The Weekly Nectar- April 21, 2021

Time is honey, start your business.

Have you looked at a successful business or founder and thought, “How did they get there?” Of course you have. Susan Peterson, founder of the ultra amazing Freshly Picked, recently shared her founder checklist on her Instagram. Here are Susan’s three hot tips for founders:

  1. Start playing big. You’re not “just” a stay at home mom, you don’t “just” have a small business, you don’t “just” have a little idea. You’re a stay at home mom, that shiz is hard. You are a founder, business owner, or CEO, own that shii. You’re going to change the world with what you create.

  2. Stop correcting people when they compliment you. Instead, say thank you. Then compliment them back.

  3. Don’t quit! People who are successful are usually the same people who don’t quit. Go to sleep, take a walk, call a friend!

Susan, you are so wise. We salute you. 


  • Slam dunk Utah

    Dwyane Wade, 13-time NBA All Star and three-time NBA champion, is joining Ryan Smith and the ownership group of the Utah Jazz. Although this isn’t technically “startup news” it’s super neat. Ryan Smith was once a founder, and Qualtrics started with an idea. Look at them now, be inspired!

  • Start a business in Utah ASAP

    According to a study done by WalletHub, Utah is a great place to start a business. With 14 Utah cities in the top 30 best locations to start a business we’re dominating the scene. We secured the #1 spot with St. George, and #2 with Cedar City. Way to go Southern Utah!

  • Don’t stress about AI takeover, an AI-powered Knowledge Process Automation, announced a $22.6m in Series A funding led by ForgePoint Capital, with participation from previous investors AllegisCyber Capital and Signal Peak Ventures. Artificial intelligence will not be taking over with involved. They put the human back in the equation, eliminating the disconnect between analysis and action.  

  • Utah slays the early-stage venture capital game

    In a report done by Cicero and Aumni for Silicon Slopes Magazine, Utah welcomed $377 Million in early-stage funding in 2020. Also included in the report are the numbers for pre-seed, seed, and Series A funding. Check out the magazine in it’s entirety here, with the infographic report on page 24.

StartFEST is coming up, and good news! You can buy tickets right this very minute, so click here and get very excited.

We’re happier than Dwayne Wade dunking on Anderson Varejao to report on startup news in Utah. Do you have something you think we should share? Email us at or

The Weekly Nectar- April 14th, 2021

Are you making history today?

Did you know that April 14th was a pretty big day in history? On this day in 1865, Lincoln was assassinated, in 1903 Dr Harry Plotz discovered a vaccine against typhoid, in 1912 the Titanic hit an iceberg, in 1981 the 1st Space Shuttle, Columbia 1, returned to Earth, and in 2003, The Human Genome Project was completed with 99% of the human genome sequenced to an accuracy of 99.99%. Big events for mid-April, amiright? Maybe today is a significant one for your own personal history. Is today the day you do something with your idea? Start your business? Secure funding? You can do it! Here are a few Utah companies who are paving the way:

Startup News

  • Look Ma! No hands!

    HandsFree Labs, Inc., the leader in hands-free footwear technology, announced it has secured a $3 million round of financing led by the Frazier Group. HandsFree Labs is launching footwear technologies for a broad range of applications, including the Kizik brand of footwear and for licensing to Nike and others. Read the press release and see prototypes here

  • Jump on the Bandwango 

    Bandwango, the travel technology platform, has raised $3.1 million in seed funding led by Next Frontier Capital, with participation from Kickstart, Signal Peak Ventures, SaaS Ventures and Ocean Azul Partners. The pandemic was hard on tourism and travel, so many companies are turning focus to “local travel”, helping folks see the things they might have missed in their own backyards.

  • Help for small businesses

    The Utah GOED announced the new Impacted Small Business Catalyst Grant to help small businesses affected by Covid-19. “The purpose of the grant is to assist small businesses, nonprofits, and organizations that experienced 1) a high level of revenue decline in a consecutive four-month period in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, or 2) began operations after Jan. 1, 2020, and can demonstrate the effects of COVID‐19 on the business and 3) provide evidence of continuing solvency.” To earn more and apply, click here

  • Start planning your travels

    Donde, the world’s first full-service benefit to enhance paid time off (PTO) through travel, announced a pre-seed raise of $1.3M lead by Jeremy Andrus, CEO of Traeger Grills. Donde enables companies to offer travel as a benefit by facilitating a company reward dedicated to travel and helping employees save for, plan, and book their vacation in one consolidated platform. 

  • Get Seeded

    The milestone funding program Get Seeded recently awarded six startup teams $5,200 in grants. Winning teams include Project Manta, UAIR, Hops and Hounds, Gracie Maren Photography, Krum, and UFlourish. The program is managed by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah. Read more about it here.

Yes, I’m asking again. Have you registered for StartFEST ? I pinky promise you’ll be glad you did- I’ve seen the list of speakers. Get more info here.

We’re happier than a seagull with a french fry to report on startup news in Utah. Do you have something you think we should share? Email us at or

The Weekly Nectar- April 7, 2021

Hug a tree this month!

Earthy Biz

Are you bummed that last week was sunny and warm, only to be cruelly slapped with snow, rain, and cold the next day? Don’t be mad, because it’s Earth Month! Yes, April is the month that we celebrate Earth Day. Originating in 1970, Earth Day gives us all an opportunity to put aside our differences and unite for Mother Earth. It’s cool to be green folks, and Utah companies are heeding the call. Here are a few businesses that are earth-conscious and loving it: 

Blue Raven Solar

Solar energy is a no-brainer when it comes to going green, and Blue Raven’s CEO Ben Peterson is passionate in his quest for sustainable energy. In just six years this startup has become one of the leading solar companies in the nation, and they’re built on a commitment to their customers. Great customer experience plus earth friendly vibes? Sign us up.

Butchers Bunches

Sustainability means more than recycling- although the Jammers at Butchers Bunches do that too. The delicious spreads handcrafted in their Logan facility are made from produce that is locally sourced- boosting local economy and supporting farmers in the Beehive State. Recycling boxes, reusing bottles, and even combining leftover ingredients for their “Berrylicious” jam, Butchers Bunches loves the earth on a different level. 

LUX Catering and Events

Have you ever gone to an event or convention and seen the pamphlets strewn about and garbage cans overflowing? LUX puts an end to that tragedy with their zero-waste events. Incorporating paperless invitations, eco-friendly centerpieces, and biodegradable tableware, LUX is reducing their carbon footprint one party at a time.

There are many companies doing their part for our earth. The Blue Sky Legacy Awards highlights local businesses who are leaders in a sustainable future. Check out the 2020 winners here



Founded in April 2017, the Provo, Utah-based company raised a $1.4 million dollar seed round last year and announced last week that they have been accepted into NASDAQ's entrepreneurship program. A language program with killer tech, Hallo allows users to practice their english with other students in real time from all over the world. 


Ever need that one tool just for that one project? Yoodlize helps you rent it from someone with their ultra user-friendly platform. Yoodlize is currently working on an open round of crowdfunding through Wefunder, already bringing in nearly $160K.

That’s it for this week. Think green this month and let us know how your business is helping keep the planet healthy. Leave a comment! I promise I’ll reply. We’re happier than a mason-jar turned plant pot to be sharing local startup news. If you have something to say, email us email us at or

The Weekly Nectar- March 31, 2021

Celebrating the Ladies

Utah women are nothing to be trifled with. Regardless of whether we’re 12 or 82, single, married, CEO’s, mothers, founders, or a combination of these things, we’re always hustling. Utah women have that incredible drive and innovative spirit that entrepreneurs need, and we can stretch a dollar from here to the boardroom to get things done. As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we thought it would be appropriate to highlight a few women-founded businesses here in the Beehive State. 

  • Tami Steggell, RubySnap

    The original Utah cookie boss, Tami left her job in architecture and cashed out her $10K IRA to open a cookie shop in downtown Salt Lake City. Since then she’s been building her cookie empire, offering take-home cookie dough, fun vintage branding, and crazy-good cookies to the masses. Tami says, “If it isn’t wonderful it doesn’t belong in your mouth!” and we totally agree.

  • Kylie Chen: Acanela

    What’s the most important thing when you’re traveling? The food of course! Latin for the Cinnamon, Kylie founded Acanela with the hope to connect culture and cuisine through travel and experience. Travel to Africa, Europe, South America and more to experience real people and the food that connects them to their homes. 

  • Shauna K Smith: Four Foods Group

    Since co-founding Four Foods Group in 2008, Shauna has helped take the food and beverage industry by storm. With FFG listed No. 85 in the Top 200 Restaurant Operators in the nation, Shauna, now President of the company, oversees more than 5,500 employees and over 150 restaurants across the country. Total boss.

  • Dr. Cheryl Lee Eberting: AZOVA Health

    A board certified dermatologist in Alpine, Utah, Dr. Eberting runs a successful dermatology office, has a specialized skincare line, and most recently has founded AZOVA Health, a single-solution digital health framework technology that provides rapid deployment of any digital health program. Busy? Yes. Passionate? For sure. 

  • Leslie Goldman: The Artemis Fund

    With over 25 years of experience as a corporate attorney, and extensive experience as an advisor, angel investor, and board member in early stage companies, venture capital funds and syndicates across the country, Leslie Goldman knows what she’s talking about. With women receiving only 2.7% of venture capital in 2019, it’s plain to see there’s work to be done there. Leslie co founded The Artemis Fund to bring the capital to the ladies, and we’re cheering for her, and our female entrepreneurs, every step of the way.  

There are so many women we could have added to this list, and so many more to come. We’ve come a long way in the past decade ladies, and we’ve got a long way to go. If you’re ready to start but not sure how to do it, we’ve got some amazing resources in Utah, here are a few:

Women Business Entrepreneurship | The W Collective Co | United States

Utah Women and Leadership Project | USU

Women Tech Council – Build Innovate and Mentor

Women's Business Center of Utah - Helping Women Grow Businesses

Women Business Entrepreneurship | The W Collective Co | United States

It’s a perfect time to get started on your big-brain idea-  StartFEST is coming up and will include a pitch competition called Start Madness. More info to come, but you can sign up to get updates here

Do you know a female founder you’d like to recognize? Leave a comment, let us know! We’re happier than a grandma with a Jello-mold to report on startup news in Utah. We want to hear from you, email us at or

The Weekly Nectar- March 23, 2021

Top of the mornin’ to ya! Did you make corned beef and cabbage last week? According to Smithsonian, the Irish were startup geniuses, having a corner on the market with their delicious corned beef. The salt tax was much lower in Ireland and the beef high quality, so the green isle supplied much of Europe and the Americas with the salty protein. In fact, it was in such high demand that during the war with France, England allowed French ships to make pit stops in Ireland to bring the corned beef. Business was booming for the lucky Irish entrepreneurs. So now you know, the Irish love startups too. Here’s what’s happening in the Beehive state:

  • Skill Struck K-12 Program Secures Series A

    Access to STEM programs can be tough to find- especially for minorities and underprivileged communities. Skill Struck makes it easier for kids to be productive online, and a new seed funding of $1.3 million from a series of angel investors, including local investment group Park City Angels, helps further their cause.

  • Dental Intelligence Acquires Modento

    We know the dentist office can be scary, but Dental Intelligence, a leading dentistry analytics and workflow automation platform is making it ultra tech savvy, so that helps, right? Last week Dental Intelligence announced the acquisition of Modento, a comprehensive solution for innovative patient communications and management. This will expand Dental Intelligence's product suite and position the company for continued growth. 

  • Swell is… Well… Swelling

    Swell, a customer engagement platform for local businesses based in Cottonwood Heights, announced a successful Series A funding round. The $8 million round was led by SkyLab Ventures with support from Teamworthy and Swell’s current investors, including Cultivation Capital. 2020 treated them well, with triple digit growth and the release of a new version of their engagement platform

  • Headshots in a Heartbeat

    Having a professional headshot or photos for your portfolio can be hard to come by, and they’re probably spendier than you’d like if you’re in the startup stage or looking for a job. Atwood Innovation Plaza at Dixie State is hosting a “Professional Photo Networking Party” on Tuesday, March 30th from 4:00-6:00 PM. You’ll leave the event with edited, professional images from some of Southern Utah’s best photographers, ready to add to your website or update your LinkedIn profile. Spots are limited, so sign up here.

  • The Pets Get the Dollas

    Have a pet-focused startup idea? It’s a good time to go for it. The pandemic gave us a lot of time to stay home and fret over things in our houses- with pets (old or new) near the top of the list. According to Crunchbase, this spike in interest meant a surge of VC funding in everything from smart collars to special foods and vitamins. It’s a good time to be a lazy dog, and a good time to start a business for those pups.

There you have it. Have you registered for StartFEST yet? It’s going to be really great, and I mean it sincerely. Get more info here.

We’re happier than a leprechaun with a pot o’ gold to report on startup news in Utah. Do you have something you think we should share? Email us at or

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