2021 Startups To Watch

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FOUNDED 2018 CITY American Fork EMPLOYEES 400 in Utah; 100 in Philippines INDUSTRY Protein bars WEBSITE Built.com CEO Nick Greer, 44 THE COMPANY Built has raised the bar on protein with an obsessed fan base, a 200,000-square-foot headquarters, and 81 flavors since inception. 

BRIGHT SPOTS Built bars are low calorie and high protein — and loved by their cult-like following. GOALS 1. “Products in every country and in every mouth on the planet.” 2. “Hit a billion in sales.” 3. “Work with every athletic team to fuel them on the sidelines and in life.”  ADVICE “When things go wrong, there is no time for tears or sulking. Don’t put your head down. It’s time to put your head up higher than ever.”THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT “When we hit an embarrassing snag with the roll-out of our website, we had investors, athletes and celebrities posting that they believed in us and that Built was here to stay. That strengthened my belief as well.” SHINING MOMENT “For both marketing and capacity reasons, we have limited releases for favorite bars such as Cookie Dough Chunk and Mint Brownie. Consumers stay up late and set alarms when their favorite bars go on sale. We have 2.3 million bars ready when we offer a flavor. Our team is so excited to get new equipment next year that will allow us to make 66 million bars per month.“


FOUNDED 2020 CITY Lehi EMPLOYEES 750 INDUSTRY Solar WEBSITE Lumio.com CEO Greg Butterfield, 62 THE COMPANY Lumio makes power personal by increasing demand for renewable solar energy and decentralizing power production with tech, design and connectivity.

BRIGHT SPOTS Lumio was formed from the combination of four leading regional U.S. residential solar providers: Atlantic Key Energy, DECA, SET, and LIFT Energy. At its founding, Lumio already had a 12-month run rate of more than $1 billion in gross sales — and this sun rocket is only getting brighter. GOALS 1. “Put the power back in the hands of the people.” 2. “Be deliberate in our efforts for sincere sustainability. We think every day of how to make things that last for generations, not just fiscal quarters.” THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT “In 2005 my wife, Shelly, and I were invited to attend the World Economic Forum. While there I realized it was easy to make money but hard to make a meaningful difference. This might be my last company. I want to make a difference. We are the first generation to know about climate change and maybe the last to do something about it. I want to use my years of experience in decentralizing computing to transform the way we create energy.” SHINING MOMENT “It’s life-changing to witness leaders who want to change the world and are willing to put egos aside and work together to make the vision a reality.”


FOUNDED 2017 CITY Draper + Provo (and soon to be Pleasant Grove) EMPLOYEES 150+ (split between Utah and Minnesota) INDUSTRY Consumer products WEBSITE Brandless.com CEO Cydni Tetro THE COMPANY Brandless is a platform of “better for you” products ranging from wellness to green clean to beauty. 

BRIGHT SPOTS This consumer products platform believes when we “brand less” we can “live more.” With a simple brand and a sophisticated business plan, Brandless is acquiring companies and accelerating technology to bring hundreds of products straight to consumers.  GOALS 1. “Acquire a company per month.” 2. “Double revenue every six weeks.” 3. “Reach a billion and beyond in revenue through acquisition and growth strategies.”  ADVICE “A strong synergy between investors and operators creates a level of sophistication that’s hard to replicate. This also helps with problem-solving and decision-making capabilities.” THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT “We can effectively manage and collaborate with a team spread across the country. When we find exceptional talent who can help us achieve our objectives, we don’t ask them to relocate for us.” SHINING MOMENT “Raising $118 million. This was the largest raise ever by a female CEO. And I hope other women come behind me and break that barrier again.”


FOUNDED 2018 CITY Alpine EMPLOYEES 15 INDUSTRY Contech WEBSITE CofiSoftware.com FOUNDERS Mike Lacey, 40; Cam Harris, 34; David Rockwood, 32 THE COMPANY A construction finance tech company focused on providing better lending solutions for contractors and developers, backed by on-demand payments.

BRIGHT SPOTS If they build it, you will come. CoFi is innovating the construction finance world with top-notch tech, 300% growth year-over-year, and the recent closing of a $7 million seed round. GOALS 1. “Standardize on-demand payments in construction.” 2. “Provide the best financial products for every developer/contractor in the U.S.” 3. “Give underdeveloped countries access to capital to build the structures they need to grow.” ADVICE “Follow your heart. You will have to overcome countless obstacles, so unless you are fully committed to the vision, don’t do it.” THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT “The day Cam and I figured out the pivot. We went from selling Saas software to banks to creating a marketplace for construction loans that offer on-demand payments. Once we figured that out, the business took off.” SHINING MOMENT “It happens every Friday when our company gets together for lunch. Those relationships go deeper than any business transaction.”



INDUSTRY Sanitation WEBSITE ZehnXWipes.com FOUNDERS Mike McKinzie, 57; Scott Pinckney, 32; Kody Curtis, 33 THE COMPANY A formulator/manufacturer of sanitizing wipes and accessory products for commercial/home/personal use.

BRIGHT SPOTS Talk about a clean green sweep. Zehn-X is innovating the sanitizing industry with stellar smells and earth-friendly products. Not only has the timely company become a multi-million dollar operation in two short years, but it was also named the official licensed product of the PGA Tour. GOALS 1. “Become the leading brand for sanitizing products in the fitness club industry.” 2. “Become a top manufacturer of custom products for the business promo and marketing industry.” 3. “Reduce our environmental impact.” ADVICE “Put in the time and effort, make sacrifices, and never lose sight of your goals.” THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT “Our first multimillion-dollar order that came through shortly after the pandemic hit last year. That one order was a reminder to never dream too small.” SHINING MOMENT “Early on, we saw that product overseas was in short supply so we took a risk and purchased excess amounts of raw materials. When China shut down, many businesses were no longer able to get product. But we were able to help people and businesses protect themselves against the virus and fight the pandemic head on.”


FOUNDED 2017 CITY American Fork EMPLOYEES 20 INDUSTRY Software WEBSITE JourneyFront.com FOUNDERS Daniel Ash, 36; Nick Lyon, 41; Erik Porfeli, 51 THE COMPANY A hiring platform to help companies predict candidate performance, job satisfaction, and retention using data-driven hiring tools.

BRIGHT SPOTS It’s all about the Journey, man. In three short years, JourneyFront has raised $1.9 million in funding, won startup competitions at Silicon Slopes and RevRoad, grown 300% in the past year, and has a customer NPS of 65%. GOALS 1. “Transform the way the world thinks about the importance of hiring right — and how to do it.” 2. “Build a massively impactful company that customers and employees love.” 3. “Reach $100M in annual recurring revenue.” ADVICE “Choose your early team wisely. Everyone wants to be part of a successful company once it’s successful; few are willing to do (and risk) what it takes to lay the groundwork for that success.” THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT “I was in a job that wasn’t a match; I felt like I was using my left-hand when I was right-handed. I had strengths that weren’t being utilized, and I realized I wasn’t alone. Millions are in jobs that aren’t a match, and individuals and companies are both suffering as a result. I knew I wanted to spend my life solving problems that mattered to the world and this was the problem I wanted to solve.” 


FOUNDED 2020 CITY Orem EMPLOYEES 7 corporate, along with 400 sales reps INDUSTRY Sales/pest control WEBSITE GritMarketing.net FOUNDERS John Taylor, 27; Ben Egan, 28; Josh Nilsen, 29; Garth Massey, 29 THE COMPANY A sales and recruiting organization that trains reps for the pest control industry.

BRIGHT SPOTS Grit Marketing is getting down and gritty. Founded last year, the company — which just became an exclusive servicing partner to Aptive Environmental — will do more than $31 million of top-line revenue in its first year of business. It has over 400 sales reps, and is on track to have 700+ in 2022. GOALS  1. “Service $100 million in 2022.” 2. “Have a $950+ average contract value in 2022.” 3. “Have 800+ reps get a sale in 2022.” ADVICE “Do things that make sense. Be gritty.” THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT “When we narrowed down our ‘why,’ which is: To have a big impact on as many people as we can both current and future; to specifically impact our leaders and core group; and to build a Jim Collins ‘Built to Last’ company that has a massive impact on the industry and the state of Utah.” SHINING MOMENT “Seeing the positive impact we as a company have had on hundreds of individuals and their families. That’s why we do what we do.”


FOUNDED 2020 CITY Provo EMPLOYEESINDUSTRY Wholesale/handmade goods WEBSITE EthikCollective.com FOUNDERS Melissa Sevy, 37 THE COMPANY A wholesale platform that enables conscious companies to source ethical handmade goods from artisans around the world.

BRIGHT SPOTS Ethik has a mantra: DSTA. “Don’t screw the artisan.” With that meaningful mindset the company hit more than $1 million in sales its first year and is changing the corporate gifting world for the better. GOALS 1. “Onboard 50 artisan groups onto our platform by the end of 2021.” 2. “Double our 2020 revenue.” 3. “Create a self-serve option for our customers.” WHAT LIGHTS YOUR FIRE? “I heard from one of our artisan groups — olive woodworkers in Palestine. They are in the heart of Bethlehem. With tourism to the Holy Land completely wiped out due to Covid, workshops were on the brink of closing down. At that critical time we placed an order of several thousand olive wood items, and one of the group’s reps told me, ‘It was as if this order fell from the sky.’ It enabled them to stay open and feed their families. Hearing stories like this motivates me to keep at it.” 


FOUNDED 2019 CITY Springville EMPLOYEES 9 INDUSTRY E-commerce/consumer goods WEBSITE TacomaLifestyle.com FOUNDERS Carson Rawle, 27; Connor Rawle, 31 THE COMPANY Online superstore for everything Toyota Tacoma.

BRIGHT SPOTS For two outdoor enthusiast brothers, Tacoma Lifestyle has been an off-road, on-brand adventure. The company started in a basement two years ago, has grown 400 percent in the last year, is now a dealer for over 50 brands, is a designer and manufacturer of their own line of products, and has more than 320k followers on Instagram. GOALS 1. “Growing our product offering.” 2. “Next level customer service experience.” 3. “Manufacturing a broad range of in-house products.” ADVICE “Don’t wait for everything to be perfect. Turn your business on and seize the opportunity before it’s too late.” THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT “Our initial business was one big website where we catered to all off-road vehicles and outdoor enthusiasts. After little success, we listened to our customers who wanted a vehicle-specific website. This completely transformed our business. Everyone always tells you to find the BIGGEST industry and disrupt. We’ve done the opposite. Find a niche, and be the best in the industry.” SHINING MOMENT “Creating jobs. Taking care of our employees and their families is what it’s all about for us.“


FOUNDED 2020 CITY Orem EMPLOYEES 5 INDUSTRY Photo/technology WEBSITE  PersnicketyBox.com FOUNDER Chari Pack, 46 THE COMPANY An app that turns phone captures into real-life photographs with a simple swipe by delivering 100% film chemistry prints in a recycled keepsake story box.

BRIGHT SPOTS Ten years after launching Persnickety Prints, Chari Pack launched sister company Persnickety Box — aka Tinder for your camera roll. Pack quickly caught the eye of Adobe Spark Suite, partnered with Rev Road, was featured in Forbes’ “Next 1000,” and PB is on track to grow over 1,100% percent this year. GOALS 1. “Moving to International markets in 2022.” 2. “Sharing our storytelling box with Oprah — she’ll love it!” ADVICE “Network. Learn. Knowledge is power.” THE LIGHTBULB MOMENT “After three years and $150,000 in dead-end app developers I found Rev Road. I pitched Persnickety Box, they loved it and we finished the app in 4 months.” WHAT LIGHTS YOUR FIRE? “My husband. He’s a natural optimist. And he promises we can run away to Bali if necessary.” SHINING MOMENT “We hosted a virtual app launch. Thousands watched live, yet our story box was stuck on a vessel in customs. So stressful. But we solved problems and found solutions. A strong team can conquer anything.”

THE FINE PRINT The Startups to Watch list is selected from a pool of applicants with less than four years of operating history. The winners and rankings were determined by BusinessQ’s editorial board based on revenue, leadership teams, industry and overall potential.