Kinect Capital was originally known as the Technology Innovation Center by Dr. Wayne Brown and Bradley Bertoch.
The Technology Innovation Center was founded as an education 501(c)(3) non-profit in 1983 by Dr. Wayne Brown, a legendary serial entrepreneur and business school professor at the University of Utah. Brad Bertoch was later brought on as the first CEO of this endeavor. As a leading authority in technological innovation and entrepreneurship to commercialization, Dr. Brown led the launch of the Utah Technology Innovation Center, now known as Kinect Capital.
The Utah Technology Innovation Center non-profit was renamed to the Wayne Brown Institute® after Dr. Wayne Brown died unexpectedly in 1988. Dr Brown, the former Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Utah and founder/co-founder of multiple investor-backed companies, including Kenway Engineering (HK Systems), TerraTek (Schlumberger), Native Plants (Agridyne Technologies). Additionally, Dr. Brown also served as co-architect with Roland Tibbitts of the U.S. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
Dr. Brown led Utah’s State Science Council where he spearheaded legislation to create the Utah Technology Finance Corporation (now Innoventures) and Utah’s Centers of Excellence program (now TCIP), while also successfully negotiating with the U.S. government to obtain military land for the establishment of the University of Utah’s Research Park.
Kinect Capital Board members created Utah Ventures (now Pelion Partners, Utah’s first venture fund), SLC Angels, Salt Lake Life Science Angels, and the Park City Angels which is one of three most active angel groups in the country.
Kinect Capital’s board members were integral in the creation of Zions Bank’s venture debt program, the Salt Lake County venture debt fund revolving loan fund, and the MountainLands Revolving Loan Fund.
Kinect Capital is a non-profit organization that makes entrepreneurs more investable and connects them to capital. As our name suggests, we facilitate meaningful connections among entrepreneurs, mentors and sources of capital through a culture of kinship.
For over 40 years, Kinect has made quality networking and pitch events, mentoring and educational programs, and other resources more accessible to overlooked entrepreneurs, including women and minorities.
As a result, nearly two-thirds raise capital within twelve months, and 80 percent are in business ten years later, either on their own or through acquisition.
Our vision is to empower emerging and diverse entrepreneurs to create sustainable companies that increase high-quality jobs and new economic opportunities in under-served regions of the US.
Formed in 1983 as an educational 501(c)3 non-profit, Kinect Capital was the first venture accelerator and has become the most efficient, cost-effective economic development organization in the United States.
Kinect Capital continues the legacy begun by Dr. Brown by educating entrepreneurs and company executives through its Cooperative Venturing® program, mentor-based training in the art and science of becoming attractive, viable investment-worthy companies, the essence of commercialization.
To date, Kinect Capital has worked with thousands of entrepreneurs, with over 850 companies participating in the organization’s annual Investors Choice® Capital Conference, the oldest venture capital conference in the U.S.
On average over the last 5 years 60%+ of companies at this event have raise capital by year’s end, and the total has been $40+ million. Since 2009, Kinect Capital alumni companies have realized over $10 billion in investor payouts via M&A Public Offering transactions, including such firms such as Omniture, Sonic Innovations, Myriad Genetics, and Ancestry, High West Distillery among others.
And on a national basis, Kinect Capital has launched tech commercialization programs in Alabama, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, New York, and Texas.
Programs & Services
All Kinect Capital programs are designed to assist companies in
1) Shaping themselves into fundable entities
2) Helping them develop a strategy to obtain the funding they need; and when appropriate
3) Providing introductions to the investment and/or banking communities.
Kinect Capital exists to support entrepreneurs who do not have the resources or access to fundamental education about starting and scaling a successful company.