It’s a wrap on this year’s Startup Santa book drive, where over 50,000 books were collected and distributed to kids across the state.
We are pleased to present the Startup Santa Leaderboard Top Ten:
Domo, Traeger, and Brainstorm were obviously our biggest donors, but we appreciate every donation, some made by companies with only a few employees. These donations support literacy programs across the state. Thank you for your generosity.
We also want to thank Boomsourcing, for hosting our kickoff event at Rice Eccles Stadium,
Real Salt Lake for hosting our Startup Santa Mixer in the Audi Executive Club, and the volunteers who spent their morning reading to kids at Fox Hollow Elementary School.
Also, a huge thanks to United Way for their hard work in coordinating the program, collecting the books, and distributing those books to kids in need.
We look forward to seeing what this community can do in the next year to learn, connect, and serve.
Want to spread holiday cheer all year? Contact your United Way to learn how you and your organization can make giving back to your local community a part of your New Year’s resolution.
Weeks ago the media stopped really covering Puerto Rico and the devastation Hurricane Maria left on the island. In what feels like a never-ending stream of shocking headlines, news of Puerto Rico has been overshadowed by more recent events. But while our attention may have shifted to other issues, Puerto Rico is still suffering and still needs our help.
Most of the island remains without power or clean water. “Running water that may be available to some of the island is contaminated and needs to be boiled but they have no working stoves or resources to do so. Going to the bathroom without running water is the reality the island has been dealing with since September,” explains Nichelle Jensen, co-founder of People Helping Puerto Rico. “Only a small percentage of the hospitals on the island are operating and those hospitals are operating only at a fraction of their normal capacity. This means most people aren’t receiving basic healthcare like something as simple as an asthma inhaler. Makeshift medical clinics in school gymnasiums and churches are currently serving the majority of the medical needs for the island. Most people are living without roofs which makes most homes breeding grounds for mold, if they are not already covered in mold. Puerto Rico is hot, humid, and covered in mosquitos, many children and elderly folks aren’t healthy enough to handle the combination of the heat, lack of water, and lack of shelter for such a long period of time. Even for some citizens who may have power restored, their refrigerators are now covered in mold and their stoves were destroyed by the storm. An average cost for a new roof is about $3,000 and with a large percentage of businesses not in operation, people are without work and without funds to put another roof on their home or buy a new stove.”
Co-founder Ryan Smart adds, “In other areas[affected by disaster], people are connected by land, so you can drive in resources, neighbors can come help rebuild — not on an island, especially on an island that has not had basic needs met for a long time. These people are suffering. Puerto Rico is in an even worse state than it was the days of the storm .”
Jensen and Smart wanted to help alleviate some of Puerto Rico’s pain so they reached out to the Vivint Gives Back initiative, whose leaders have served as invaluable mentors, and partnered with the nonprofit Wings of Hope. They created the Instagram account People Helping PR, and started asking businesses and individuals to donate goods and services to be auctioned. “These items range from something as simple as a baked good all the way up to a week’s stay at a VRBO in Hawaii — if you’re lucky you can bid on both and be eating a chocolate cream pie on the beaches of Oahu,” Smart says. “We post the good and service and ask the donor along with all our friends and businesses to share the cause on their feeds.” All donated items will be available for bidding Saturday, December 2 at 8 pm (PST), and the auction will close Sunday, December 3 at 8 pm (PST). The highest bidder on each post will win the item, and their donation will go directly to the people of Puerto Rico.
The list of items is both long and impressive, and all donated by people who just want to help. “People are good — that’s what we’ve found,” Smart says. “The majority of people are so willing to help however they can, most just don’t know how. People may not be able to donate a lot of money or go and physically help, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t willing. All people have talents and this lets up tap into that, allow them to do good, and use that talent to help so many others. It’s also contagious, when people see others jumping in to help, they don’t want to miss out either. It’s a great way to join people together, create a mini community and also show off people’s talents — so many side benefits on being a part of one of these auctions.” Jensen adds, “Making people see that there is a lot of value to be had from any size effort has created a domino effect and more donations keep rolling in.”
Jensen and Smart hope to raise enough from the auction to see roofs go on houses and see food, water, and medical supplies reach the Puerto Ricans that need them. “We’d like to help as many people as we possibly can,” Jensen says.
Remember, the auction begins SATURDAY at 8 PM (PST), and can be found at @peoplehelpingpr on Instagram. Your winning bids will help People Helping Puerto Rico live up to its name.
This Is The Place (A Silicon Slopes Production) delivers wide-ranging, occasionally serious commentary on tech, Utah, and everything in between. Hosted by Silicon Slopes editors Meg Morley Walter and Chris Rawle, This Is The Place examines Utah-centric stories that range from inspiring and relevant to completely bonkers.
In episode 12, Chris, Meg, and Clint discuss the upcoming tech summit, plans for more podcasts (what?! why?!), and other tech news, followed by thirty minutes of roasting one another. If you’re wondering how this thing has lasted twelve episodes, you’re not alone.
“We believe that simple actions can spark positive reactions for change and that our people play an essential role in making a difference in the world each day.”
In 1979, a physician at the University of Utah developed temporary healthcare staffing. He helped place healthcare professionals in the historically underserved areas of the rural southwest. CHG Healthcare has since grown into a thriving business that places physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and physical and occupational therapists in hospitals and clinics across the country.
Headquartered in Midvale, the company employs more than 2,500 people in eight offices across the country, including Utah, Florida, North Carolina, Connecticut, Michigan and Oklahoma.
The company is also passionate about its culture. “We’ve found that when you create an atmosphere of respect, caring, trust and fun — and really allow people to be themselves — people will bring their best selves to work every day and will take care of our customers and each other,” Beck says. He explains that it’s putting people first that sets CHG apart from other companies in the industry. Beck says, “We’re in the relationship business. Our customers need to know that they can trust us and can trust our providers with their patients.”
But, Beck explains, culture hasn’t always been the company’s strength. In 2001 their turnover rate was nearly 50 percent, which was expensive and led to a lot of lost productivity. “We realized that for us to succeed, we’d need to create a culture where employees could grow their careers and find purpose in their work,” Beck says. “We started by defining our company’s core beliefs — continuous improvement, integrity, quality, growth, and putting people first — and then committed to creating a culture that embodied these values.”
CHG now has a turnover rate of just 14.5 percent and an employee engagement rate of 90 percent, as well as the highest revenue in the history of the company. The change is so remarkable, one might even call it award winning. Fortune magazine named CHG one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For each of the past eight years. The company has been recognized as one of the best staffing firms to work for by Staffing Industry Analysts. And they’ve been recognized by People magazine as one of its 50 Companies that Care for its commitment to making a difference.
“Our goal is to continue to create a highly engaging culture that empowers our people to make a difference to each other, our communities and our customers,” Beck says. “This will help us to continue to attract top talent who will bring diverse thoughts and skills that will enhance our culture and help us continue to be a leader in the industry.”
“We’re also focusing on continuing to provide our customers with the best experience possible, tailored to their individual needs. We want to make sure we are making it easier for our customers to work with CHG than any other staffing company by improving our processes, our relationships, and the technology that enhances the experience.”
“Sales leaders and sales people need to be able to predict the future, no magic required.”
Have you heard of this small little CRM platform that the kids are calling “Salesforce”? It’s no big deal, just the platform by which major companies the world over decide their fates. And often, those fates are determined by how well a company leverages Salesforce.
Rob Jeppsen, founder of Xvoyant, gets that. He’s understood that since his days of running sales for Zions Bank. “I remember when we rolled out Salesforce [at Zions],” Jeppsen says. “We got really good and focused on using salesforce to predict what happens.” When he says, “really good,” he means really good. Like, won 15 Stevie Awards good. And helped 70% of the sales team hit their goals good. But it took a lot of time and a lot of manual work that Jeppson knew he wanted to automate.
So he did. After leaving Zions, Jeppsen founded Xvoyant, which is best described as coaching technology embedded in Salesforce. If you hear “coaching” and think of a portly man with a whistle telling you to run laps — like I did — let Jeppsen explain. “Coaching is the process of creating consistency and processes for outcomes,” he says. “If you have coaching, performance goes up. Coaching drives engagement.”
Managers look to coaching as a way to get the most out of what they have. In other words, coaching allows for better sales numbers without bringing in more sales people, because coaching helps managers recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their teams.
Xvoyant, which is native in Salesforce, looks at all historical data to create predictive coaching plans. It also predicts the financial impact if the coaching plans are followed.
So, let’s say I finally chase my dreams and start a rubber chicken factory. And I become the very best, with distributors in every state. As the owner of Meg’s Rubber Chickens, historically, I haven’t known much about my sales data beyond who sold what. And in order to increase sales, my goals have always been tied to quotas. I want more though, and I don’t want to hire more sales representatives. So Xvoyant gives me a tool that I can access from within Salesforce that shows me all the activity of my sales teams. I can then identify who is coachable, what my key points are in the sales process, and where my losses are coming from. I can schedule coaching sessions and set goals and track both in Salesforce. And so with the help of Xvoyant, I make the cover of Forbes and then retire in the south of France. Thanks, Xvoyant!
The company currently has 15 employees and is growing fast with customers all over the country.” We’re really proud that 100% of the customers didn’t have a budget for this,” Jeppsen says. “We’re winning enterprise deals because the space for coaching is so strong and the salesforce utilization changes instantly.”
“I want to build a billion dollar company,” Jeppsen says. “I want to create technology that changes how sales leaders lead their teams.”
We’re constantly working to expand our product line at a low price and it’s led to a lot of expansion and organic growth.
When Josh Bird bought a Baskin Robbins franchise, he soon realized there was a severe lack of systemization in regards to how employees were managed. He felt as though he had unintentionally bought a job instead of a business. He tried using google docs to build systems that would help with management and communication, but ultimately was unable to get the docs to do what he wanted. So he partnered with developer Tyler Slater and together they built Jolt. Later, their first employee CJ Lewis became a partner as well.
Jolt is a cloud-based workforce management software platform that enables employers to make sure their employees know how to do their job, when to do their job, and what is expected of them. Features of the platform include tasks and checklists, forms and inspections, an information library, employee scheduling, time and attendance tracking, employee announcements, a logbook and journal, date code labeling, and automated temperature sensors.
Up until six months ago, the Jolt team was working out of a basement. They’ve since grown to 30 employees serving thousands and thousands of businesses. “We’re in a really crazy growth phase,” Slater says. It’s a growth he attributes to the quality of the product. “Our engineering team has always outnumbered our sales team,” Slater says. “We’re not looking for 100 customers, we’re looking for 10 fans. Our customers are our fans.” That focus has led to intense customer loyalty, to the point where customers send explicit emails complimenting the software.
Because their loyal customers are highly networked and include a number of chains, Jolt has spread quickly. Jolt is currently used in 10% of all Chick-Fil-A’s and hundreds of McDonald’s. Jolt is also used in LegoLand in the Florida and California locations, as well as international locations. Their list of clients is extensive and continues to grow. “We’re constantly working to expand our product line at a low price and it’s led to a lot of expansion and organic growth,” Slater explains.
Jolt has obtained a dominant position in their market and as Slater explains, “Our future path is pretty clear right now.” They hope to expand their product offering and eventually take over as a mainstream platform across all industries.
Jolt is currently looking for employees in every department. They want team members who are honest, organized and talented. If you fit that bill, contact Jolt.