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