Think Pro Business Growth When Voting in Utah County

 

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Dear Citizens of Utah County:

The 2017 primary election ballots are in the mail. The election is held when more than two candidates have filed for the various city council and mayoral seats and the open Congressional seat Chaffetz vacated recently. With so many candidates to choose from, who should get your vote?  The Utah Valley Chamber would like to provide you with additional standards to consider while making your voting decisions.

Utah Valley is frequently identified as being among the best places in the country to do business.  These rankings do not come by accident.  In fact, a primary reason for these accolades is the business-friendly laws passed by our local, state and federal lawmakers.

The Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce is committed to promoting legislation at all levels of government that strengthens and facilitates business growth.  We believe a strong economy results in a broader and deeper tax base, which helps fund our critical community needs such as economic development, education, transportation and public safety.

Multiple levels of the business community have been engaged in the development of our legislative priorities for 2017 and beyond.  They were developed initially by the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee and were ratified by the Board of Directors.

During this election cycle, we encourage Utah Valley citizens to vote for those candidates who support these business growth priorities.

Here are the principle-based legislative priorities:

Priorities for Economic Development

  1. Support measures to expedite the availability and sale of Tier-3 gasoline in Utah and the Wasatch Front as soon as possible.
  2. Refine the modeling for Division of Air Quality and EPA emissions standards that are currently inhibiting manufacturing companies from locating along the Wasatch Front.
  3. Encourage efforts intended to reduce diesel and gas emissions from mobile sources.
  4. Encourage education of energy-efficient solutions to be gained in homes, cars and commercial sites that are economically sound.
  5. Support the state-led visioning and strategic planning process to establish the Point of the Mountain area as an internationally acclaimed job center.
  6. Continued commitment for funding for carp removal from Utah Lake.
  7. Support the Utah Compact.

Priorities for Education

  1. Partner with industry to promote and fund STEM initiatives.
  2. Fully fund growth and Weighted Pupil Unit and invest in targeted educational needs.
  3. Support compensation increases for education employees.

Priorities for Transportation

  1. Preserve existing sources of transportation funding.
  2. 1-15 upgrades in Utah County; SR-92 interchange fast tracked/funded with bonding and Orem 8th South interchange
  3. Support local and county transportation funding efforts.

Priorities for Federal Land

  1. Pursue a Declaratory Judgment requiring the Federal Government to fulfill its obligation of the Utah Enabling Act of 1894.

Priorities for Water and Related Infrastructure

  1. Urge water conservation to meet Governor’s goal of a 25% drop in current use by 2025.
  2. Protect water-funding sources necessary to meet expected growth.
  3. Allow accrual of reserve funds to pay for replacement of aging water delivery systems.
  4. Keep the State Engineer as the general administrator and superior of the state’s water supply and adequately fund water law administration.

The Utah Valley Chamber is proud to be the voice of business in Utah Valley.  We are actively engaged in policy issues to represent the thousands of businesses located in our growing and prosperous region.  With the help of lawmakers of all government levels, we hope to continue to be the best place in the country to live, learn, work and play.

Note:   Ballots will be mailed to all active registered voters on July 25. Registered voters that have not received a ballot or have misplaced the ballot should contact the Utah County Election Office at 801-851-8123. To ensure their ballot was received, voters will be able to track their returned ballot online at vote.utah.gov.  Voters are encouraged to visit vote.utah.gov to verify that they are registered to vote and that their mailing address is listed correctly.

To view the Chamber’s Public Policy Guide in its entirety, click here.

Second Annual Best Places for Women Entrepreneurs to Live and Work Released by College and Careers Website, GoodCall.com

Nearly 400 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) were evaluated on networking potential, business climate, educational values, and economic health for women looking to launch a business.

Fort Mill, S.C., September 21, 2016 ­ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Data analysts from GoodCall.com released the second annual 2016 Best Places for Women Entrepreneurs report. The report was launched in light of American Business Women’s Day (9/22), a nationally recognized holiday that honors American business women and women business owners across the country.

A total of 383 MSAs were ranked on four criteria to determine which areas are best overall for women entrepreneurs:

  • Networking Potential – Score assigned to each MSA based on the number of small business owners in each area per capita
  • Business Climate – Density of women­-owned businesses in each area, calculated as the number of women­owned businesses as a percentage of all businesses in that area
  • Educational Values ­- Difference between male and female educational attainment in each area
  • Economic Health­ – The current change in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) year over year and the current unemployment rate in each area

Data sources included the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent Survey of Business Owners to evaluate the networking potential (10% of the total score) and business climate (25%), and the bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey to weigh differences in male and female educational attainment (30%). Economic health information (35%) for the cities came from two sources ­ year­over­year change in an MSAs Gross Domestic Product from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the current unemployment rate from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey’s 5­-year estimates.

“Women-­owned businesses continue to see growth and prosperity around the U.S.,” says GoodCall analyst Claire Etheridge. “Several factors boosted the top 100 places, including robust educational values for women, a thriving post­recession economy and, of course, a high density of female business owners. Taken together, those factors elevated these locations above many other places in the country.”

The report also features comments from successful women entrepreneurs around the country revealing what they love about owning a business in their city and the resources they’ve called on for success.

The full report can be found here:

https://www.goodcall.com/data-center/2016-best-places-women-entrepreneurs

2016 Best Places for Hispanic Entrepreneurs.

About GoodCall.com: GoodCall.com is a consumer­-focused website where people and information intersect. Founded in February 2015, GoodCall was born from the idea that in an increasingly complex online marketplace, consumers deserve access to the information they need to make educated financial decisions. From scholarships to college rankings and beyond, families visit GoodCall to find unbiased, unfiltered information to help make the decisions that will shape their future.

Media Contact:

Michelle Billick | Communications Manager, GoodCall.com | 980­-318­-5202

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UVU Student Entrepreneur Uses His Fashion Sense to Help Close International Communication Gaps

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OREM, UT– October 3, 2016 There’s a unifying magic that happens when someone sees the symbol of their country on another human being. An instant camaraderie, an immediate connection and a sense of unity are born.

 That’s what lead UVU Woodbury School of Business marketing student and entrepreneur, Noel Lopez, to provide LDS missionaries and any other tie-wearing aficionado, a tool that could help start a conversation and establish that all-important bond with a complete stranger.

The neckties created by his company, The Town and Co., each have a logo representing countries throughout the world. “As missionaries, we’re strangers in a strange land,” says Lopez. “Seeing a familiar country symbol on a stranger’s tie says we have a connection even though we don’t know each other. It is the ideal relationship icebreaker for missionaries and anyone communicating internationally.”

Lopez has always had an affinity for fashion and at the end of his own mission in Uruguay, he made a keen observation of some missionaries in one particular area. “They were wearing colors of Uruguay’s flag and Uruguay’s soccer logo on neckties,” says Lopez. “When I went to my mission reunion, I noticed several of the guys wearing the same tie.”

It was then that Lopez realized he could keep his mission experience alive, and create new conversations by designing a tie that featured a country’s logo. “It immediately attracts attention, opening a conversation door that begs the question ‘what is that symbol?’

“Noel’s keen marketing sense and disciplined enterprise approach has served him well,” says Dr. Paul Dishman, Marketing Department Chair. “He is just one example of the numerous student entrepreneurs who have taken what they’ve learned in Woodbury, and started their own successful businesses.”

Now, the whole the world is taking notice. U.S. politicians, members of Congress and foreign dignitaries are expressing enormous interest in purchasing the ties. Lopez credits the Woodbury School of Business for preparing him to meet his greatest challenge to date – scaling to meet the new and increasing demand.

“I love fashion but that isn’t enough to run this business,” says Lopez.  “My Woodbury accounting courses help me understand how to balance and keep the books, and my business school marketing classes have taught me how to market domestically and internationally. You can have a passion like I do for fashion, but you also have to understand the business.” Lopez continues to be inspired by fashion icon, Ralph Lauren, and one day hopes to design a line that will be featured in the Olympic games, like Lauren achieved this past summer.

His family immigrated from Sinaloa, Mexico to Spokane, Washington with his father earning just $2 per hour. “Our family is the American dream in my opinion,” says Lopez. “We could’ve left but my Dad said ‘just keep going, it’s ok. Because of my parents, I have the opportunity now, and like my Dad, I just keep going.”

Lopez is one of many successful Woodbury School of Business student entrepreneurs pursuing his passion. Currently, Lopez’ ties are sold in 11 stores nationwide (and growing), available through his website and Deseret Book. Eventually, he hopes to create ties for each state in the union, and in as many companies as possible. He’s also in the process of creating a product for women. “I’m hopefully inspiring people, one necktie at a time.”

For more information on Lopez’ handmade neckties visit www.thetownandco.com. For more information on UVU Woodbury School of Business visit www.uvu.edu/woodbury.

 

Big Leap Honored in 2016 Inc. 5000

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When I started Big Leap back in 2008, I couldn’t have imagined that we’d be where we are now in 2016.

The early years of Big Leap were mostly centered around affiliate marketing websites I had built and some on-and-off consulting with local businesses about organic and paid search.

In 2013, I launched Big Leap full-time and we quickly grew adding many new clients and team members over the last 3 years including Big Leap’s acquisition of Leadgenix. To date, we have nearly 40 experts in various digital marketing fields and 150+ clients.

We’ve been fortunate to see considerable growth in 2016 and look forward to seeing how we might place on the Inc. 5000 list next year.

There are some exciting ups and stressful downs that come with quick growth over the last 3 years but I don’t think we’d change any of it. Some valuable lessons have been learned and we’ve experienced exciting moments as we see our team members and clients succeed and grow.

A common theme heard around our office is “growth”. We hope to continue our company growth but the conversations are almost always centered around our team members growth and growth for our clients, whatever their goals may be.

We’re extremely grateful to our clients, team members, and friends that have helped Big Leap achieve what it has. The support provided by our clients (some of which date back to the early 2008 consulting days) is why we do what we do.

I’m also thankful to our team and their families that support them. Big Leap prides itself in providing a great balance of work time and family time but we know how valuable and important the support of our families is to our success.

People often ask what the future holds for Big Leap. We have some ambitious plans but I can personally say that I’d consider us a success as long as we are providing the right environment and results for both our team and our clients.

Congrats to the other Utah companies who made the 2016 Inc 5000 and congratulations to our team for this incredible accomplishment!

Bryan Phelps
CEO
Bryan is Big Leap’s CEO and founder. When he’s not working on the business you can find him spending time with his family, enjoying the sun in St. George, UT, or hitting the links. Maybe all three.

Lucid Software engineering duo raise $400K from investors for better logging

 

Herriman, UT — Matthew Barlocker and fellow Lucid Software alumnus Mark Siebert, cofounded Blue Matador, Inc. and have raised $400K from angel investors to create better application monitoring solutions.

Barlocker led the DevOps team at Lucid Software for 5 years. He used a lot of different monitoring tools in that time to debug and alert on the availability and security of terabytes of user data. Barlocker and Siebert set out to make a product that fits the needs of users like them.

“We’re starting with the logging product, but that’s just the beginning,” notes Barlocker. “Our focus is uptime, and when your monitoring tools get out of the way, it’s easier for you to get your five nines of availability. If you get an alert, and spend more than 10 seconds finding the relevant data, something has gone wrong.”

They plan on launching a server logging tool into beta this year with more tools to be announced in the future.

About Blue Matador

Blue Matador, Inc. was cofounded by Lucid Software alumni, Matthew Barlocker and Mark Siebert in 2016. Blue Matador makes devops monitoring tools simple. Subscribe to email updates on their site, www.opsbunker.com.

 

ZipBooks launches first accounting iPhone App with seamless invoice financing

ZipBooks today announced the availability of the first ever accounting iPhone app with on-the-go invoice financing for small businesses. Compatible with any iPhone running iOS 9, ZipBooks’ free (not freemium) iPhone app has the functionality small business owners expect from a paid option. In addition to sending invoices, users can use the “Get Paid Now” button to send a cash advance to their bank account. Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 8.36.27 AM

“There are so many great businesses out there–especially growing businesses–that are profitable on paper, but struggle to keep their heads above water because payment terms leave them waiting 30 to 90 days to get paid,” said Tim Chaves, ZipBooks’ founder and CEO. “That’s why we built ZipBooks. With a single tap on an iPhone, ZipBooks users can smooth out cash flow and get back to running their business.”

ZipBooks charges .5% per week of the advanced amount and automatically schedules repayment over a 12-week period with no penalty for early repayment. Businesses don’t have to pay a monthly subscription because ZipBooks generates revenue through invoice financing and credit card processing, both optional.

—-About ZipBooks

ZipBooks is the first accounting program to send and finance an invoice in a single click. ZipBooks provides bookkeeping, invoicing, time tracking, and credit card processing to small business owners without a paid monthly subscription. ZipBooks is on a mission to get business owners better access to short-term capital and lower the overall cost of running a business. ZipBooks has offices in Lehi, Utah. For more information visit https://zipbooks.com.

By Brad Hanks

BYU Students Develop swop App

By Clint Betts:

swopClose your eyes.

Imagine meeting someone at a party, the grocery store, an off-the-chain Beehive Startups event, or a family reunion (I don’t know half the people who come to those things) and being able to snag all of their pertinent contact and social media information without having to stalk them online, or ask them to type all of that boring crap into your phone while you just stand there looking like an idiot. Imagine a world without business cards. Imagine all the people, living life in peace.

Now open your eyes and read that last paragraph real quick to get caught up on what we’re talking about here.

swop, founded by three currently deferred BYU students, is an app that allows users to easily swop (well, swap) contact information. We’re no longer boarding a train headed to the Imagination Station, my friends. Welcome to real life.

Here’s a video unlike any startup video I’ve ever seen that showcases swop and makes you wish you were also a deferred BYU student.

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22.

“We came by the idea of swop through various social encounters that we had,” said swop co-founder Sean O’Rourke in a recent sit-down interview with Beehive Startups. “The primary one that we always use in our pitches came from our founder, the original, the ideator, Mitch Fultz. He had this interaction with a girl he’d known from a long time ago.”

Of course swop was conceived based upon an interaction with a girl. If you think about it, we all exist based upon an interaction with a girl.

“It was one of those classic situations where you know the face but you can’t remember the name,” said O’Rourke. “He spoke with her for a while, trying to get little hints out of her by asking questions about her family, asking about mutual friends… anything to help jog his memory to remember her name.

“Then it got to that point in the conversation where it feels natural to exchange contact info because you’re going to catch up later on — even though you never really end up catching up. So he pulled the classic move of handing her his phone with an open contact so that she could enter her own contact info, but the sad thing is she didn’t enter her name, only her phone.

“He got that back, pretty upset, so now he has this contact in his phone with no name attached to it. Then he text her with his name hoping she would text back with hers. No luck. He went and searched for her through mutual friends on Facebook. No luck. Turns out she didn’t have Facebook.

“That’s how the idea for swop was born, from an awkward moment of contact exchange.”

It’s a tale as old as time. This classic love story ended just like every romantic comedy ever made — with an iOS app, available in the App Store on Friday. Android coming soon.

swopUp until now, swop has been operating in stealth mode with just a small group of beta users, who, according to swop’s founders, have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the app.

“I think the best way to express their positivity is the frequency that they come to us and tell us about situations during the day where they just wanted to say ‘Let’s just swop’ or ‘I wish we both had swop,’” said O’Rourke.

swop will officially launch when the popular band Neon Trees takes the stage at the Rooftop Concert Series in Provo, Utah this Friday night.

The startup has big plans to begin amassing a large amount of users in just a short amount of time.

“We have a goal of 100,000 users in the first two weeks,” said co-founder Jameson Gardner.

That may seem like an unrealistic goal, but I’m starting to think I may have buried the lede on this story. swop isn’t your typical student-run startup. They’re backed by investors both inside and outside of Utah and have already raised around $500,000 to help make sure this launch is successful.

“We’d love to hit a million users by the end of October,” said Gardner. “It’s really ambitious, but we feel with the events we have planned, we feel like it’s a very feasible goal.”

In order to achieve that goal, swop is sponsoring this week’s BYU-Utah State football game and will be blanketing the stadium with advertisements and holding a massive student tailgate party. They’re also sponsoring the Spark Run in Orlando, and partnering with universities across the country — Arizona State, UCLA, the University of Washington, among others — where they’ll be holding events and tailgating parties where in order for attendees to get in for free they’ll have to download swop.

So, yeah, not your typical student-run startup. Sorry I didn’t mention that earlier.

The three founders have only been working on swop since April, which makes what swop has already managed to accomplish even more impressive.

They’ve brought on Dave Durazzani, who is currently DOMO’s Principal Mobile Engineer, as their CTO. swop has a very real chance of picking up where Bump left off. Bump had more than 125 million downloads before Google acquired it for a reported $35 million and closed it down.

The swop founders are young, hungry, committed, and have the talent to pull this thing off. This is a Utah startup to keep your eye on.

Expect a call from every investor in Utah after they read this story, gentlemen. (They can find your contact information on swop, right?) Just don’t sell out to Google or any of our other tech overlords any time soon.