ICYMI: Utah's Top Seven Money Stories from the First Half of August 2023

ICYMI:  Utah's Top Seven Money Stories from the First Half of August 2023

From the $4 million "special" funding of ChartSquad to our discovery of PCF Insurance Services - Utah's hidden 5X insurance industry "Unicorn" - we deliver our perspectives on each of the top 7 money stories in Utah for first half of the month (August 1st through the 15th).

Here at Utah Money Watch, we are convinced that one of the best things about August is the start of "Fall Camp" as football squads on campuses across America prepare for the start of college, high school, and little league tilts throughout the land.

Of course, intersquad and preseason games have already started in the National Football League, as well in many school districts around the country.

{NOTE:  For that matter, a teenager in the author's neighborhood just received Player of the Game honors from prestigious MaxPreps for his efforts in his team's victory last Friday - "Way to go, Abe!"}

Nevertheless, even though this journalist's thoughts are more deeply attuned to the gridiron and championship hopes that seem to spring eternal each fall, the reality is that business continues forward here in Utah, even in August, which is typically considered the doldrums of summer.

But not this year, not in 2023.

So ... outlined below is our ranking of what we at Utah Money Watch believe are Utah's Top Seven Money Stories from the first half of August 2023.

In addition, in the latter portion of this writeup we also share tidbits on 10 additional News Nuggets that you may have missed from the first half of the month that we think you might find useful too.

We hope you agree.

Story No. 7:   Details about Kinect Capital's 7th Annual WeROC Conference are Unveiled

Given the challenges faced by women at raising money, both in the United States and globally, we felt that news about the 7th annual WeROC Conference  deserves mention as the #7 most important financial story/opinion piece at Utah Money Watch during the 1st half of August 2023, a writeup titled "Kinect Capital Announces WeROC 2023 and Unveils the 16 Female-Led Firms Looking to Raise Outside Capital."

Additionally, we hope you'll pay special attention to our exclusive list of those 16 female-led/female-started companies that will be presenting at WeROC 2023 in early September as they look to raise outside investment dollars - Utah's 7th Most Important Money Story in the 1st half of August 2023.

Story No. 6:   $4 Million in "Royalty-based Funding" for Heber, Utah-based ChartSquad

As far as funding options go, we suspect that few of our readers are familiar with the concept of Royalty-based Funding.

Regardless, during the first half of the month we uncovered an 80-person company headquartered in Heber, Utah - ChartSquad - that recently turned to this unique financing option to the tune of $4 million.

To learn more, we invite you to visit "Heber-based ChartSquad Lands $4 Million Royalty-based Funding from Cypress Growth Capital in Texas," the story we see as Utah's 6th Most Important Money Story in the 1st half of August 2023.

Story No. 5:   $44 Million in Donations to Fight Childhood Malnutrition

The mere concept that three million children, ages 5 and younger, will die this year from malnutrition is enough to break one's heart.

That's why we felt that the decision by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to donate $44 million to over four of the top global nonprofits in the world to fight against childhood malnutrition was one of the top stories in Utah during the first 15 days of August.

To that end, we invite you to read "Fighting Global Childhood Malnutrition is the Thrust Behind $44 Million in New Donations from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" - Utah's 5th Most Important Money Story in the 1st half of August 2023.

Story No. 4:   Mountain American Credit Union's $50 Million College Footbal Stadium Naming Rights Deal

As it turns out, two of Utah's top money stories from the first half of August 2023 involve college football.

For example, our writeup - "Talk About Timing: Mountain America Credit Union Announces a Reported $50 Million Naming Rights Deal for ASU's Football Stadium Just Hours Before ASU is Invited to Join the BIG 12 Conference" - is clearly Utah's 4th Most Important Money Story in the 1st half of August 2023.

We hope you'll give it a read.

Story No. 3:   The Decimation of the Pac-12 Conference

To utilize a cliche - unless you've been "living under a rock" - or, if by chance you don't follow college football, chances are you are quite aware that six universities accepted offers to abandon the Pac-12 Conference and join new athletic conferences during the first week of August, something we predicted in "OPINION: The Pac-12 is Brain Dead. All That's Left to do is 'Pull the Plug.'"

Given that the University of Utah was one of the six schools that has decided to leave the Pac-12 for the BIG 12 athletic conference, a decision worth hundreds of millions of dollars to both the UofU and Brigham Young University, we have named this as Utah's 3rd Most Important Money Story in the 1st half of August 2023.

Story No. 2:   The Latest Twists in Utah's Ongoing Legal War Between Two Gourmet Cookie Firms: Crumbl and Dirty Dough

The now year-long legal fight between two Utah-headquartered gourmet cookie firms, Crumbl and Dirty Dough, took some unexpected turns in the first half of the month.

And yet, as we outlined in our writeup/analysis - "Court Order Notwithstanding, Utah's Cookie War Between Crumbl and Dirty Dough Continues" - we feel that neither firm came off as complete victor, or loser, in the 21-page Ruling just published by the U.S. District Court (Utah).

We invite you to give our piece a read to see why we think this is Utah's 2nd Most Important Money Story in the 1st half of August 2023.

AND ... Utah's No. 1 Story of the 1st Half of August 2023 ... PCF Insurance Services, The "Undiscovered" $5 Billion Firm Hiding in Plain Sight in Utah

Earlier this month we shared what we felt was a surprising story, the fact that a 35-year-old insurance brokerage now headquartered in Lehi, Utah - PCF Insurance Services - has vaulted into the top 20 rankings of such firms in the U.S. over the past half-dozen years or so.

Through its efforts to grow both organically and via acquisition, PCF is now (by our estimation) worth $5 billion, a valuation that makes it a 5X Unicorn.

The story behind how PCF has transformed itself, seemingly overnight, into an industry behemoth, as detailed here - "PCF Insurance Services - A 5X, Utah-based "Unicorn" Hiding in Plain Sight - Lands $400 Million in Incremental Debt Financing" - qualifies PCF, and its incredible transformation, as Utah's Most Important Money Story in the 1st half of August 2023.

Clearly, we hope you'll read it.

And, as with all of our writeups, if you like or find useful what you read / discover via Utah Money Watch, we invite you to subscribe if you haven't done so already. It's free.

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In the meantime, however, this writeup is NOT done.

Specifically, we share below a handful of brief notes about some of Utah's other  financial news items you may have missed from the first half of August.

AND ... 10 Other News Nuggets you Might have Missed from the First Half of August 2023

Last of all, there were several additional Utah-centric News Nuggets from the 1st to the 15th of August that we wanted to also make sure hit your personal radar.

So ... not in any particular order, we give you 10 News Nuggets that may not have hit your radar during 1-15 August 2023, namely:

  • Utah native and current resident, Nancy Espinosa, has been unanimously elected National Commander of the more than 1 million-member DAV (Disabled American Veterans), the first Hispanic woman to hold DAV's highest post. Espinosa is a service-connected disabled Army veteran who is currently a member of DAV Chapter 14 in Layton, Utah. According to the DAV news release, "Espinosa was a member of the Army Reserve from 1975 until becoming an active-duty soldier in 1985. After four years of active service, she joined the New Mexico Army National Guard, serving until her honorable discharge in 1990."
  • Lehi, Utah-based Solutionreach has named Ken Ernsting as its CEO. According to the company news release, Ernsting replaces Jim Higgins, the company founder, who will continue to serve on the Solutionreach board of directors.
  • On Tuesday, 8 August 2023, President Joe Biden designated ~1 million acres of federally owned land in Arizona as the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument, the fifth National Monument created by Biden. {Here is a link to the official White House Facts Sheet about the new National Monument.} According to this  map published by the Grand Canyon Trust highlighting the Monument boundaries, none of this land lies within Utah, although it appears to come right up to the state border near Kanab, Utah. Nevertheless, Utah Governor Spencer Cox issued this statement decrying the creation of this new Monument:


Thanks for taking a minute to review this summary of the Top Seven money-related stories from Utah during the first 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