I’ve been so lucky to attend the world’s biggest innovation and genealogy conference, RootsTech 2018, in the Mormon capital, Salt Lake City, USA. Due to a strong belief in family tradition and a strong focus on writing personal journals among Mormons, SLC has become the centre for genealogy. Not only do the city libraries hold archives which date a long way back in time, but three out of the world’s five biggest genealogy companies are based out of Salt Lake City. Around these companies, there are plenty of startups trying to find new and better ways of preserving memories and family histories. With a total market size of approx. 3 billion USD, there is a lot of people trying to get a piece of the pie. So, if you are thinking of starting up a business aiming towards family history or genealogy, then SLC is a must to visit.
But, Salt Lake City is not only known for genealogy. The region around Salt Lake, which is known for its many ski resorts, is nicknamed Silicon Slopes because of its high entrepreneurial activity. For example, Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at University of Utah was awarded USA’s best college for entrepreneurs in 2016 and the entrepreneurial program at Marriott School, BYU in the neighbouring city, Provo, has been among the top ten best colleges in the last seven years. Additionally, the region is overrepresented on the TV series Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs present their products to potential investors. Some of the well-known companies from the Salt Lake area are, for example, Skullcandy and Cisco. Something is being done right in Utah and it is not easy to put a finger on exactly what that is. Maybe it’s the Mormon mentality of walking around and knocking on doors which have lead to many of these actually being opened.