Why Utah Puts the ‘Wiz’ in Wiz Kid

Matt Dorey, 25, envisioned Curve Dental as a teenager.

Utah ranks high on list after list of economic indicators, including best places to start and grow a business. The state is the envy of others with an unemployment rate almost three percent lower than the national average. Why? To start with, according to Forbes, Utah is a “hotbed for entrepreneurs.” I would add that the state is also a hotbed for “whiz kid” entrepreneurs. Perhaps this is due in part to Utah public schools teaching entrepreneurism starting in the 4th grade.

We have heard a lot about two college students, Josh James and John Pestana, who started a little technology company that grew into the largest tech acquisition in state history – Omniture. But, they are just the start. Many know that Paul Allen dropped out of school to run his startup, Infobases. Later, he started MyFamily.com, which grew into the present mega-family history service, Ancestry.com. Novell, WordPerfect, the list goes on of legacy companies led by Utah’s whiz kids.

Today, a new crop of young people are farming for fame and fortune in new entrepreneurial startups. Utah Student 25 recently recognized 25 new startups that created more than 100 jobs and $3.9 million in revenue in 2009.

Matt Dorey began the research and development phase for Utah-based Curve Dental five years ago as a teenager with a vision for a simpler web application designed to bring the dental industry into the computing “cloud.”  After securing $9 million in funding, Curve Dental released Curve Hero earlier this year.  Still too young to rent his own car at 24, this young executive was recently named among the top five “People to Watch” among industry pundits.

Read more of John Pilmer’s post on Utah Business Blog.

What gives young entrepreneurs an edge?

View Results

Loading ... Loading …

About the Author:

As founder of PilmerPR, John Pilmer, APR serves as a PR and marketing communications advisor for both emerging and established companies. He offers customers more than 20 years of results-driven business PR and marketing experience. John and the firm have provided PR consultation and campaigns for clients such as Mozy, Novell, AdvancedMD, Certiport, NextPage, ElectraTherm, Altiris, Avamar, EmergeCore Networks, FSLogic, INVISUS, 10x Marketing, MWI, Project Insight, REIC, Seastone, US Synthetic and Funding Universe (now Lendio), among others.
  Related Posts


  1. Thomas W. Clay  August 13, 2010

    Um… that should be “Wiz” kids, as in “wizard”. “Whiz” is associated with urination.

    I think the culture of Utah encourages entrepreneurs. The predominant religion (I am not a member) does teach self sufficiency and cooperation – two items that, while not necessary for entrepreneurship, are considered very important.


Add a Comment