The Utah Technology Council is installing two Utah entrepreneurs in its Hall of Fame, Josh James and Fred Lampropoulos.
They are to be honored Friday at an event at the Grand America Hotel that will feature an address by Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com.
He founded medical device maker Merit Medical in 1987 and grew it to today’s 2,700 employees and estimated revenue this year of around $400 million.
Lampropoulos had previously been CEO of Utah Medical, where he developed ideas for products and then launched Merit Medical to bring them to market.
“We financed it originally out of our own pockets,” he said. “A few years later, we did a public offering and raised a little over $2.7 million.”
Lampropoulos served in the military and attended Westminster College and the University of Utah, although he did not graduate. He describes himself as “self-taught” with help from “a lot of people.”
Merit Medical focuses on disposable medical devices, particularly in cardiology, radiology and endoscopy. It spends about $30 million a year on research and development, and Lampropoulos is named as an inventor or co-inventor on about 200 patents.
He described himself as having a “marketing and sales mind that finds out what people are doing and says, ‘I can do better than that. Here’s an idea,’ and then I work with my engineers to develop it.”
He has received the Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology and was inducted into the Utah Business Hall of Fame. Lampropoulos also has received honorary degrees from Westminster and Salt Lake Community College.
Asked how he managed to build such a successful company, Lampropoulos said even at age 63 his sleep over Thanksgiving week averaged about three hours a night.
“I think it’s drive. I think it’s responsibility,” he said. “I have 2,700 families I’m responsible for. I take that very seriously.”
He co-founded the Web traffic data analytics company Omniture Inc. in 1996 while a student at Brigham Young University. He took the company public in 2006 and three years later sold it to Adobe for $1.8 billion.
James left Adobe and in 2011 launched Domo Inc., whose software and services delivered over the Internet provide a company ‘s leadership with real-time information about business operations. James, 39, has raised $63 million to fund the startup company.
James said the inspiration for founding Domo was frustration he experienced as CEO of Omniture, where he found the company had lots of information about its operations but that accessing it sometime took weeks and great effort. Then, it was old by the time he saw it.
“I would get a couple of dozen reports in my email every month, and I would have a user name and password for 20 different systems that I could log into,” he said last year in an interview.
With Domo, he aims to bring information on cash flow, employees, customers experiencing problems and other data instantly to the computer and mobile screens of executives. Businesses need real-time data to be competitive, he said.
James is passionate about promoting entrepreneurship in Utah. He founded CEO.com to provide people who establish companies and other executives with news and trends across industries. He also founded Silicon Slopes, an initiative to promote high-tech companies in Utah.
The Mountain West Capital Network named James Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011, and Fortune magazine recognized him as one of its “40 Under 40: Ones to Watch.” He was named the 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Brigham Young University’s Technology Entrepreneur of the Decade.
He also was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders for 2012.