Utah’s new Startup State Initiative fosters entrepreneurship and secures economic prosperity


Utah’s strategy for sustained growth locally and globally is focused on five key economic sectors: life sciences and health care innovation, aerospace and defense, advanced manufacturing, information technology and software development, and financial services.

These sectors provide high-paying jobs, have a higher-than-average number of employers compared to other states, and help support other segments of the economy, includi

ng retail and professional services.

For these sectors to remain strong, state leaders, in partnership with private sector and education leaders, strive to foster a business-friendly ecosystem by developing a strong workforce, providing access to capital, and offering training and technical assistance to Utah businesses. In April of 2024, the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (GOEO) will launch a new Startup State Initiative to promote these aims.

Startup capital of the world 

Utah has long been fertile ground for new business startups and continues to exemplify a pioneering spirit among entrepreneurs and innovators. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the number of new Utah business applications filed in December 2022 increased by 21.5 percent in December 2023, a staggering comparison to the national average of 7 percent for the same time frame.

The state’s commitment to fostering startups is evident in its robust infrastructure, which includes accessible capital, business incubators, accelerators and collaborative coworking spaces. The state’s world-class universities, vibrant talent pool, business-friendly policies and diversity of industries contribute to its entrepreneurial prowess.

“If Utah wants to continue its economic successes in 2024 and beyond, it will need to continue empowering the private sector to invest capital, create jobs and support the state’s ever-growing economy.”



The Startup State Initiative is part of Gov. Spencer Cox’s efforts to promote and amplify an already thriving entrepreneur community and elevate statewide conversations, networks and resources. As part of this initiative, GOEO has developed a statewide entrepreneurship brand and business resource portal at startup.utah.gov.  The online resource will support startups, small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout their business journey while inspiring them to start something new in Utah.

Startup.utah.gov will feature several tailored resources specific to a business owner’s location, demographic and industry through an innovative resource filter, a step-by-step business journey guide, a business plan generator and more. This new initiative will highlight Utah’s many resources and will ensure that Utah’s economic opportunity is widely shared through all corners of the state.

The Startup State Initiative is about setting a new global standard for innovation and entrepreneurship, showcasing Utah as the startup capital of the world.

Utah takes the global stage

To further cement Utah into the international business community, Gov. Cox recently led strategic trade missions to the United Kingdom, France and Mexico — all with the purpose of fortifying commercial ties, establishing trade opportunities and bolstering supply chains.

As a key trading partner, the U.K.’s relationship with Utah yields $7.45 billion in trade opportunities. Gov. Cox signed an exclusive Memorandum of Understanding with the U.K.’s minister of trade to further strengthen this important relationship.

France is Utah’s third-largest export market in the European Union. The trade mission to Région Sud in France led to a signed Letter of Intent, which has already prompted academic collaboration, including a signed partnership between the University of Utah and Université Côte d’Azur for student exchanges.

A trip to Mexico — one of Utah’s most essential trade partners — yielded a historic alliance called the Joint Utah-Mexico Partnership. This partnership strengthens Utah’s economic ties to Mexico, supports Utah’s robust Latino business community and creates collaborative business opportunities for years to come.

If Utah wants to continue its economic successes in 2024 and beyond, it will need to continue empowering the private sector to invest capital, create jobs and support the state’s ever-growing economy. As state leaders survey Utah’s economic landscape, they will need to focus on what makes Utah a great place to do business: its people, its policies and its opportunities to help all communities achieve sustained prosperity. All indications point to 2024 being another banner year for the Beehive State.