January 11, 2016

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Around Utah Facts December

January 11, 2016

“[With wire-companies], you get this order in that gives you an exact recipe to follow and there’s no creativity. You can’t do anything different with it, because the customer has already seen it online somewhere. You can’t create something for your customer,” says Hutchings. “It is nice with BloomNation to create something and put it on your site … [At Timp Valley Floral] we put our heart and soul into what we make.”

Utah Valley

Pleasant Grove – GROVE CREEK II, a new Class A office building in Pleasant Grove, officially broke ground. Located at 2168 W. Grove Parkway, Grove Creek II is designed to be a three-story, Class A, 60,000-square-foot office building and is the third building to be constructed in the Grove Creek office park. The structure broke ground in October and is projected to be completed the summer of 2016. CBRE is the exclusive listing broker. Nearon Enterprises is the building’s developer.

Orem – Advisory CPA firm Hawkins Cloward & Simister changed its name to HAWKINS. The firm's full-service retirement plan division will be known as Hawkins Retirement. In conjunction with the name change, the company is launching a new branding campaign and corporate website, MyCPA.com.

American Fork – POPEYES LOUISIANA KITCHEN opened a store in American Fork.  Popeyes currently has nine stores across Utah.

Provo – BYU BROADCASTING, including its nationwide university-affiliated flagship cable television network BYUtv, received 10 Emmy Awards at the annual Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Awards Ceremony.

Orem – Furniture manufacturer MITYLITE unveiled The Galleria Collection, five new stackable banquet chair designs with multiple frame and finish options. Developed in collaboration with Avenue Interior Design, The Galleria Collection debuted at the Boutique Design New York.

Boombox Takes Off with Utah Talent, Funding
By Lisa Christensen

Lehi – Watch out, Buzzfeed—there’s a new interactive content creator in town.

Boombox, a creative suite from MOVEMENT VENTURES, lets website producers add interactive content like quizzes, polls and lists—features that previously were reserved for big sites with dedicated engineers, says Movement CEO and co-founder Josh Little.

“We feel like we’re democratizing content on the web by allowing anyone to create Buzzfeed-like content on their site. In the past, it’s only been the publishing elite who could spend months and thousands of dollars making something. Most people don’t have that,” he says. “In order to remain relevant on the web, you have to create content. In order to stay living and stay in Google’s good graces, you have to have this constant stream of content.”

Boombox’s pedigree includes Qzzr and Pollcaster, which have been used over the past year or two by more than 80,000 websites, including CBS, Yahoo! and Lonely Planet. Little says Qzzr and Pollster are more stand-alone products than the Boombox platform, but Movement’s experience with those products has helped it prepare for whatever clients—or the web—throw at Boombox.

Case in point: in February of this year, a photo of a striped dress befuddled the internet as users argued about whether it was blue and black or white and gold. Gawker posted a poll using Qzzr called “What Color Is This Goddamn Dress?” The response was enormous and almost immediate.

“Nobody knew that dress controversy was going to be so popular, not even Gawker. That quiz was taken like 1.6 million times in probably eight to 12 hours,” Little says. “That was a fun night. We had two of our engineers sleep at the office just to keep it live.”

The fact that Utah’s thriving tech scene helped birth Boombox is only surprising because until recently, Little lived in Michigan, where he had also built Qzzr and Pollster. After hiring one person for this project from Utah, Little decided to come out to meet his new employee, and on a whim, posted about wanting to meet up with other members of the tech community.

“I had 25 people who wanted to meet up and talk shop. I was just blown away with the community and the understanding they had about SaaS and the talent and culture,” he says. “I ended up hiring four people that week and I realized I hired my whole leadership team in Utah and moved my company from Michigan to Utah because of that.”

Although Little bootstrapped Qzzr and Pollster with no outside funding, he did decide to court businesses, angel investors and venture capitalists to help give Boombox a boost.

“I decided when we did our seed round that I strategically wanted to have Utah firms so they could expand my network, which was weak at the time,” he says. “That’s turned out to be a wonderful relationship.”

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