In 1989 there was no Facebook, Twitter, or Skype with which to build your company. In fact, the Internet was still seven years down the road. Orchards in north Orem were just giving way to lovely homes, which crept up the east bench to match the rising affluence of the area.

In this environment, the Utah Valley Entrepreneur Forum (UVEF) was born. Through interactions with the Mountain West Venture Group, Kyle Love and Ron King had concluded that there needed to be a similar organization in Utah Valley, with an emphasis on supporting technology companies. Love & King organized a volunteer board, which initially included several BYU Business Department Faculty members along with local business gurus Tom Sawyer and Karen Gudmundson. Their vision: to create a strong community of support for entrepreneurs in Utah Valley.

UVEF and its volunteers have mentored some of the top entrepreneurs in the state of Utah, recognizing their excellence and connecting them with influential business leaders, venture capitalists, banks, and legal assistance. “I have had the opportunity and privilege to rub shoulders with some of the leading entrepreneurs in the state,” Love ruminates, “and then as they have been successful, I have watched them give back as mentors and sponsors of our growing organization.”

Utah Venture Entrepreneur Forum

We are so proud to be recognized by the UVEF as the Top company under 5 years last year. It has validated us as a company to our employees, customers, and partners which makes doing business that much easier.

Rick Horsley

President, Boostability

Since at least the 1980s, Utah has been a place where technology companies begin and blossom into wild success stories. Over the past few decades, Utah’s government and business leaders have effectively encouraged, developed, and attracted some of the top tech companies in the nation. Today there are more than 7,000 technology companies in Utah, including major employers such as Novell, Intel, Iomega, IM Flash, Adobe, Twitter, Oracle, Micron, and dozens of others – even the NSA.

Utah has long been a meeting place for investors and entrepreneurs. In an interview with Forbes, Utah Executive Director of Economic Development Val Hale stated, “Utah is being discovered and is getting accolades for our business climate and job growth. The investment community is realizing the opportunity here.” In fact, the state of Utah experienced records in investment funding for 2014. UVEF takes pride in helping aspiring entrepreneurs connect with investors through awards, mentor programs, and networking opportunities.

Perhaps one of the most beneficial things UVEF offers entrepreneurs is its “Top 25 Under 5” list. Released annually, this recognition has catapulted many young startups into prominence. Rick Horsley, of Boostability, says that the award “…validated us as a company to our employees, customers and partners, which makes doing business that much easier.” Other local companies have attributed the attentions of UVEF to helping them gain ground with investors.

In 2014, UVEF underwent some major changes, including a new chairman (Ryan Westwood), a name change from Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum to Utah Venture Entrepreneur Forum, and a reorganization of the board of directors. This included a new vision that would impact all entrepreneurs in Utah. It was a threefold mission: connecting entrepreneurs to capital, recognizing them, and educating them. UVEF has been very collaborative and supportive of other entrepreneurial organizations throughout the state.

UVEF is proud to be a nonprofit supporting entrepreneurs for the past 27 years in Utah.