A History of Unicorns on the Silicon Slopes

January 25, 2019 - Marc Chenn

The third-annual Silicon Slopes Tech Summit opens Thursday in Salt Lake City. This globally recognized two-day summit includes many of the leading minds in technology and is the premier gathering of Utah’s tech industry.

As a member of the Silicon Slopes executive board I’m very proud of what has been created by the Silicon Slopes team with substantial support from the Utah startup and tech community. In just three short years the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit has grown from 5000 attendees to an expected 20,000 this week. Tech Summit growth really is representative of the tech boom underway here in Utah.

SaltStack at Silicon Slopes Tech Summit

SaltStack is a Tech Summit sponsor and of course I’ll be there with many folks from the SaltStack team. Reach out if you’d like to set up a time to meet. And if you aren’t yet registered we have passes to spare, so let us know and we’ll take care of you.

Make sure to visit the SaltStack booth for the latest SaltStack merchandise and for a chance to win cash. Visit us for more details.

The First Unicorns

Some of us have been around long enough to remember the first unicorns to walk the Silicon Slopes. These billion dollar tech companies existed in Utah before either “unicorns” or “Silicon Slopes” were part of our lexicon, but they laid the foundation for the tech industry as we know it today, both locally and globally.

The first Utah unicorns were focused on enterprise infrastructure, not necessarily the high-profile consumer apps and SaaS offerings we see more commonly today. But these first unicorns made the modern digital economy possible, as well as more reliable and secure.

We saw unicorn valuations in Utah with companies like Novell, Altiris, LANDESK, WordPerfect, and Omniture. These companies are a big part the reason the world has been watching the Utah tech scene for decades and why all eyes remain on Utah’s Silicon Slopes today.

I was fortunate to participate in the rapid growth of the systems management software industry that had its epicenter right here in Utah. In 2002, Altiris was the first Utah-based company to execute a successful IPO in almost a decade. Altiris then went on to be acquired by Symantec for $1 billion.

Fast forward ten years, and it is great to see unicorn-grade IPOs and acquisitions for blue-ribbon companies like PluralSight, Qualtrics, and Vivint.

Powering Digital Innovation on the Slopes

At SaltStack we are proud to build on a heritage of systems management innovation. Yet SaltStack is making waves in our own right as we approach IT automation in an entirely different, modern way.

But we’ve always preferred to let our technology and our customers speak for us. Utah-based companies like Domo and Vivint, as well as tech industry bellwethers like Facebook, eBay, and LinkedIn, use SaltStack to intelligently manage and secure their massive digital infrastructures.

We’re passionate about helping unsung IT heroes work behind the scenes to build, manage, and secure digital infrastructure at scale. Your friends and family may have no idea what SaltStack does, but they probably use technology made possible by IT professionals using SaltStack intelligent IT automation.

SaltStack exists to help IT professionals and amplify the impact they can have in their organizations and do more with less. Our mission and vision is to manage and secure every digital enterprise on the planet.

SaltStack is proud to be part of the Silicon Slopes tech community. We continue to drive innovation for IT while making digital innovation possible for business. And with our products and services sold commercially and used globally by many of the world’s largest corporations, we’re on our way to joining the old and new unicorns of Silicon Slopes.

See you at the Summit!