risks/?utm_source=followingweekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20151123

6 Reasons Utah Is Taking the Tech World by Storm

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There are many areas in America–San Francisco, Boulder, Austin, New York, Washington DC–that are widely-known as hotbeds for technology and innovation. Utah isn’t as widely-recognized, but is quickly rising up the ranks as a focal point for tech and startups.

Here are some of the reasons the Beehive State is taking the tech world by storm:

1. Environment

In four of the last five years, Utah has been ranked by Forbes as the best state for business in America. There are many contributing factors–large talent pool, low cost of living, technology hub, job growth, favorable economic climate–and the time ahead is just as bright, with Forbes projecting Utah to continue as a pro-business powerhouse into the foreseeable future.

2. Quality Over Quantity

Utah is never going to lead the nation in quantity of venture-backed tech startups, that’s Silicon Valley’s area of expertise and it’s not changing anytime soon. Where Utah’s tech startups are making noise is in the quality of venture-backed deals, specifically the amount of money raised on a per-deal basis. 2014 saw two Utah hotbeds–the Provo-Orem area ($51.3M) and the Salt Lake-Ogden area ($17.2M)–rank in the top three nationally for dollar-per-deal average. Quality over quantity might be an overused statement, but it rings true here.

3. Homegrown Talent

While Utah has shown a propensity for attracting top out-of-staters, it’s the homegrown talent that really speaks to a bright future in the Beehive State. Nearly all of Utah’s biggest success stories, from Pluralsight to Vivint to InsideSales, follow similar paths–native Utahns starting a company, keeping it headquartered in Utah, and slowly but surely building an empire. And with two of the nation’s leading collegiate entrepreneur programs–The Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at BYU and The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at University of Utah–continually feeding the talent pool, Utah can rest assured that even as times change, the talent remains the same.

4. Mormon Missionaries

I know this might sound a bit out of the norm, but think about it. Sending 18-19 year old guys & gals all over the world to teach anyone they come in contact with about religion!?! That is one of the hardest ‘sales’ job anyone can have. I am biased, as I served my mission in southern Brazil, learned to speak Portuguese, loved the Brazilian people, and essentially matured to become a fairly responsible adult.Mormon missions are completely voluntary, to be exact, you have to pay your own way to go. I saved up my entire childhood in order to pay for the 2 years abroad. But the reason I bring it up here, is because it made me 10x better at my interpersonal communication…aka sales skills.

Utah is full of bi-lingual, returned missionaries, who know how to work incredibly hard (you may have seen the missionaries knocking on doors in your neighborhood), they have high integrity, and they know how to communicate with people. This is why companies like Oracle, Thumbtack, EA Sports, Microsoft, Adobe, and so many more companies are building offices in Utah to take advantage of not only lower cost employees (it’s cheap to live in Utah), but also for the quality and experience of the talent pool.

5. Events, Events, Events.

There are numerous weekly events–Startup Grind, Startup Conversation Series, One Million Cups, Startup Weekend–designed to highlight the rising tide of the Utah tech and startup scene. A number of Utah startup heavyweights, including Domo, Instructure, and Qualtrics, have created multiple-day events to let others learn what it takes to create a successful business. There is even StartFEST, Utah’s largest grassroots startup festival that encompasses an entire week (Aug. 31-Sept. 5) in downtown Provo and features 100 speakers, events, workshops, and concerts. Just like there can’t be smoke without fire, there can’t be successful startup events without a successful startup community.

6. Utah Venture Capital

CB Insights wrote in October 2014: Don’t Sleep on Utah. With Funding Nearing $1B, the State Has Become a Venture Capital Hub.

There are fantastic Utah investors such as:

  1. Peterson Partners/Ventures
  2. Kickstart Seed Fund
  3. Peak Ventures
  4. Pelion Venture Partners
  5. Mercato Partners
  6. Signal Peak Ventures
  7. Zetta Venture Partners
  8. Subtraction Capital
  9. Epic Ventures
  10. Sorenson Capital
  11. Dolphin Capital Group
  12. Banyan Ventures
  13. Aries Capital Partners
  14. Clarke Capital Partners
  15. Crocker Ventures
  16. Alta Ventures
  17. Stoneway Capital

Some alternative investors or angel groups also include:

  1. InnoVentures Capital Partners
  2. University Venture Fund
  3. BYU Cougar Capital
  4. Campus Founders Fund
  5. Decathalon Capital Partners
  6. Salt Lake Life Science Angels
  7. Rock & Hammer Ventures
  8. REES Capital
  9. Utah Angels 2
  10. Plus550
  11. Park City Angels
  12. SLC Angels
  13. Lendio
  14. USTAR
  15. Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund
  16. BoomStartup

If I forgot to mention someone–please add it to the commentary below, so we can have a full list to be as relevant as possible. Also, what are other reasons you believe Utah is on the rise?

http://www.inc.com/bubba-page/6-reasons-utah-is-taking-the-tech-world-by-storm.html