Jon Bradshaw and Peter Harris, co-founders of Venture Capital Podcast, have published the Founder 100 list, a recognition program for the top 100 founders in Utah, as voted on by fellow-founders that were recently nominated by the public.

Photo credit: Jon Layton

Utah entrepreneurs named as the inaugural Utah Founder 100 are shown below:

  • Aaron Cooper—Co-Founder & CEO—Sameday (YC W23)
  • Aaron Frost—CEO & Founder, Architect—Hero Devs
  • Aaron McReynolds—Co-Founder & CEO—Alysio
  • Aaron Skonnard—Co-Founder, Special Advisor to the Board & CEO—Pluralsight
  • Abe Gong—CEO & Co-Founder—Great Expectations
  • AJ Brau—Co-Founder & CEO—Wander
  • Alex Burdge—CEO, Co-Founder—Shyft Global
  • Amelia Wilcox—Founder & CEO—Nivati
  • Amy Osmond Cook, PhD.—Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer—Fullcast
  • Andrew Kenney—Co-Founder—Particl
  • Arian Lewis—CEO & Co-Founder—Kiln
  • Becki Wright—Founder & CEO—Proximity
  • Ben Checketts—Creative Director & Co-Founder—Rhone
  • Ben Hodson—Co-Founder & CEO—JobNimbus
  • Ben Perkins—Founder—Collar
  • Ben Peterson—Co-Founder & Co-Chairman—BambooHR
  • Bennett Maxwell—Chairman—Dirty Dough
  • Blake Rouse—Co-Founder, CEO—Buster
  • Brad Moss—Founder & CEO—Enhanced Ai
  • Brad Parker—Co-Founder & CEO—PrivateAuto
  • Brandon Rodman—CEO & Cofounder—Previ
  • Brent Thomson—Founder—Blip Billboards
  • Brian Beutler—Founder & CEO—Alianza
  • Brice Douglas—CEO, Co-Founder—Zaymo
  • Brock Blake—CEO, Co-Founder—Lendio
  • Bruno Lima—Co-Founder & CEO—Pura
  • Bryan Christiansen—Founder & CEO—Limble CMMS
  • Chad Ingram—Founder & CEO—Distro
  • Chiao-ih Hui—Chief Executive Officer—Solution Diagnostics
  • Chris Crittenden—Co-Founder—Sandbox
  • Colby Bauer—CEO—Carry On
  • Curtis Anderson—Founder & CEO—Nursa
  • Cydni Tetro—Managing Director—Avao
  • Dallin Bentley—Co-Founder—Buster
  • Damian Dayton—Acting CEO—Creatably
  • Dan Beck—Co-Founder & CEO—401GO
  • Dan Caffee—Founder & CEO—Voze
  • Daniel Lambert—GM, Technology—Sonic Healthcare
  • Daniel Ash—CEO & Co-Founder—Journeyfront
  • Daniel Jones—Co-Founder—Zaymo (YC W24)
  • Dave Grow—CEO—Lucid Software
  • Dave Oldham—CEO—Awsm
  • David Bearss PhD.—Co-Founder, CEO, President & Chairman of The Board—Halia Therapeutics
  • David Neeleman—Founder & CEO—Breeze Airways
  • Davis Smith—Founder & Chairman—Cotopaxi
  • Derek Miner—Partner—Lemonade Stand
  • Derek White—Chairman—Switch2Zero
  • Dillon Jeppesen—Co-Founder & COO—Pestie
  • Dr. Krista Anderson—Chief Executive Officer—Fiksal
  • Earl Foote—CEO—Nexus IT
  • Emily Applegarth—CEO & Co-Founder—Gamify
  • Eric Rea—Co-Founder & CEO—Podium
  • Ethan Webb—Co-Founder & CEO—Mindsmith
  • Gentry Davies—CEO—Crew
  • Gilbert Lee—CMO & Co-Founder—Torus
  • Hunter Sebresos—CEO—Bacon Work
  • Jake Hawksworth—Founder—Hypercraft
  • Jason Fairbourne—CEO & Founder—Yoodlize
  • Jason Garcia—CEO & Co-Founder—Holdings
  • Jason McGowan—Founder & CEO—Crumbl
  • Jay Davis—Founder—Cold Case Ice Cream
  • Jeff Erickson—Director of Strategic Partnerships—Forcastr
  • Jeff Handy—Co-Founder & COO—Qualiti
  • Jeffrey Harmon—Chief Content Officer—Angel Studios
  • Jeremy Andrus—CEO—Traeger Pellet Grills
  • Jeron Paul—SVP of Product—Salesforce
  • Jess Toolson—CEO—Mixhers
  • John Koelliker—CEO & Co-Founder—Leland
  • John Pestana—CEO—ObservePoint
  • Jon Richards—Co-Founder & Owner—NOMATIC
  • Joon Beh—CEO—Hallo
  • Jordan Wright—Co-Founder & CEO—Atomic Financial
  • Josh James—CEO & Founder—Domo
  • Josh Little—Brinemaster—Josh's Pickles/Volley
  • Justin Rae—Founder & CEO—Cinch
  • Karalynne Call—Founder & CEO—Just Ingredients
  • Karl Sun—Co-Founder & Board Chair—Lucid Software
  • Kenny Scott—Co-Founder & CEO—Paramify
  • Kirk Ouimet—CEO & Co-founder—Phi
  • Kory Stevens—Entrepreneur & Mental Health Advocate—Stealth Startup
  • Kris Jenkins—Co-founder—Mobly
  • Kurt Workman—Co-Founder & CEO—Owlet Baby Care
  • Manny Griffiths—Co-Founder & CEO—Hona
  • Mark Newman—Founder & CEO—Nomi Health
  • Mary Moody—CEO & Owner—Made by Mary
  • McKenzie Bauer—Co-Founder—Thread Wallets
  • Mike Peregrina—Founder & CEO—Stealth Startup
  • Monte Deere—CEO—Kizik
  • Nate Randle—CEO—Gabb
  • Nate Walkingshaw—CEO & Founder—Torus
  • Neal Harmon—Co-founder & CEO—Angel Studios
  • Nicole Tanner—Founder—Swig
  • Noella Sudbury—Founder & CEO—Rasa Legal
  • Parker Gentry—CEO—Skill Struck
  • Peter Ord—Founder—GUIDEcx
  • Renato Villanueva—Founder & CEO—Get Parallel, Inc.
  • Richie Stapler—Co-Founder—Pura
  • Rilee Buttars—CEO & Co-Founder—Dónde
  • Rob Poleki—CEO & Founder—Washie
  • Ryan Westwood—Chairman & CEO—Fullcast
  • Scott Paul—Co-Founder—PHI
  • Shane Murphy—Founder & CEO—Boostly
  • Sterling Jones—Co-Founder & CEO—JOJO's Chocolate
  • Sterling Snow—Venture Partner—Pelion Venture Partners
  • Steve Arntz—Co-Founder & CEO—Campfire
  • Steve Neeleman—Founder & Vice Chairman—HealthEquity
  • Sunny Washington—CEO—Seer
  • Trevor McKendrick—CEO & Co-Founder—Seis
  • Wesley Eames—Serving Families—
  • Will West—CEO—OliverIQ
  • Woody Klemetson—Founder—AskElephant
  • Zach Barney—Co-Founder & CEO—Mobly
  • Zack Oates—Founder & CEO—Ovation
Photo credit: Jon Layton

The Founder 100 initiative builds on the legacy and experience of a 23-year tradition of acknowledging the top founders in Utah that VCs should pay attention to. The v100 was the brainchild of the tradition. Several original vSpring Capital venture fund team members conceived of the concept during a time in Utah's investment history that was known for scarcity and limited options. Founders like John Pestana and Josh James faced significant challenges raising capital in Utah for their startups at that time. The v100 helped raise awareness of talented founders to state's investment community. The initiative was adapted internationally by Paul Ahlstrom and Rob McMillen as the E100 in Mexico and Peru to successfully launch and support fledgling entrepreneur ecosystems in those countries. Most recently the WIN100 in Utah was sponsored by Derek Miller of the Salt Lake Chamber and Paul Ahlstrom of IsoTalent and Mark Tullis and Robb Lifferth of TechBuzz News.

Derek Miller, President and CEO, Salt Lake Chamber

"Utah's entrepreneur culture stands as a beacon of innovation and resilience, fueling the state's growth and prosperity," said Derek Miller, President and CEO of Salt Lake Chamber. "The Founder 100 not only celebrates our vibrant startup ecosystem but also offers a platform to honor the trailblazers whose vision has shaped industries and communities. Join me in recognizing the indomitable spirit of Utah's founders by engaging in the Founder 100 nomination process. Let's champion the entrepreneurial ethos that defines our great state."

Photo credit: Jon Layton

The Founder 100 became known to the public on April 9, 2024 with Jon Bradshaw's LinkedIn post inviting Utah's tech and startup communities to begin nominating individual believed to be outstanding founders and attractive to investors.

On May 7, 2024, the second phase, the peer-voting process, kicked off. Those who were nominated in the public nomination process were notified that they could vote for up to 15 other nominees in a closed vote via a secure website set up solely for this purpose. This stage of the process ended on May 20, 2024. A panel of judges consisting of Paul Ahlstrom, Peter Harris, Mark Tullis, and Jon Bradshaw, following a careful, authentic process with minimal intrusion, counted the votes to come up with the final list. They honored the crowd's voice and only ensured that the proper people who were eligible to vote were the ones who actually tendered the votes.

Photo Credit: Jon Layton

The purpose of the Founder 100:

The Founder 100 is an initiative designed to recognize and celebrate the vision, hard work, and achievements of Utah’s top entrepreneurs while calling out those who are considered attractive to institutional investors.

It's also an experiment in harnessing the voice of Utah's tech and startup founders to express their opinion on who are the most "fundable" peers in the community.

This initiative reinforces the collaborative nature of Utah's entrepreneurship culture and serves as a means for like-minded peers to come together, provide feedback on each other's startup, possibly collaborate through partnerships or mergers, and contribute to the building of Utah's healthy entrepreneurship ecosystem.

And finally, it's a networking opportunity for founders to interact with their peers and investors from many of Utah's leading VCs and family offices. Getting investors and founders in the same room is usually a good thing. In this case it the convening took place in comfortable surroundings, a private residence high above Canyons Resort just outside Park City, Utah.

Photo Credit: Jon Layton

"Today, we celebrate not just the milestones achieved but the journey itself," said Jon Bradshaw and Peter Harris in a joint statement. "We commemorate your dedication, perseverance, and the countless hours poured into turning aspirations into accomplishments. Your contributions are invaluable, and your impact resonates far beyond the immediate, shaping a future brimming with potential and innovation."

Jon Bradshaw and Peter Harris plan to replicate this inaugural Utah Founder 100 experience in other cities in the coming months: San Diego, Atlanta, Mubai and elsewhere. "This global expansion will be a key feature of the Venture Capital Podcast, highlighting exceptional entrepreneurial talent worldwide," said Bradshaw.

Photo credit: Tyler Jennings
Share this article
The link has been copied!