SALT LAKE CITY – The inaugural Silicon Slopes Summit kicked off in downtown Salt Lake City Thursday morning.
The two-day event includes more than 5,000 people from the tech, business, and marketing world.
CEOs from tech giants all over the world and locally were there to learn about investing in Utah’s rise in the tech industry.
Companies like Pandora and Inside Sales were there and local companies like Domo, Vivint, Pluralsight, Qualtrics, and Entrata also attended and spoke to the audience.
Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox thanked companies and start-ups for being a part of the inaugural summit and the state’s biggest annual tech event. They plan to hold the event annually.
Cox also talked about the need for investing in tech education in Utah schools. It was a conversation that resonated with the summit speakers.
“There does need to be more of a focus, more on syncing or coordinating education with the technology needs of the growing work force here in Utah,” said Annie Davis, Salt Lake City’s marketing and research manager for the Department of Economic Development. “We want to make sure we continue to funnel kids through computer science in their education.”
Ryan Smith, CEO of Qualtrics, spoke about the benefits of the Beehive State.
“There is a magic, a mojo, there is a movement in Utah that's coming up that people have been working in for a long time,” Smith said. "The way this is happening in tech is it's very much like compounding interests; it takes a while for it to get off the ground, then magic happens.”
CEOs spoke about how quickly Utah is growing and attracting new tech companies and start-ups.
“I think Utah will be one of the biggest tech areas outside of Silicon Valley in the coming years,” said Aaron Skonnard, Co-founder and CEO of Pluralsight. “When you look at what we have here in Utah, we have the combination of tech skills and amazing sales force; we have lifestyle with the outdoors, the mountains, all the opportunities skiing, and we have an amazing community and I think this event represents the magic that's happening in this community.”