Wayne Brown Institute Becomes

Nation's Leading Venture Accelerator

Mike Winder, Zions Bank's Director of Entrepreneurship Programs Sep 1, 2016

What does a group with a goal of creating 50,000 jobs in five years do when they exceed that goal in just four years? Rebrand and reach for the next level. That’s what the Wayne Brown Institute decided to do.

Now known as, it has the distinction of being the nation’s oldest and most successful nonprofit, 501(c)(3) venture accelerator assisting entrepreneurs in their quest for capital. president Brad Bertoch is excited about the rebrand. “This is an opportunity to update our brand but also our programs to resonate with today’s entrepreneurs, service providers and sponsors,” he says. “We still have the same mission of ‘Improving the human condition through technical entrepreneurship,’ but are communicating it now with a new style and message of ‘Start. Find Money. Change the World.’”

Start. Find Money. Change the World.

Based in Salt Lake City in a Main Street location provided by Zions Bank, a sponsor for more than 31 years, brings together entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and angel investors through Deal Forum® pitch events, educational seminars, an annual Investors Choice® conference and partnerships with other business-building groups.

A look at the roster for this year’s Investors Choice® conference shows the breadth and innovation of the companies is working with: AMTAC Suppressors Inc., CSMlearn, Dadoof, Interlock Concepts, J3 Bioscience Inc., Jelli, Lashbrook Designs, MindPalace Technologies, Parade Craze, ProdataKey, Recursion Pharmaceuticals,, Retrolux, Stream Dx Inc., TruClinic, Veritas Medical LLC and Xandem.

Last year, trained more than 1,900 business people, worked with 52 companies to refine their pitch, and raised some $230 million in angel and venture funding from its alumni companies. Throughout its history, more than 850 groundbreaking high-tech companies have presented in a program. Bertoch says. “Eighty percent of the companies we work with are still in business after 10 years.” This is staggering considering the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes only about one-third of all new businesses survive 10 years or more.

Cooperative Venturing Finds Success in Idaho

In addition to its rebrand from Wayne Brown Institute to, the nonprofit is completing its second year in Idaho. Jennifer Meyer,’s chief operations officer, is based in Boise’s Zions Bank Building and has worked tirelessly to make the Boise Cooperating Venturing Program a success.

More than 600 attended’s 11 events in Boise last year, and there has already been outreach to Rexburg, Idaho Falls and Ketchum for future growth. Idaho alums of have gone on to raise or acquire more than $5 million in capital.

The future for entrepreneurs in the Mountain West looks bright as this incredible venture accelerator charges full speed ahead under its new brand of

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