Salt Lake City has long been a haven for skiers chasing the “best snow on Earth” and adventurers exploring Utah’s many national parks. However, Salt Lake City has recently garnered new attention as a booming tech ecosystem. Multiple high-profile companies — like Adobe and eBay — have opened campuses in the area, while home-grown companies like Qualtrics, Domo, Instructure, Pluralsight, and Lucid have achieved significant success. This tremendous growth across the tech landscape has earned the city the nickname, “Silicon Slopes.” Overall, the tech sector is growing at a tremendous rate in both Utah and Salt Lake City. According to a Gardner report, tech jobs in Utah are growing at twice the rate of the national average, with one in seven jobs based in tech and innovation. In Salt Lake City specifically, tech jobs have grown by 12% since January 20181.
What makes Salt Lake City so attractive for tech companies? For starters, Salt Lake City is a young, highly-educated city, with a median population age of 31.7 years2. The city also boasts the country’s newest international airport, providing easy access for business and personal trips. From a cultural perspective, Utah prides itself on being the Beehive State, reflecting the area’s values of industry, community, and collaboration. This is evident in local organizations like Silicon Slopes — a nonprofit that fosters the startup and tech community through education and events, including the annual Silicon Slopes Summit that hosts more than 15,000 attendees. All of this has resulted in a massive influx of diverse talent to Salt Lake City, particularly in 2020 — LinkedIn’s data showed that Salt Lake City had the second highest gains in net arrivals of any city in the U.S.
Companies and Jobs
- Top industries: education, healthcare, and retail.3
- Major employers: Wal-Mart, The University of Utah, the state of Utah, Intermountain Health Care, and the U.S. government.4
- Utah leads the nation in industry growth in life sciences and recently introduced BioHive, a “healthcare corridor designed to nurture this cutting-edge industry.”5
- Salt Lake City’s unemployment rate remains well below the national average at 3.7% in 2020, compared to 6.7% nationally.6
The Salt Lake City Tech Community
- If you are looking to network and connect with the Salt Lake City tech community, we recommend checking out Silicon Slopes, Women Tech Council, STRT, AIGA SLC, and Product Hive.
- Salt Lake City boasts several incredible creative working spaces, including INDUSTRY SLC, Maven Create, and Kiln, where you can meet and collaborate with like-minded entrepreneurs.
- 1 Million Cups is hosting virtual weekly events so you can network and pitch your startups to your peers.
- There are also free startup incubators and programs, such as Women’s Business Center of Utah, SCORE, and Entrepreneur Launch Pad that provide mentorship and resources to help you start your business.
Stay in the Know
Here are just a handful of resources to help you dive deeper into Salt Lake City tech:
- Subscribe to BeeHive Startups and TechBuzz.news for news and announcements on Utah’s startup and tech ecosystem.
- Listen to podcasts such as Silicon Slopes’ Meat & Potatoes and Startup to Last, where Utah-based founder Rick Lindquist and Tyler King discuss how to make businesses last.
- Check out UtahBusiness and UtahValley360 to stay on top of the latest trends, entrepreneur stories, and startup news in the area.