Columbia Alumni Association Will Tour Tanzania in August 2015

Brandon Tidwell helps entrepreneurs develop their companies and reach their business goals as the managing partner of Signal Peak Ventures in Salt Lake City, Utah. A graduate of both Brigham Young University and Columbia University, Brandon Tidwell remains connected to his alma maters through the schools’ alumni associations.

As part of its efforts to unite former Columbia graduates, the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) conducts a number of programs and oversees a variety of events and activities throughout the year. Currently, the association is busy preparing for several travel study trips, including a tour of Tanzania, which will take place from August 5-19, 2015.

During the 15-day trip, Columbia alumni and their friends and family will travel from the Serengeti to Zanzibar and take in the country’s cities, national parks, culture, and wildlife. They will also enjoy activities such as mountain biking, game drives, bird watching, river excursions, and much more.

The exclusive group tour is limited to 24 travelers, and the CAA anticipates that space will fill up very quickly. Additional details about the trip can be found at


Grilling Steak

Brandon Tidwell works with early-stage technology companies at Signal Peak Ventures in Utah. Outside of work, Brandon Tidwell enjoys preparing home-cooked meals. Among his favorite preparations is grilling New York strip steaks.

New York Magazine recently published a feature titled “How to Grill the Perfect Steak.” When shopping for a steak to grill, the article suggests finding a cut of meat that offers the most marbling. The term “marbling” refers to the visible lines of fat running throughout meat. As the meat cooks, the fat slowly melts away, leaving the steak tender and moist. Additionally, marbling enhances the flavor of steak.

Steak cooks best when it is at room temperature. After the meat has been allowed to sit outside of the refrigerator to reach room temperature, the cook should heat a grill on high. As the grill heats, the meat should be lightly brushed with oil or butter and seasoned with salt and pepper.

The steak can then be placed on the grill to until one side is golden brown and slightly charred and then flipped to grill on the other side. It is important to only flip the steak a maximum of three times, grilling each side twice, as fussing with the meat can cause it to lose much of its juice and become dry.

Signal Peak – Utah Home to Super-Sector of Advanced Industries

An experienced attorney and entrepreneur, Brandon Tidwell currently serves as the founder and managing director of Signal Peak Ventures, a venture capital and growth equity firm based in Utah. Brandon Tidwell has leveraged his extensive experience collaborating with early-stage technology enterprises to assist Signal Peak’s portfolio of companies.

In a recent press release, Signal Peak divulged details of a report from the Brookings Institution that named Utah as the unexpected home to a growing number of advanced industries. The report found that three of Utah’s cities (Salt Lake City, Provo, and Ogden) are among the top 15 that make up the “super-sector” of advanced industries in the US; experts surmise that this is due to the influx of national companies opening offices in Utah, as well as the area’s exceptionally successful startups.

Based on an analysis of the locations included in the super-sector, Provo, Ogden, and Salt Lake City share some features with other super-sector sites, including infrastructure and policies that attract companies, robust relationships between local businesses, and local universities with high numbers of science, technology, engineering, and math (S.T.E.M.) graduates.

The Brookings Institute researchers note that areas like Silicon Valley and Utah provide a number of replicable strategies for other regions. To foster innovation and growth, the report recommends expanding government funding for research and development, bolstering financial support for startups, and improving the career pipelines of future S.T.E.M. employees.