Companies to Watch

These businesses are on their way to making it big.

Sarah Ryther Francom and Heather Stewart

August 1, 2012

Growth trajectory: The bootstrapped company has experienced triple-digit growth in the past four years and expects to continue its high-growth rate. Qualtrics has 200 employees and plans to hire another 250 within the next year.


Greatest accomplishment: Earlier this year, the company received a $70 million investment from Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital, two of the world’s biggest venture capital firms in their largest joint investment ever.

“We are disrupting the traditional research model by making sophisticated research simple. What did for sales automation, we want to do for data collection and analysis.”

Ryan Smith, CEO, Qualtrics

Numira Biosciences, Inc.
Origins: In 2007, California-based Numira Biosciences acquired a University of Utah spin-off company, Visual Influence. About a year later, Numira relocated its corporate headquarters to Research Park in Salt Lake City.

Innovative technology: Numira has developed a patented process for imaging soft tissue at a very high resolution—it can create 3D images of samples as small as 6–10 microns, or the size of red blood cells. The technology is used by pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies to see how their drugs and devices are working in actual tissue samples. “We are able to tell them if their drug is working or not at a very early stage,” says Michael Beeuwsaert, president and CEO of Numira.

Future plans: In partnership with Microsoft, Numira just launched a cloud product that will make it easier for clients to view and interact with the enormous data sets produced by the imaging technology. The company will soon launch a new oncology service and is working on several other new applications. “Our portfolio continues to grow,” says Beeuwsaert.

“We are really replacing methods in the laboratory that are 20–30 years old.”

Michael Beeuwsaert,
President and CEO, Numira Biosciences

High West Distillery
Origins: In 2004, David Perkins decided to quit his day job to launch High West Distillery. After years of work, the company released its first product, Rendezvous Rye Whiskey, in late 2007. The company opened a complementary restaurant in 2009.

Greatest accomplishment: Perkins says he’s proud to have reached $7 million in revenue and employ 70 individuals in the company’s two facilities. High West was also named “Whiskey Pioneer of the Year” by Malt Advocate, a leading whiskey publication.

Future plans: High West whiskeys are now available in 34 states, China, Canada and the UK. The company plans to open a new production facility in 2014 that will be a world-class destination to visit and learn about how whiskey is made. “It will be as nice as anything in Napa or Scotland and should be a place to make Utahns proud,” says Perkins.

 “Whiskey is one of the most complex products on the planet, and consumers really want to know more about it. We love helping them learn about all whiskeys, not just our own.”

                             David Perkins,
Proprietor, High West Distillery

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