October 8th, 2021 —
The Venture Fuel Summit was a breathtaking event. One that we’ll remember for years to come. In this article, we want to go over some of the high points and highlights of this annual summit, but, before we do that, we wanted to give you a little background on the event, and better explain why we created the Venture Fuel Summit in the first place.
The Venture Fuel Summit, and Tamarak for that matter, has always and will always be about helping the entrepreneurs who build their companies near and around us. This is a very specific demographic. One who we believe doesn’t get enough attention, love, or support. This fact has always been odd to us, as these builders and visionaries are the fuel source that propel the economy, world, and culture into the future. They’re the mold breakers and risk takers that see obstacles as opportunities and create pathways down roads that others only see as dead ends. This demographic, when given the proper help and support, surprise us with their abilities and wow us with their innovation. You can see this in the local companies like Divvy, Domo, Pura, Weave, and Qualtrics.
So, we wanted to create an event that champions these Utah-based entrepreneurs, and provides meaningful education, opportunities to network, and a specified platform upon which these visionaries can stand, build, and grow. And, from what we saw this year, the Venture Fuel Summit did just that.
Now that the dust has settled and the smoke has cleared, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on why this event was such an exciting success. We can think of a number of reasons, really: the sheer amount of participation and attendees was incredible, and the energy and excitement they brought along with them added to the overall atmosphere and feel of the event. Each speaker wowed and educated us with their motivating messages, the quality of their content, and their unique delivery style. We watched as the culture and fabric of Utah’s startup world was woven together more tightly than ever before, and that’s something we had hoped would happen from this event.
Tamarak’s CEO and Founder Keaton Hatch said this about the event:
“This is the second year we’ve held the Venture Fuel Summit, so we were expecting at least a little bit of growth. But, what we experienced wowed us all. From the people who attended, to the individuals who participated, VFS exceeded all of our expectations. It not only makes us excited for next year, but for the future of the Entrepreneur world here in Utah.”
Hundreds of individuals, from all over the Utah, came to learn and grow at the Venture Fuel Summit, and with the assortment of breakout rooms and speakers, they surely got what they paid for.
One attendee, when interviewed about her time at VFS said:
“I do think it’s pretty incredible that so many brands care so deeply about nurturing the start-up community here in Utah. I think all of the success stories I’ve heard about entrepreneurs typically only have one or two main characters. I’m grateful that we have groups here in Utah who not only care about, but actively seek to shift that paradigm. The Venture Fuel Summit was a great example of that.”
The talent that showed up was impressive. We had speakers from Microsoft, the Malouf Foundation, MixHers, and more. Including powerful women CEOs who built and grew their own businesses from the ground up. As well as other, local hero’s, and motivational figures whose first-hand experiences were not only relevant, but perfectly timed for this excited audience.
This year, we had the privilege to continue the tradition of awarding a Venture Legacy Award, to someone who has changed the venture world in Utah. This year we celebrated our Venture Legacy winner, Alan Hall. Mr. Hall is an award-winning entrepreneur, venture capitalist, philanthropist, author, speaker, and a well-known advocate for public education. He is the founder of MarketStar Corporation, a global out sourced marketing and sales company. He is also the co-founder of Mercato Partners, a top-performing growth equity venture capital fund. Alan is the past chairman of the Utah Technology Council and the past chairman of Weber State University’s Board of Trustees. He is the chairman of Ogden Pioneer Days and vice chair of the Ogden Union Station Museum. He and his wife Jeanne are the chairman and president of the Alan and Jeanne Hall Foundation (www.hallfoundation.org).
Our startup competition was cutthroat and our two finalists made it hard to pick a winner, Edify.ai won our hearts and business with their AI driven technology. They are saving lives, reducing injuries, and improving culture, productivity, and profitability. The runner up, Team Nation is not to be ignored though and is taking over the football playbook like never before seen. Both of these companies truly embody the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit we are looking for.
You can learn more about both of these companies at edify.ai and teamnationsports.com
We’d also like to thank our incredible sponsors this year, as well as those who helped with the promotion and production of this great event. We can’t wait to see you all again next year!