Utah's Top 17 Business News Nuggets from April 2024 that You Might have Missed

Utah's Top 17 Business News Nuggets from April 2024 that You Might have Missed
Photo by Jason Leung / Unsplash

{AUTHOR'S NOTE: Clearly, not every news announcement deserves to be the top story of the day. Nevertheless, many news items are still significant and should be acknowledged as such. Hence, this write-up is designed to specifically focus on Utah's business "news nuggets" from the past month that might not have "caught your eye."}

Enclosed below (in no particular order), is a text-dense outline of what we believe are Utah's 17 Top Business "News Nuggets" from April 2024 that you might have missed during the month.

  • Ednition Crew has closed an initial $1.35 million round of funding. According to letter from the company posted on its website, the Salt Lake City-based firm is an EdTech startup developing/providing "infrastructure-as-as-service specifically for k-12 edtech providers." The Co-Founders of Ednition Crew (Mick Hewitt and Doug Weber) were the Co-Founders of MasteryConnect, another EdTech which they sold to Instructure in 2019.
  • Paul Burgon, a serial investment executive now based in Utah, has led the founding of a new investment company in the state focused exclusively on CleanTech firms. The name of this new fund? Exit Ventures.
  • Co-Diagnostics (NASDAQ:CODX) named four new C-Level executives in April: 1) Richard Abbott as President; 2) David Nielsen as Chief Operations Officer (COO), 3) Christopher Thurston as Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and 4) Seth Egan as Chief Commercialization Officer (CCO). The South Salt Lake-based firm is a "molecular diagnostics company that develops, manufactures and markets state-of-the-art diagnostics technologies" designed to detect and/or analyze the presence of of nucleic acid molecules (DNA or RNA) in liquids.
  • Additionally, Co-Diagnostics announced that it has opened a new 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in South Salt Lake. According to the company news release, "The facility has been designed to manufacture the Co-Dx Pro instrument and test cups for the new platform, as well as the company's patented Co-Primers™ chemistry that underpins the company's PCR diagnostic tests."
  • Salt Lake City-based Huntsman Mental Health Foundation announced in April that it has tapped Becky Pickle as its new CEO. Since 2014, Pickle was president and a Board of Trustees member of The Road Home. Previously, she was a Chick-fil-A franchisee for over 28 years.
  • The Larry H. Miller Company has invested an undisclosed amount in Lehi, Utah-based ATTYX. {NOTE: Although not a necessity when it makes an investment, Sandy, Utah-based LHM will often purchase a controlling interest in companies.} According to the LHM news release, terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. ATTYX is a "home improvement company specializing in energy-efficient upgrades and clean energy solutions, including windows, roofing, insulation, HVAC and solar solutions."
  • Salt Lake City-based Recursion (NASDAQ:RXRX) has hired Najat Khan, Ph.D. as its Chief R&D Officer and Chief Commercial Officer. She has also been appointed to Recursion’s Board of Directors. According to the company announcement, Most recently, Dr. Khan was "Chief Data Science Officer and Global Head of Strategy and Portfolio Organization, for Innovative Medicine R&D at Johnson & Johnson."
  • Qualtrics has named Gurdeep Singh Pall as its President, AI Strategy, a new position at the Provo- and Seattle-headquartered firm. Pall joins Qualtrics after spending over 33 years with Microsoft, most recently as Corporate Vice President-Head of Business AI, Product Incubations. For more information about Pall and Qualtrics' efforts in AI, please see its announcement here.
  • Springville, Utah's Five Star Franchising has acquired Card My Yard of Austin, Texas. According to the news release, terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Card My Yard is a 10-year-old, award-winning franchise organization with over 500 franchisee locations nationwide that produce oversized full-color signs that are staked in a front yard or other public venue to announce/celebrate an individual's or organization's event or milestone.
  • Long-time commercial real estate mogul, television celebrity, regional angel investor, and Chairman of Colliers International-Utah (Brandon Fugal) announced on LinkedIn that Salt Lake City headquartered Colliers International-Utah has named media executive and champion of all things Utah (Jeanette Bennett) as its Executive Managing Director and Brokerage Market Leader. A celebrated, multi-hyphenate executive in her own right, Bennett also serves currently as Founder/Editor of Bennett Communications, CEO + Founding Editor of Utah Valley Magazine, CEO + Founding Editor of Utah Valley BusinessQ, and Chief Visionary Officer/Consultant + Board of Trustees member for Thanksgiving Point.

{AUTHOR's NOTE: I have known Jeanette for decades and consider her my friend, as I suspect most do after meeting her. Nevertheless, I can truthfully say this is a MASSIVE WIN for Colliers International-Utah. Congrats all around!!!}

  • Lehi-based AwardCo has tapped Ryan Jackson as its President. According the the company announcement, Jackson was most recently with Qualtrics as its head of North America Enterprise Sales.
  • According to a news release published by the Utah Office of Energy Development, the state "... has been selected to receive $62,450,000.00 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the Solar For All program." However, in speacking with Tracy Rees, the OED's Public Information Officer, there is very little in the way of details that she or any representative can share today about the Who, What, When, Where, Why or How of this EPA grant, let alone disbursement of funds. So, when such information is available, we will report back.
  • Last but not least, there were several Utah-based firms that landed funding during April 2024 that we were not able to report on (for various reasons). However, those firms include:
    — Orem, Utah-based Nectar has raised $40 million in a Series B round of funding, led by PeakSpan Capital. According to the funding news release, Nectar "... specializes in employee recognition and rewards solutions."
    — Sandy-based FinTech firm, 401GO, has landed a $12 million round of Series A funding, led by Next Frontier Capital. According to the funding release, 401GO is "... revolutionizing the way individuals save for retirement" and plans to double its headcount to over 110 employees within the next two years.
    — Salt Lake City-based Leash Biosciences has closed a $9.3 million round of Seed funding led by Springtide Ventures. According to the funding release, notably, other participants in the funding included the two Co-Founders of Salt Lake City-based Recursion, Blake Borgeson and Chris Gibson, Recursion's CEO.

Why do I consider the participation of Gibson and Borgeson significant enough to include this info within this writeup? Because, arguably, Recursion is the No. 1 biotech firm on the planet leveraging AI and Machine Learning for drug discovery and development purposes. And what is the focus of Leash Biosciences? In its own words: Leash "... is a biotechnology company unleashing machine learning to solve medicinal chemistry ... to rapidly design novel small molecule therapeutics."

Personally, Leash sounds really, really cool!

— Continuing on ... As per its funding announcement, South Salt Lake, Utah-based Torus has locked down $67 million in financing. [NOTE: Torus describes itself as "... a modern global energy solutions company that designs, engineers, and manufactures energy storage and management products for the residential, commercial, and large-scale utility sectors." However, in response to our email inquiry seeking clarification about the financing, the company's Head of Communications (Spencer Hall), explained that

"Although we can't get into specific breakdown of funds ... half the round is in convertibles and the remaining is spread between equity and debt."
  • Additionally, in the Torus financing release, the company also reported that it had added two seasoned execs to its board of directors: David Bywater (former CEO of Vivint Smart Home and Vivint Solar), and Brent Hill (Managing Director at Origin Ventures).


For a variety of reasons, Utah Money Watch was "on hiatus" for a five-month period from 9 November 2023 through 8 April 2024.

Please note that as a result, we only reported on roughly 2/3rds of the monetary/financial news from the state of Utah during April 2024. For this fact, we offer our apologies.

Out intent is to be more comprehensive on a go-forward basis.


This article was originally published and distributed to our Subscribers on 06 May 2024.

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