Ah, the lure of Silicon Valley. Good weather, the Pacific Ocean, great restaurants, and still the technology capital of the known universe. Of all these area perks, it’s the last one that resonates with founders and aspiring entrepreneurs. It’s what leads many to think about or actually move to the Bay Area to stake their claims and try to make their fortunes. This is not just something that crosses the minds of early-stage startups, but more established ones too. How often have we heard tales of intriguing startups hightailing it out to Santa Clara?
Frankly, it’s hard to blame them. Few cities around the world have the level of tech talent, capital, and related resources that Silicon Valley does. The lure remains even in spite of the rise of other cities with growing tech environments. There is, however, something to be said about staying in your home base, growing with your city’s tech scene, and through your company’s successes, helping that scene grow with you. In Lendio’s case, that scene is Silicon Slopes.
I had the chance to talk all things tech and Utah recently with Ben Hart, deputy director at the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, for its podcast Business Elevated. We addressed the lure of Silicon Valley, what Utah has to offer businesses, as well as Lendio’s background in the state. We also delved into what it means to have a successful company culture, my views on work-life balance, and the charitable work that Lendio does with Kiva. Through the conversation, Ben and I kept coming back to talking about the slopes.
Particularly in Lendio’s early days, the lure of Silicon Valley hummed. At the time, there was not a lot of capital or investors in Utah, and we faced challenges raising money while staying put. But as I told Ben, the key for Lendio was our love for the state and the conviction that we could help grow its tech scene. We believed then, as we do today, that Utah offers a unique environment for business: a great entrepreneurial spirit, business-friendly regulations, a good talent pool, not to mention outdoor recreation opportunities and a reasonable cost of living.
You can listen to the full episode here.