Grow Utah Ventures gives back. Founder Hall’s ‘mission in life’ is helping local entrepreneurs succeed

Alan Hall could be kicking back, sunning himself aboard a nice yacht half a world away, enjoying the fruits of a hugely successful corporation he started in his Roy basement.

But instead, the man who matured MarketStar into a multimillion-dollar enterprise with operations in 100 countries is extending a helping hand — in the form of money and expertise — to a batch of Utah entrepreneurs who someday might repeat his success.

"I have a higher mission in life," Hall says. "Maybe when you get to a certain age, you say, ‘Why not?’ I’m not going to take it with me. I might as well use it to bless life’s people."

The blessings flow from Grow Utah Ventures , an organization Hall started a couple years ago to help startup companies bridge the time between the seed and early stages of business growth.

Grow Utah has committed $15 million to fund as many as 100 companies over the next five years, through either direct funding or collaboration from angel investor networks it is working to establish.

"Grow Utah Ventures’ goal is to be the most powerful private entity for economic development," Hall said. "We’ve got the governor and counties and cities doing what they do, but there’s no reason why private people can’t try and marshal their resources to get some things done."

About 30 companies have received investments so far, but many have taken advantage of other benefits Grow Utah has to offer.

By Brice Wallace
Deseret Morning News

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