Utah may be only the 45th state to enter the Union, but its entrepreneurial bona fides stretch back a long way. One of America's first department stores, Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution, opened in Utah in 1868, booking $1.25 million in its first year of business.
More recently, Utah has also become known for its tech community. With such companies as Novell (now Micro Focus) and Omniture calling the state home, there's an abundance of experience and talent from which to draw.
Plus, money is flowing into the state with enthusiasm. In the first nine months of 2014, Provo-Orem VCs invested $51.3 million per deal on average--more than any other U.S. city over the period, according to the National Venture Capital Association. See why the following 10 fast-growing companies are giving these VCs all the reason in the world to open their wallets.
Helping electronics lovers avoid broken phones and tablets--and a lot of frustration--has been a big business for BodyGuardz since 2002. That's when the company started making its small line of screen protectors. In 2014, it reeled in nearly $47 million in revenue--a 1,000 percent jump from 2011. Though this is its third appearance on the Inc. 5000, BodyGuardz is still a relatively small shop, with just 39 employees in 2014.
9. Utopian Luxury Vacation Homes
Only the best will do for the customers of this luxury accommodations provider. With only 12 employees and properties in Park City, Jackson Hole, Palm Springs, and Aspen, Utopian earned $5 million in revenue in 2014--up 1,300 percent since 2011 when it employed just four workers.
This Lindon-based company booked $273 million in revenue in 2014--up 1,400 percent from 2011--buying and selling real estate. Sharing the wealth, Nudge also provides investment training, and hired 614 people between 2011 and 2014.
A resource for more than 4,000 creative and tech courses in areas such as coding, design software, and data analytics, Pluralsight fuels innovative minds in business and education. The company's sales hit $64 million in 2014--up 1,400 percent since 2011. It also grew its staff to 371 from just 10 employees over the period.
6. Auric Solar
Taking advantage of Western sunshine, this company installs solar panels for residents and businesses in Utah and Idaho. The company started in a garage in 2010, grew to 27 employees in 2014, and had revenue growth of 1,800 percent during those three years--pulling in $13.6 million in 2014.
Creating software solutions for such companies as T. Mobile and Dell, Lancera reeled in nearly $3 million in revenue in 2014--that's a growth rate of 2,600 percent since 2011. Staff also increased to 120 in 2014, from just five in 2011.
4. Mac Warehouse
This 18-person company revives preowned Apple products and sells them online from its retail store in Sandy, Utah. Since launching in 2011, the company grew revenue 4,800 percent to $5.3 million in 2014.
3. Crest Financial Services
Using a no-credit-needed approach to financing, Crest Financial Services partners with retailers of goods such as furniture, appliances, and tires to provide financing to people and businesses regardless of credit histories. With a staff of 207 in 2014--up from 11 in 2011--the company's revenue climbed to $115 million, a 6,000 percent growth rate since 2011.
2. SkyRocket Media
Driving traffic to clients' websites using affiliate marketing and business intelligence, SkyRocket Media is on the crest of the new media wave. The company booked $11.8 million in revenue in 2014--up more than 8,000 percent since 2011.
The online clothing boutique for women and children brought in $57 million in revenue in 2014, up nearly 19,000 percent since its founding in 2011. Over the same period, the company also hired 51 people, topping out at 53 in 2014.