Interested in presenting your company?


What is Investors Choice®? 

The Investors Choice® Conference continues to help emerging companies improve their business pitch, gain business insight and attract potential investors. Companies participating in this Conference have gone on to raise over $9.5 billion in financial transactions since the Institute’s Founding in 1983, with $250 Million in angel and venture capital in 2014 alone! Companies such as Omniture, Sonic Innovations, Myriad Genetics, and Ancestory.com are VentureCapital.org alumni and past presenters. Angel companies such as Catheter Connections, Domain VentureCapital.org. Come network with investors, entrepreneurs, and service providers.

Up to 25 companies will be pitching at this year’s Conference.

When/where is the conference?

The Conference will be a two-day event in 2017. Ski Day and the Investors Reception at the Gallivan Center will be held on February 16, 2017.

The 33rd Annual Investors Choice Conference will be held on February 17, 2017 at the Grand America Hotel.

Who Can Attend?

Entrepreneurs, investors, and service providers.

Interested in sponsoring or mentoring opportunities ?

Contact Brad Bertoch or Jennifer Meyer if you are interested in becoming involved in this event or sponsorship opportunities.

Brad Bertoch, President, bbertoch@venturecapital.org

Jennifer Meyer, Chief Operations Officer, jmeyer@venturecapital.org

Event Organizer:

Adriana Martin, Communications & Events Director, amartin@venturecapital.org

About VentureCapital.org:

2016 is a year of great change for the Wayne Brown Institute including a new name, a new brand, new offices, and expanded staff.  We have honed our vision and are embarking on a new adventure to re-brand and re-fresh our programs under a new name, VentureCapital.org.  The core of who we are and what we do will not change.  Our mission has been and will continue to be “to improve the human condition through technological entrepreneurship”.  However, we will be making bold changes in how we communicate and collaborate with our stakeholders.  Our new mantra is Start. Find Money. Change The World. 

Start. We are introducing state of the art content in our educational programs and refining our Cooperative Venturing programs to improve results for our entrepreneurs, mentors, sponsors, investors and interns.

Find Money.  We won’t be forging this path alone. We will continue to engage our network that solidifies VentureCapital.org’s stature as the leading and most effective non-profit venture accelerator in the country.  VentureCapital.org’s Cooperative Venturing Network represents a stellar network of venture professionals who are actively engaged in advancing the entrepreneur.

Change The World.  When entrepreneurs have the skills, the network, and the resources they need, they can start on their journey to make change.

We look forward to a bright and exciting future.  Join us to:

Start. Find Money. Change The World.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Ski Day – Location TBA

9:00  –  4:00   Ski, Ski, Ski

10:00 – 12:00  6th Annual Investors Choice Ski Race

12:00 – 1:30   Luncheon

Gallivan Hall, 239 S. Main St., Salt Lake City, UT

6:00 – 9:00 Investor Reception

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Grand America Hotel, 555 S. Main St. Salt Lake City, UT

8:00 – 8:45    Check In

8:45 – 9:00    Welcome

9:00 – 12:00  Company Presentations

12:00 – 1:45  Luncheon Program and Featured Speakers (See How to Raise Money Tab)

2:00 – 4:00   Panel Discussions

4:00 –  5:30  Mix’n it Up Reception

February 2017

To be announced!

Below are the agenda and speakers from the 2016 Investors Choice Conference.

Governor Herbert Pic

Governor Gary Richard Herbert has led Utah’s recovery from the Great Recession to a position of national economic prominence. His unwavering focus on economic development includes attracting businesses and investment to the state while helping homegrown businesses flourish.

The Governor is focused on four cornerstones to strengthen Utah’s economy: education, jobs, energy, and self-determination. As a result, Utah has become a premier destination for business, jobs, and an unsurpassed quality of life.

The Governor currently serves as Chair of the National Governors Association, where his chair’s initiative focuses on highlighting state-based solutions while enhancing a collaborative state-federal partnership.

As Utah’s 17th Governor, he took the Oath of Office on August 11, 2009. Prior to becoming the state’s chief executive, Governor Herbert served as Lieutenant Governor for five years. In 1990, Mr. Herbert was appointed to the Utah County Commission and concluded his service in 2004.

Joshua Schiffman PicDr. Joshua Schiffman is a pediatric hematologist-oncologist at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital and Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah.  He attended the Brown University School of Medicine, followed by pediatric residency, chief residency, and pediatric hematology-oncology at Stanford University School of Medicine.  While at Stanford, he began their Pediatric Cancer Genetics Program.  Dr. Schiffman has been on the faculty at the University of Utah since 2008, where he is a Professor in Pediatrics and an Adjunct Professor in Oncological Sciences, he also holds the inaugural Edward B. Clark, MD Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research. Dr. Schiffman directs a translational genomics laboratory at HCI to identify who develops cancer and why.  Most recently, Dr. Schiffman teamed up with collaborators from across the globe to compare the functional genomics of different species across the animal kingdom to guide cancer research.  Dr. Schiffman published a landmark paper in JAMA about the genetic mechanism of cancer resistance in elephants. This work was featured as a cover story in Newsweek, as well as in over 20,000 different print and television.  Dr. Schiffman recently co-founded PEEL Therapeutics with Dr. Avi Schroeder, chemical engineer from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.  Using patented nanotechnology drug delivery, PEEL Therapeutics will deliver the elephant cancer resistance genes directly to patients for cancer treatment and prevention.  PEEL Therapeutics has just begun their first series round of funding.

Panel Discussions Agenda

Grand Ballroom A

2:00 – 3:00  PM – Changes & Trends in Private Equity Investing

3:00 – 4:00 PM  – Navigating the Early Stage Investing Landscape

Grand Ballroom D

2:00 – 3:00 PM – View from the Trenches: Entrepreneurs Speak

3:00 – 4:00 PM – Life Science & Healthcare – Strengthening the Ecosystem in Utah & Idaho

Grand Ballroom A

2:00 – 3:00 – Changes & Trends in Private Equity Investing

The role of private equity is changing. The need to deploy more and more capital has Private Equity firms rethinking the type and stage of the investments they make.

Featured Speakers

Jerry HenleyJerry Henley joined Sorenson as the VP of Marketing in May 2011 and, through his well-established networks, focused on the firm’s sourcing efforts. Currently he serves as Senior Consultant for Sorenson Capital. Prior to joining Sorenson Capital, he was Associate Director with the Office of the President at Brigham Young University where he worked very closely with the national business community in major fundraising projects. Mr. Henley’s background includes 17 years in Corporate Account Manager positions with Amgen Biotech and Integrated Health Systems.

Jerry Henley, Sorenson Capital, Moderator

Brady BroadbentBrady joined Sorenson Capital in 2008 and has facilitated (as a member of the deal team) nearly a third of the Fund II investments across various industries, including healthcare (TruHearing), software (Mindshare/Empathica), technology (Wilson Electronics), and energy (SEDD / M&M Pipeline), among others. Prior to joining the Sorenson team, he worked as an associate with L.E.K. Consulting at the firm’s U.S. headquarters in Boston. While with L.E.K., Brady’s work included engagements in the private equity, aerospace, digital media, publishing, healthcare, biotechnology, and retail industries.

Brady Broadbent, Sorenson Capital

Aaron Derose PicAaron is currently the EVP of Corporate Development at Tempus Global Data, where he is responsible for planning and executing the capital structure vision for the Company, which includes all aspects of Fundraising, Investor Relations, Mergers & Acquisition, and Corporate Development. Aaron oversees all key relationships with placement agents, investment banks, banking partners, and investment analysts within the industry.  Prior to Tempus Global Data, Aaron was a Director at Mercato Partners and member of the firm’s Investment Committee.

Aaron DeRose, Tempus Global Data

Farr, JohnJohn Farr is a Managing Director and Partner at Columbia West Capital, an investment bank focused on providing premier financial and strategic advisory services to middle market companies.  Mr. Farr has spent his career serving companies in a variety of industries including Health & Wellness, Consumer, Manufacturing, Industrial Technology, and Aerospace & Defense.  His transaction experience includes public and private companies such as Honeywell International, General Electric, Nutraceutical International, Boeing, General Dynamics, Kroger Inc., the Vanguard group, and Atrium Innovations.

John Farr, Columbia West Capital

Grand Ballroom D

2:00 – 3:00 – View from the Trenches: Entrepreneurs Speak

Raising money is hard work. Learn from at panel that has raised close to $1 billion what to expect and how to overcome the trials and tribulations of building a great business.

william.borghettiWilliam Borghetti is the CEO of D’Affinity Holdings and its operating subsidiary, Title IO.  Title IO’s breakthrough data integration technology, SecureSync, helps companies easily access, synchronize and share data from multiple sources, regardless of type, format or location.  Title IO’s products and solutions are primarily focused on title and escrow companies, law firms and mortgage lenders. Prior to Title IO, William was the CEO of Sendside Networks, a secure communication platform for the financial services industry and was the founder, president and chief technology officer of Campus Pipeline, an enterprise software company that developed an integration and communication platform for the higher education marketplace.

William Borghetti, D’Affinity Holdings – Moderator

Bjorn-Espenes-PicBjorn is a serial entrepreneur and has founded three successful internet software companies focused on driving profitable online revenues.  Most recently, Bjorn and his Co-Founder, Eric Maas, started Finch to solve the biggest challenge with paid search using automation and innovation. Finch focuses on doing one thing for their clients: creating profitable business growth. To accomplish this, Finch built a highly-scalable model where programmatic advertising takes center stage.  Finch is a Certified Google Partner and prides itself on having 35 Google Certified Professionals on its team. They are established in 12 countries and have over 300 clients and are headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Bjorn Espenes, Finch

TriciaSchumann_HiResTricia Schumann is Chief Executive Officer at BachHealth, an organization dedicated to bringing together healthcare solution providers and employers to facilitate innovation.  She serves on for profit and non-profit boards including Med One Capital, ARCS Foundation of Utah, The Right To Try Foundation and the Kostopulos Dream Foundation.  She is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and mentors early stage company entrepreneurs through the BoomStartup and Village Capital programs.

Tricia Schumann, BachHealth

Tom StockhamTom Stockham is the CEO of eXperticity. Since the early ’90s he has been the leader of several industry-defining companies. His past roles include CEO of Ancestry.com (ACOM), President of ticketmaster.com (LYV), General Manager of one of the original Citysearch local guide markets (IACI), and President/Founder of Sonic Innovations (OTIX). He is also an independent investor and advisor to internet companies, and serves on the boards of companies whose products range from local media and dating to foreign exchange trading services.

Tom Stockham, eXperticity

Will WestWill West, SilverVue, is a successful serial entrepreneur who most recently founded Control4, (NASDAQ: CTRL). Will retired from Control4 to focus on SilverVue because he believes technology can transform healthcare. In 1998, Will co-founded STSN (now iBAHN), the worldwide leader in broadband services for business travelers. Prior to founding STSN, Will was CEO, and co-founder of PHAST Corporation. Under his leadership, PHAST became the leading manufacturer of high-end home automation equipment.

Will West, SilverVue

Grand Ballroom A

3:00 – 4:00 PM – Navigating the Early Stage Investing Landscape

There is a difference between finding money and finding the right investors.  All Angels are not in angel groups or on-line.  Learn what early-stage investors are right for you.

Phillip Grimm PicturePhillip H. Grimm, SLC Angels, is a leader and mentor with more than 30 years of success guiding both large and growth-oriented companies. Today he focuses on developing early stage or growth oriented businesses through the delicate challenges associated with gaining product recognition and acceptance, building industry leading management teams, organizing financial instruments to support business growth and negotiating key relationships and contracts. He also remains actively engaged in the angel investing community and currently is the Executive Director for SLC Angels.

Phil Grimm, SLC Angels – Moderator

Jeff BurtonJeff Burton, Burton Lumber is a family-owned building materials dealer with a rich history.  The company has 6 locations and 9 divisions throughout Utah, but the property on which the original store was built was part of a farm that Robert T. Burton acquired soon after coming into the Salt Lake Valley as a pioneer.  Burton Lumber’s business charter dates back to 1911 when Willard C. Burton became the president of the company.  In those early days of our business, deliveries were made with horses and wagons.

Jeff Burton, Burton Lumber

Robert (Bob) Caldwell PicMr. Caldwell is a Board Member, Investor, and consultant to Connexion Point, LLC.  Connexion Point is a healthcare communications company focused on connecting consumers to their healthcare and the healthcare industry to consumers.  cXp was #86 on the Inc. 500 fastest growing companies list in 2014 (#12 in healthcare nationally and #1 in Utah) and # 531 in 2015.   cXp was #9 on the Utah Business Fast 50 in 2014.

Robert (Bob) Caldwell, Connexion Point LLC

Jared Clayton PicJared Clayton is the Founder of Smart Capital, a firm specializing in the financing of small and medium size businesses, including strategy and management consulting.  He has over 16 years of experience in finance and investing, which include consulting services and direct financing. Prior to his work consulting and financing companies, Mr. Clayton worked as a founding partner of a local real estate private equity firm focusing on debt instruments and distressed asset purchases / workouts.

Jared Clayton, Smart Capital

Timothy Nelson PicTimothy D. Nelson, CEO and Chair, Dentavations, Inc. A founder of this startup dental product development company, he licensed University technology and developed it for commercialization. Timothy hired engineers and oversaw all development activities. Fundraising activities raised several hundred thousand dollars from grants and investors to fund the company. As Founder and CEO of Rocky Mountain Dental Staffing, Inc., under his direction in 2008, RMDS had a 341.9% growth. He designed and implemented a management system to manage hundreds of dental professionals, and oversaw dental convention booth setup, and organization, which led to record growth.

Timothy Nelson, Waterjet

Grand Ballroom D

3:00 – 4:00 PM – Life Science & Healthcare – Strengthening the Ecosystem in Utah & Idaho

The Life Sciences ecosystem is big business in Utah and emerging in Idaho, but hard to finance. Whether its, LS, Biotech, Medtech, Healthcare IT, how do we improve and use this ecosystem to build and nourish this great industry.

Debra Beresini 25Debra Beresini is an experienced manager, investor and entrepreneur. In 1997, she co-founded invencor, inc., based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has since served as its CEO. invencor manages debt and equity funds, provides mentoring/educational programs for entrepreneurs, venture and private equity investors, consults with entrepreneurial management teams and works with lending institutions that focus on emerging growth companies. In 2000, she co-founded and became managing director of International Venture Fund LP based in Silicon Valley. Her specialty is in the healthcare sector. In 2013, the Silicon Valley Business Journal named her one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Silicon Valley”.

Debra Beresini, invencor – Moderator

Taylor Head ShotTaylor Bench is the Director of the Economic Development team at TVC and joined the office in 2009.  Brining deep financial and investment experience to the TVC Taylor has been critical in developing the Commercialization Engine process and the vetting and de-risking system now implemented at TVC.  Taylor is responsible for managing the equity portfolio of over 155 startups that have spun out of the University as well as the Software Development Center (SDC), the grant writing component of TVC as well as the Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program and the Startup Center for Students (StaC).

Taylor Bench, Technology Venture Commercialization, University of Utah

Shawn Fojtik PicShawn Fojtik is co-founder of Control Medical, Distal Access (Merit Medical), CIRCA Scientific, Pinyons (Covidien), Transit, Axiom (Teleflex), Occam, Fluidx, and FanAngel with experience at GE Medical, Boston Scientific, and Black & Decker. His clinical experience includes devices used in cardiology, interventional radiology & oncology, electrophysiology, surgery, enteral feeding, and other less-invasive procedures. Shawn has 40+ issued and pending patents with a BS from the University of Illinois and a MA from Harvard University.

Shawn Fojtik, Control Medical

Kylie Holm HeadshotKylie Holm is a Senior Associate at Idaho based E2S Consulting.  E2S specializes in operational readiness for healthcare companies in the pharmaceutical space and assists with business and economic development actives statewide through their client The CORE Idaho.  The CORE is focused on helping grow the MedTech ecosystem in the state. The CORE acts as a connector for entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and supporting industries in MedTech in Idaho. Mrs. Holm has worked with multi-national clients and conducts audits and other operational activities internationally with emphasis on Europe and Asia.

Kylie Holm, E2S Consulting

Andrew Laver PicAndrew Laver, is the Managing Director of APL Capital Advisors (www.APLcapital.com), a consulting firm providing capital raising and merger & acquisition advisory services to early-stage and middle market companies. Prior to founding APL Capital, Mr. Laver gained investment and transactional experience in the venture capital and private equity industries. He holds Series 7, 63, & 79 securities licenses. Mr. Laver co-founded Salt Lake Life Science Angels (www.SLLSA.com), an angel group focused on seed-stage medical investments.

Andrew Laver, APL Capital Advisor

Kelly Slone PicKelly Sloane, BioUtah is the President & CEO. Kelly previously served as Vice President of Government Affairs with the National Venture Capital Assoc. She was responsible for raising the visibility of NVCA’s life science members. Prior to that, Ms. Slone spent 11 years as Senior Director of Legislative and International Trade Affairs for Baxter Health Corp. She worked for 2 years at the Dept. of H&HS and also served on Senator Hatch’s staff . Kelly is a native Utahn and a graduate from the University of Utah.

Kelly Sloane, BioUtah

Ski Day — Location & Agenda TBA

Never raced?  That’s OK, it’s not that kind of race! From snowplow to slalom, this is fun for everyone.

Participation in the race is optional, you can cheer from the sidelines or continue with your day of skiing.  If you choose to participate in the race, Deer Valley requests that you sign a release of liability form.

See you on the slopes!