By Mark Tullis | Posted - Mar 21st, 2022

 

 

 

 

Nominate Candidates for the Inaugural Wasatch Innovation Network Top 100 Entrepreneurs (WIN 100)

Starting today, Utahns from across the state can nominate high-potential entrepreneurs to participate in the inaugural Wasatch Innovation Network Top 100 Entrepreneurs (WIN100). The WIN100 is a community-nominated and peer-selected process to name the top 100 venture entrepreneurs who are most likely to play an active role in building and growing a high-growth business in Utah in the next two to three years. The WIN100 aims to build a unique, self-directed community that will identify the next top 100 venture entrepreneurs with ties to Utah and to raise the profile of these talented individuals across the broader business ecosystem.

It will also increase visibility, collaboration and networking amongst Utah’s top startup entrepreneurs, their peers and partner organizations. 

The WIN100 is sponsored by Wasatch Innovation Network, which is a joint venture between TechBuzz News and the Salt Lake Chamber that was announced in July 2021. Founding partners of WIN100 include, TechBuzz News, The Salt Lake Chamber, IsoTalent as well as sponsors from key investors, educators and entrepreneur friendly organizations in the state. WIN100 launch partners include:

  • Utah’s leading venture funds: Kickstart Fund, Frazier Group, Sorenson Ventures, Peterson Ventures, Epic Ventures, Album VC, SpringTide, Assure, SpaceStation Investments, Startup Ignition, PandoVC, Sweater VC, and Venture Slopes.
  • Educational Institutions: Utah Valley University and the Lassonde Institute at the University of Utah
  • Key members of the Utah tech ecosystem, including Atomic FI, Diversified Insurance, Mayer Brown Law Firm, BioUtah, UAMMI, BoomStartup, Hillcrest Bank, Ernst & Young, Provo City, and Axcend, among others.

Starting March 21, 2022, the WIN100 program committee will send a nomination request to over 30,000 individuals in the state who are in some way a part of Utah’s tech community and votes can be registered at winutah.org. This request can be forwarded virally to anyone wishing to submit a name for nomination. 

The key criterion for nomination is simple:

“Who do you know that is most likely to launch or lead a successful, high-growth startup in the next 2 to 3 years, either as a founder, CEO or CTO?

Program rules allow for anyone to submit up to ten nominations. Individuals may nominate themselves if they believe that they fit the key criterion. Neither the individuals who nominate, nor the nominees are required to pay a fee to be a part of the WIN100 program. There is no "pay-to-play" aspect to the WIN100 program and the  audit committee may disqualify nominations that appear to "game" or manipulate program rules.

Once nominations are approved by the WIN100 audit committee, nominees are informed via email of their status and given a chance to opt out. Nominees are also given a unique URL to log on to the proprietary online survey tool and vote. As the nominee logs onto the survey tool he/ she will be directed to view a list of all nominees submitted in the community-selection portion of the process. Each nominee is allotted up to 15 votes to cast out of the total nomination pool. Individuals garnering the most votes by their peers in this process will be designated and recognized as a WIN100 Top 100 Entrepreneur for that year.

"We are looking for the individuals that are most likely to be leading Utah's next wave of startups." said Paul Ahlstrom, founder of Alta Ventures. "The key question people are answering is 'Who do you know that is most likely to launch or lead a successful high-growth startup in the next 2-3 years either as a founder, CEO or CTO?'"

The WIN100 entrepreneurs will be recognized at an upcoming WIN100 luncheon on May 11th at Utah Valley University's Keller building, which will include welcoming remarks from UVU President Astrid Tuminez and soon to be announced keynote speaker. Utah's leading venture capital funds and other WIN supporters will be in attendance at the WIN100 Luncheon. WIN100 awardees will also be recognized in the Fall of 2022 at the WIN100 Venture Conference in Salt Lake City.

“Utah is built on many of the same values that you see reflected in the tech/innovation industry: a drive for innovation, collaboration, community building, and a mentoring culture," says Robin Ritch, President and Publisher of Deseret News. “The WIN100 is a reflection of these values and will be a means to perpetuate them.”

"We believe the WIN100 will be integral in helping to enhance and mature Utah’s startup ecosystem, and building trusted and informal relationships with top executive and technical talent in the region." says Derek Miller, President and CEO of The Salt Lake Chamber. "As such, one of the program’s goals is to help create a culture where Utah’s current tech community has the opportunity to give back and make a difference by mentoring the state’s next generation of tech leaders." 

Thank you for your efforts in building the entrepreneurial ecosystem and enviable business climate in our state. The next wave of entrepreneurs are ready to take Utah business to unparalleled heights and we plan to assist those efforts. We hope you will join this process to help identify the next 100 creative minds from Utah!

RECAP OF THE NOMINATION PROCESS

  • Submit nominations by April 4, 2022.
  • Provide the name, company and, if possible, email addresses and phone numbers of up to 10 individuals that are most likely to launch or lead a successful high-growth startup in the next 2-5 years as Founder/CEO/CTO
  • Responses will be used to assemble a list of candidate nominees. These candidate nominees will then vote for their peers based on the above criteria.
  • Results of this peer voting will determine the WIN100 Top Entrepreneurs for 2022. If they choose, finalists will have the ability to withdraw before publication and recognition.

To submit a nomination, please click here.

History of the WIN100

The idea of the WIN100 started over twenty years ago when Greg Warnock, Dennis Wood, Gavin Christensen, Paul Ahlstrom, and other visionaries hatched the idea which they called the V100 to harvest the wisdom of the crowds to identify Utah’s top entrepreneurs. Year after year the crowd would successfully identify the innovators and entrepreneurs that were “most likely to create a high growth company” in Utah. V100 winners dot the current Utah tech landscape and make up a who's who list of leaders running many of Utah's most successful tech companies. With the permission and support of the original V100 creators, the Wasatch Innovation Network continues the tradition, but now with the support of Utah's broader entrepreneur ecosystem. The new home of the WIN100 is inside of the Wasatch Innovation Network, a 501c6 non profit foundation with the mission to help take Utah's startup ecosystem to the next level.

More information on the Wasatch Innovation Network can be found at WinUtah.org and at https://slchamber.com/wasatch-innovation-network/ 

 
Mark Tullis
About the Author

Mark Tullis - Mark is a father of five, tech entrepreneur, traveler, saxophonist and writer. Born and raised in Ogden, Mark attended Weber State, Brigham Young University and Tufts University. Mark is a co-founder of TechBuzz.

 

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