UV50: 10 Startups to Watch 2015

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At a glance The fountain of youth never gets old. Meet these 10 sprightly startups stirring up success with strength, smarts and spunk. Read through the ranks to see why their short lives will make a long impression.

NO. 1 Chatbooks

Founded 2014 City Provo Employees 38 Industry Technology/photo books Website chatbooks.com Founders Vanessa Quigley, 43; Nate Quigley, 43

The Company A provider of automatic photo books. Customers use their web apps to subscribe to a printer version of the photos and stories they share on social media.

Notables and Quotables

1. Chatbooks has raised $2.1 million in funding.
2. It has printed more than 500,000 books for its customers.
3. The company has more than 143,000 followers on Instagram. And its initial growth came from social media shout-outs. “Right as we started Chatbooks, we were blessed to have some Insta-famous friends post about us on their accounts,” Vanessa Quigley says. “We’ll never forget the moment our Instagram followers broke through the 10K mark (getting a “K” is a big deal!). We were on top of the world.”
4. Chatbooks’ team is made up of a #momforce. “Our customer base is largely women and our work-from-home support team knows what makes other women tick. They anticipate needs, solve problems and have really become the voice of our company.”
5. “Most rewarding? Seeing the #lovechatbooks posts people were sharing as our first customers started receiving their books back in June 2014. We would sit in bed at night and scroll through that hashtag looking at photos of kids sitting in the middle of a pile of Chatbooks. The captions and comments just blew us away.”

NO. 2 DevMountain

Founded 2013 City Provo Employees 61 Industry Education/technology Website devmountain.com Co-Founder Tyler Richards (27), Cahlan Sharp and Colt Henrie

The Company A coding school for novice and seasoned students.

Startups to Watch 2015Notables and Quotables

1. With more than 300 graduates, two campuses and six course offerings, DevMountain is the largest coding/technology school in the Intermountain West — and one of the highest rated coding schools in the country.
2. Companies like Domo, InsideSales, Jane, MX and Overstock.com have hired DevMountain graduates for key engineering roles.
3. DevMountain has 5-star student reviews, 600+ full-time course hours and a free housing program for full-time students.
4. Students experience a 98 percent placement rate after the 12-week course.
5. “Meaningful companies are built on a strong, timeless vision,” Richards says. “Then those companies go out and create their vision. Our vision is to empower people through accessible and impactful technical education.”

NO. 3 Cubby’s

Founded 2012 City Lehi Employees 90 Industry Restaurant Website Under construction. For now: cubbyschicagobeef.blogspot.com Founder Cubby James, 38

The Company A restaurant where Midwest comfort cuisine meets healthy eats.

Notables and Quotables

1. Cubby’s started as one Provo location with a cool, hipster vibe. In three years, it’s grown to four locations and a food truck.
2. Cubby’s big break? The cow, of course. “People instagram our cow logo constantly,” James says.
3. “Our riskiest decision was having organic and grass fed beef on the menu with higher prices in a college town. But Utah Valley appreciates good food with good ingredients. We’re right at home.”
4. “If you want the best, create the right culture. Implement fun in everything. Pay more than anyone else in your industry. And have amazing parties. We spent $30,000 last year at our three company parties.”
5. “There’s no ultimate goal of a hundred stores in 10 years. There’s no goal of being all over the country. It might happen. But what will happen is we’ll continue to have happy employees and happy customers.”

NO. 4 Owlet

Founded 2013 City Provo Employees 14 Industry Technology/medical Website owletcare.com Founders Jordan Monroe, 26; Kurt Workman, 26; Zack Bomsta, 27

The Company Provider of a baby sock that alerts parents through their smart device if their baby stops breathing in the middle of the night.

When it comes to venture capital, this group of 10 startups is split down the middle —  exactly half have taken outside funding.

When it comes to venture capital, this group of 10 startups is split down the middle —
exactly half have taken outside funding.

Notables and Quotables

1. Owlet has received $9.2 million in funding — and plans to be in 50,000 homes by mid-2017.
2. “The most amazing experience was when we got an email from a customer whose baby was choking on her own spitup and our monitor alerted them to go and intervene so she could start breathing again,” Monroe says. “There’s no prouder accomplishment than that.”
3. The company has been featured on The Today Show, Martha Stewart, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, TechCrunch and Yahoo!.
4. “At Owlet, we don’t believe in big breaks. Success is day-in and day-out — doing things our best and doing them right.”
5. “Our ultimate dream for the company is to create a medical monitor that saves lives. Currently, 20-times more healthy infants pass away from breathing issues than from automobile accidents. Car seats are mandatory in every single state. It is not too crazy to imagine a world where every child comes home from the hospital with a health monitor like Owlet.”

NO. 5 Motivosity

Founded 2013 City Highland Employees 11
Industry Technology Website motivosity.com Founder Scott Johnson, 46

The Company Provider of a software that increases employee morale and team unity by providing a peer-to-peer recognition and rewards system.

Notables and Quotables

1. Teams that use Motivosity see engagement rates of more than 95 percent and benefit from flourishing cultures and powerful relationships.
2. Clients include BlueHost, SolutionStream, Workfront, Canvas and Alliance Health.
3. Founder Scott Johnson is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded the ultra-successful AtTask (now Workfront). Starting another company wasn’t the easiest of decisions. “Let’s see … go wakeboarding or have more years of entrepreneurial brain damage? Brain damage won,” Johnson says.
4. With the software, companies can create a high-performance culture through peer-to-peer rewards, remembering employee birthdays, and people analytics.
5. “Motivosity needs to be both the best work experience hundreds of employees will ever have in their career, and the recognized leader in solutions that drive employee engagement in the workplace.”

NO. 6 DemoChimp

Founded 2013 City American Fork Employees 35 Industry Technology Website demochimp.com Founder Garin Hess, 45; Matt Behrend, 31; Scott Rafferty, 34; Stephen Felt, 41

The Company A Saas that creates and automates product demos to drive buying consensus and accelerate B2B sales.

UV50 Startsups to Watch 2015Notables and Quotables

1. In April, DemoChimp raised $2.8 million in funding, and its founders are serial entrepreneurs determined to solve hard problems.
2. More than a hundred companies have deployed DemoChimp. Clients include HP, Microsoft, Tripwire, Balihoo, Autodesk and more.
3. DemoChimp’s clients have cut their sales cycles by 68 percent and jumped close rates by 44 percent.
4. The company has grown 44 percent quarter over quarter and closed a $60,000 deal with a Fortune 100 company in less than a week.
5. “Test and track everything. Sell, sell, sell. Revenue booked matters more than anything, and it isn’t because of the cash that will sustain or increase your runway — it’s what you learn when you focus on figuring out what your clients will buy.”

NO. 7 HEROIC

Founded 2014 City Provo Employees 150 Industry Technology/support/cyber security Website heroic.com Founder Chad Bennett, 35

The Company A provider of enterprise strength cyber security for individuals and families at a monthly cost.

Notables and Quotables

1. HEROIC was formerly known as Box Support, and is a sister company to Lancera, a custom software development and cyber security company.
2. The company has already supported nearly 750,000 people with technology and security issues.
3. In 2014, it was awarded the Top Tech X Award and named one of UVEF’s Top 25 Under 5.
4. “Studies show that you are 100 times more likely to be hacked than have your home broken into,” Bennett says. “We have been working to solve these issues by building the next generation of cyber security for the little guys.”
5. And the company is just getting started. “According to analysts, more than 50 billion devices — from laptops and computers to smart refrigerators and smart cars — will be online by the year 2020. Those devices will be subject to more frequent and more malicious cyber threats and attacks than ever before. Someone needs to protect them. HEROIC was founded to do just that.”

NO. 8 Rhonna Designs

Founded 2013 City Orem EmployeesIndustry Technology/mobile device apps Website rhonnadesigns.com Founder Rhonna Farrer, 47

The Company A provider of photo edit tools and designs, including exclusive frames, masks, fonts, filters and workshops.

Age of the youngest entrepreneurs on the list — Jordan Monroe & Kurt Workman of Owlet

Age of the youngest entrepreneurs on the list — Jordan Monroe & Kurt Workman of Owlet

Notables and Quotables

1. The App Store featured Rhonna Designs on its top apps list and awarded it “Best of 2013.”
2. Rhonna Designs is feeling the “double tap” love. With more than 80,000 followers on Instagram, she is leading — and designing — the conversation in her industry. Moreover, Farrer regularly collaborates with other bloggers and digital thought leaders.
3. “I have an abundance mindset,” Farrer says. “I believe there’s room for everyone and there are enough ideas to go around. When I base any decision on this, it comes back ten-fold.”
4. The app ranked No. 1 in the App Store and has been
rated 4.5 stars by users.
5. Additionally, the company recently launched the Windows version of the app. “Windows has the vision of combining mobile apps with desktop features, so when we launched Rhonna Designs on Windows phones, tablets AND desktop computers, that was pretty awesome.”

NO. 9 DiVi Energy

Founded 2012 City Lindon Employees 10
Industry Energy/sustainability
Website divienergy.com
Founders Scott Thompson, 39; Bryce Westcott, 40; Kevin Deiber, 34; Doug Webb, 41

The Company An outsourced energy manager and original equipment manufacturer.

Notables and Quotables

1. In 2014, DiVi Energy implemented projects that produced more than 1.5 million kilowatt hours of energy savings.
2. Last year, DiVi Energy received the “Outstanding Newcomer Award” from Rocky Mountain Power.
3. As part of its bootstrapping strategy, the founders built their own desks and are using a cardboard box as a conference room table.
4. DiVi Energy’s Co-Founder, Scott Thompson, currently serves as Chair of BOMA Utah’s Energy & Sustainability Committee.
5. The company works with school districts, gas stations, corporations and other entities to leverage budget-neutral solutions that meet complex energy management challenges. “We want to change the way people use energy and create a legacy brand that’s known for its positive impact on society.”

NO. 10 Snach.it

Founded 2015 City Lehi EmployeesIndustry Technology/retail/mobile device apps Website snach.it Founder Angela Ramirez, 34

The Company A shopping app that offers curated, trendy and fashion-forward items for 30 seconds at a time. It’s Groupon meets Snapchat.

UV50 Startsups to Watch 2015Notables and Quotables

1. Founder Angela Ramirez is an avid mobile shopper with more than 10 years of product sourcing and development experience. When she was at Overstock.com, Ramirez managed $100+ million in revenue.
2. Ramirez and her husband own a small investment firm, Zerimar Ventures. One of its portfolio companies is a key player behind Snach.it.
3. In this first phase of the business, Ramirez is focusing on simplicity. “Leaving out a large percentage of the app’s features is painful, but in business, I’ve learned it’s best to roll out an MVP and then iterate like crazy once the app is in users’ hands,” Ramirez says.
4. “Love what you’re doing, and do it with passion. Stay humble.”
5. “Our ultimate dream is to be acquired by a social media powerhouse who has the customers we need and the social fiber to really make snach.it unique.”

THE FINE PRINT The Startups to Watch list was selected from a pool of applicants that have less than three years of operating history. The winners were determined by BusinessQ’s editorial board.

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