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Southern Utah's tech community growing as more companies join Tech Ridge

Posted at 8:11 AM, Mar 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-07 10:11:57-05

ST. GEORGE, Utah — The future is looking bright for Southern Utah's tech community.

Already there are four companies signed on to be a part of Tech Ridge, an area being developed on the west side of St. George.

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The companies that are there or are in the process of building their offices are Zonos, Vasion, BusyBusy, and Intergalactic (formerly Airborne ECS).

"Typically if a company became really successful in the past in St. George you needed to move to Salt Lake City so you could recruit the right talent," said Isaac Barlow, the Managing Partner of Tech Ridge and the CEO of BusyBusy.

The hope is that Tech Ridge can be a place for startups or existing companies to grow, so they don't have to move to bigger cities.

Clint Reid, the CEO & Founder of Zonos said, "The same people were asking questions to tech companies up in Northern Utah about - 'Hey Silicon Valley, why wouldn’t you be building your company here? Everybody’s here, right?' It’s a different world today than it was five years ago and five years ago for them."

That different world includes the ability to work remotely, which has been pushed into place more prominently by the COVID-19 pandemic, something another local tech company realizes.

"I think just with the whole craze with working from home has allowed a lot of entrepreneurs to really just open up and start businesses from anywhere," said McKay Bird, the Marketing Director at TCN.

The ability to work from home can be especially beneficial to companies like Intergalactic, an aerospace tech company that needs highly skilled engineers to help create next-generation space technology.

Brian McCann, the President and CEO of Intergalactic said, "To get that kind of technology, you’ve got to find like-minded engineers and if we force them to move to St. George you’re going to really narrow the hiring pool."

So they give engineers the option to work remotely at first before transitioning them to St. George over time.

"I think Utah draws a very unique group of entrepreneurial-minded people and so there’s a ton of talent in Utah," said Brittany Fay, the Director of Corporate Marketing at Vasion.

All of this could eventually help bring more tech companies to the red rocks of Southern Utah, including some bigger names.

Garrett Helmer, the Chief Marketing Officer at Vasion said, "I absolutely do believe larger logos will find this to be an awesome place to put satellite offices, but I also see this being a place of incubation for new startups for many years to come in St. George."

Another great thing for Southern Utah tech companies is the connection they have to Dixie Technical College and Dixie State University.

These help them source talented people, who are already nearby, to fill their open positions and foster young talent.