ICYMI: Utah's Top Eight Money Stories from the Second Half of August 2023

ICYMI: Utah's Top Eight Money Stories from the Second Half of August 2023

From the death of one of Utah's top inventors /  technologists to an apparent new record set by Utah-HQ'd firms, we deliver our perspectives on each of the Top 8 Money Stories in Utah for second half of the month (August 16th through the 31st).


As you know, the second half of August is typically thought of as the laziest days of summer, the time when most American families visit the beach, hit amusement parks, travel, or generally kick-back and prepare for the coming school year and the beginning of fall.

But based upon what we saw business-wise in Utah from the 16th to the 31st of Augustin 2023, we say that was not the case this year — not by a long shot.

So ... outlined below, we present a rundown of what we believe were the Top 8 Money Stories in Utah for the 2nd Half of August.

We hope you agree.


P.S. Additionally, we've also included info about 11 separate, Utah-focused news items from that same time frame that we've not reported on previously that we feel worth noting here, something we've named "News Nuggets."  Enjoy.  DLP

Money Story No. 8:   John Warnock, Utah Native and Co-Founder of Adobe, "Has Left the Building"

When it comes to industry luminaries, few native Utahns can match the global  impact of John E. Warnock, Ph.D., Co-Founder and former CEO/Chairman of Adobe Systems.

Dr. Warnock passed away on Saturday, 19 August 2023. He was 82.

Our writeup / obituary can be found here: "Salt Lake City Native Son and Tech Industry O.G., John Warnock, Has Died at 82."

We saw Dr. Warnock's passing as Utah's 8th Most Important Money Story in the 2nd half of August 2023.

Money Story No. 7:   Two VC Firms Bet $6.5 Million that Lehi-based Qualiti has Struck Gold with its QA Platform for Software Engineers

On the surface, the claim in the news release was fantastical: Lehi, Utah-based Qualiti has developed an AI-based platform for development engineers that allows engineering teams to "test any software product without human input."

I mean, it's unbelievable, right?!?!?!

And yet, two very experienced venture capital firms have just laid down $6.5 million in Seed Round funding to back Qualiti's very existence, something we document in "Lehi-based Qualiti Raises $6.5 Million in Seed Round Funding to Support Software Programmers and Developers Everywhere."

For Utah Money Watch, we see this emerging premise as Utah's 7th Most Important Money Story in the 2nd half of August 2023.

Money Story No. 6:   FireFly Automatix — The New Product Story that Turned Into a "Unicorn" Prediction

Our subscribers and fans already know that we rarely publish a story about a new product or service, an unfortunate reality because few firms rise to the occasion and provide us with the context as to the financial import of such announcements.

However, this was not the case with Salt Lake City-based FireFly Automatix.

And the more we dug into the global marketplace for automated, EV-mowers across all industries — from golf courses to governmental needs and everything in between — the more we realized that FireFly's new self-driving, commercial-grade, AI-empowered EV-mower puts the company firmly on a path to hitting a valuation of over $1 billion by the end of 2026.

Our writeup — "The Case for FireFly Automatix Becoming Utah's Next "Unicorn," Courtesy of Artificial Intelligence, EVs, and Grass" — helps explain why we believe FireFly qualifies as Utah's 6th Most Important Money Story in the 2nd half of August 2023.  

Money Story No. 5:   Parks, Neighborhoods, and Roads Getting $40 Million in Salt Lake City

In "Salt Lake City Approves ~$40 Million in Improvements for City Parks and Neighborhoods," we examine the 34 road, neighborhood, and park projects that garnered budgetary approval by the Salt Lake City Council for the 2023/2024 fiscal year.

The breadth, depth and financial total of the nearly three dozen Capital Improvement projects given the thumbs-up by the City Council helped this news be tapped as Utah's 5th Most Important Money Story in the 2nd half of August 2023.  

Money Story No. 4:   Swig Enters the Franchising World and Sets Itself Up to Become a 2X+ Unicorn Before 2025

Lehi-based Swig announced in the second half of August that it has landed 12 partners, with total committments from them of launching 250 total Swig franchise units, the first franchised units for the quick serve, "Dirty Soda" pioneer.

In our second writeup and analysis on this news — "Mea Culpa: Updating my Story About Swig's Move Into Franchising and Its Coming Transition to Multi-Unicorn Status" — we dig into the story, and then explore what we believe will lead Swig to 2X+ Unicorn status before 2025.

Taken in combination, we feel this qualifies this news/info as Utah's 4th Most Important Money Story in the 2nd half of August 2023.  

Money Story No. 3:   Centerville-based TruGolf is About to Pull-off what few Firms have Done in 2023 "Go Public" via a SPAC Merger

If all goes according to plan, Centerville-based TruGolf will become a publicly traded company in the fourth quarter of the year via a merger with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company named Deep Medicine Acquisition Corp.

As per our writeup/analysis — "Centerville-based TruGolf Continues Forward with its Plans for a SPAC Merger with Deep Medicine Acquisition Corp." — we think this SPAC Merger qualifies as Utah's 3rd Most Important Money Story in the 2nd half of August 2023.    

Money Story No. 2:   Murray-based Nursa Lands $80 Million Series B Round of Funding to Address the Massive Nursing Shortage Challenges

On the surface, the $80 million in Series B funding for Murray, Utah-based Nursa is a pretty big deal, especially given how tight significant VC funding rounds there have been so far in 2023.

And yet, it's the reality behind the headline — "Murray, Utah-based Nursa Raises $80 Million to Continue to Address the Nation's Nursing Shortage." — that leads us to select Nursa (and its mission) as Utah's 2nd Most Important Money Story in the 2nd half of August 2023.

AND ... the No. 1 Money Story of the 2nd Half of August 2023 ... 102 Utah-based Firms make the 2023 Inc. 5000 List

Few annual rankings have captured the attention of American business leaders to the extent the ranking published yearly by Inc. magazine as the Inc. 5000 List has.

And the fact that over 100 Utah-HQ'd firms made the ranking in 2023 as being amongst the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S. (as reported in "Is it a New Record? We Think so, as 102 Utah Firms Make the 2023 Inc. 5000 List."), made it an easy choice for us as the Number One Most Important Money Story in Utah for the 2nd half of August 2023.

So ... to all 102 Utah-based firms who made the list this year, plus the repeat honorees that have now made the list multiple times, we salute you — and wish you Bonne Chance for continued success and prosperity in the months and years ahead.

AND ... 11 Other News Nuggets you Might have Missed from the Second Half of August 2023

Last of all, there were several additional Utah-centric News Nuggets from the 16th to 31st of August that we wanted to also make sure hit your personal radar.

So ... not in any particular order, we give you 11 News Nuggets that we believe you will find useful news/information:


Thanks for taking a minute to review this summary of Utah's Top 8 Money Stories during the second half of August 2023.

As always, if you have a tip or story idea about an organization, individual, product, service, program, or policy you think we should be looking into, please drop us a note at David.Politis@UtahMoneyWatch.com. Thanks.  DLP