US Ignite’s InnovateSLC program supports startups and small businesses in Salt Lake City, Utah, through two distinct efforts – a workshop series for small businesses and an accelerator course for startups. In June 2023, both of these initiatives hosted milestone events for the program and successfully demonstrated the benefits of empowering entrepreneurs to drive local economic growth.

Harnessing the Power of New Tools For Small Businesses

The workshop for small businesses took place after work hours at Industry, a popular co-working venue in Salt Lake City’s Granary District neighborhood. 

The US Ignite team shared insights on cutting-edge technologies and how homes, cities, and businesses use them to improve operations. The presenters gave an overview of the elements present in a tech-empowered city – such as connectivity, data, and societal engagement – and explained how these are also necessary for small businesses to leverage the latest technologies. An overview of trending tech areas, like cloud computing, Internet-of-Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML), and how small businesses can leverage them in their day to day business processes was also discussed with the attendees. 

Participants also saw a demonstration of several free web tools available to support marketing and promotion efforts. This practical demonstration gave the attendees technical skills to try out the very next day. 

The workshop closed with a networking hour that yielded meaningful conversations and collaborations. Click below to hear testimonials from some of the small business owners that attended:

Demo Day 

The second event was a Demo Day sponsored by KeyBank. Earlier this year, Kinect Capital and US Ignite selected seven startups to participate in an 8-week accelerator program designed for high-tech companies that are making significant contributions to improving Salt Lake City. 

Demo Day served as an exciting culminating event, where the seven founders and CEOs pitched their companies to a packed room of venture capitalists, investors, and city representatives. Check out the recording of the event here, and learn more about the seven below.

The Seven Startups

(Source: Kinect Capital) 

The Accelerator’s Impact

The impact of the accelerator program is undeniable, as we witnessed an improvement in the seven companies’ ability to explain the intersection and impact of their solutions on the wider Salt Lake City community. 

Watch some startup founders explain what they found most valuable about the accelerator below: 

We’re open for small businesses and startups in Salt Lake City 

InnovateSLC plans to host more workshops and accelerator cohorts for startups and small businesses in Salt Lake City in the coming months. Stay tuned for details by following US Ignite on X (formerly known as Twitter), LinkedIn, and Facebook.

The InnovateSLC program is made possible thanks to funding from the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). Learn more by visiting the InnovateSLC webpage.