Hello, new decade.
Photo courtesy of Burton Snowboards
“You’ve got to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”
(Burton’s flagship store)
Jake Burton Carpenter was once a young entrepreneur with a crazy idea, and he showed us that the possibilities are limitless when you strap in and take the ride. Our North Star is the entrepreneur. VCET exists for them. Like Jake, they work hard, play hard, and make it happen every damn day. They are creating companies, building careers, and launching Vermont’s economy into the future. Read on for our highlights of the year.
Content is Queen
- Press Play. Released 16 new Start Here podcast episodes including Ric Cabot of Darn Tough, Dustin Glasscoe of Vermont Farm Table, Jane Lindholm of But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids, Georgia Grace Edwards of SheFly, and Michael Wood-Lewis of Front Porch Forum, bringing us to nearly 20,000 total listens.
- RSVP YES. Put on 63 events including 4 Morning Mojos, 12 First Fridays and 14 Lunch & Learns. Topics included cyber security, the neuroscience of conversation, subscription pricing, LinkedIn, and storytelling. The cherry on top? We hosted the incredible John Abele, Co-founder of Boston Scientific.
- Start ‘em young. Kicked off our 7th Year of Midd Entrepreneurs at Middlebury College, and watched alumnae like Eva Shaw (Overeasy) and Georgia Grace Edwards (SheFly) continue to soar.
Knowledge is Power
- #StartHere. Had the pleasure of working 1:1 with 259 startups and entrepreneurs this year…and they rocked it.
- #ScaleHere. Launched our #ScaleHere Platform providing business discounts, 1:1 coaching, and mentorship to 5 nonprofit Innovation hubs around the state including: Do North Coworking in Lyndonville, The Space on Main in Bradford, The Mint in Rutland, The Lightning Jar in Bennington, and Black River Innovation Campus (BRIC) in Springfield.
- The perks keep on coming. Added to our membership perks with discounts from Carta, Stripe, HubSpot, Bench, Justworks, Pilot, Chargebee, Segment and Zenefits. That could be over $160,000 of cumulative savings per startup! Cha-ching!
Our Strategic Partners
Meet and Mingle
- She fancy.Kicked off Season Four of our Female Founder Speakers Series with Hotel Vermont with an event on “How to Make the Best Ideas Win” featuring Jules Pieri, co-founder of The Grommet. More than 1,100 people have attended the series and together we raised over $10K for VT nonprofits. We also increased access by beaming the series into 40,000 Vermont living rooms via public access television.
- All they do is win, win, win. Celebrated our VCET members Pictal Health (won $5K Audience Choice Award), Strollrunner (won $15K Investors Award), Apprentiscope, and BrandGen for participating in the 2019 LaunchVT cohort. Also, two member companies, Burlington Code Academy and Widget Brain, took home VT Tech Jam awards!
- Staycation.Sometimes bigger companies need to escape for strategic planning, team off-sites or top secret projects. Again this year we got to open our doors to a slew of local companies like Darn Tough, Burton, American Meadows, Cash or Trade, and iMarket Solutions to get the VCET experience and meet and mentor many of our startup teams.
at Hotel Vermont
Hear more about what VCET President David Bradbury is excited about in this WCAX feature from September.
- Investing it forward. Added Ceres Greens to our investment portfolio and welcomed stock donations from companies that wanted to pay it forward: Thank you Burlington Code Academy, Fluency and ApprentiScope.
- First Day Jitters. Celebrated new hires from scaling member companies like ThinkMD, EZ-Probate, Rad Magpie, Widget Brain, King Arthur Flour and BootstrapVT.
- Knock Knock! Added companies like StrollRunner, Geo.pipe, Quorum, and Cannonball Productions to our community of over 220 members in Burlington and Middlebury. Not only that but 150+ people came in for a tour. Have you been in yet?
- Haigh! Kon’nichiwa!Warmly welcomed international visitors from Russia, Japan, Ireland, India, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Tunisia.
Happy New Year!
Seeing is Believing
Tipping the scales.Our 54 lifetime portfolio companies have raised $225M in capital, supported $158M in payroll, and generated $189M in revenue. Check out their impacts!
- Extra extra.Our portfolio companies soared! GPMS announced in October its Foresight MX HUMS will be installed for a demonstration pilot on Beta Technologies’ eVTOL aircraft, Alia. Energy storage leader Northern Reliability is up over 800 percent this year, AI marketing company Faraday doubled its workforce, and Benchmark Space Systems was awarded the ThinkVermont Innovation Grant that will help them to build out their latest micro propulsion system for launch.
- Make me a match. Celebrated connections between great people and great companies like U.S. Navy Special Operator Pete K. who landed an internship with GreenSea Technologies and longtime member Matt D. who joined VCET portfolio company Fluency.
Produced By: Cabot Creamery and Driven Studio
Contributors: FreshTracks Capital and Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Nonprofits stick together.Supported VT Works for Women, slept out for Spectrum, volunteered at the Boys & Girls Club, and planted flowers for Bee the Change.
Make yourself at home.Formed a partnership providing infrastructure and support to Code for BTV, hosted the Center for Women and Enterprise’s trust.IT course, supported the CFA Society of Vermont, and continued to work with Burlington Code and LaunchVT, who ran their 2019 cohorts out of the Consolidated Communications Tech Hub.
VCET Mother’s Room
One of our new phone booths
There’s an app for that. VCET mamas finally got the space they deserve for pumping and breastfeeding. All parents welcome, including the 6 members who become parents in 2019. Find the room on the Mamava App!
Ring ring.Expanded our private space by adding 4 new phone boothsto our main room. This is not boring if you’re an entrepreneur trying to make a sale, we swear!
Walk the walk.With help from member company Waste Free Earth, VCET initiated our sustainability mission, compost and all!
New Digs. Opened Room One: VCET’s new Multimedia Lab, for photography, videography, VR, sound recording, and all around good times. Check out our green screen footage from Halloween (below)!
Stage left. Built out a new event space & lounge area, breaking it in with the kickoff event for Innovation Week. Check it out!
VCET’s Multimedia Lab
Footage from Halloween using our brand new green screen!
Oh, and before you go…
It has been another incredible year of successes, none of which would be possible without our members, portfolio companies, mentors, and trusted board of directors and advisors. Our sincerest gratitude to U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, the University of Vermont, Dr. John Evans and the Vermont Technology Council, Consolidated Communications, the State of Vermont, Middlebury College, and VEDA. Together, we have made VCET the innovation epicenter in Vermont where higher education, economic development and entrepreneurs intersect in order to start and scale new business ventures. Here’s to another great year! We really love where we live.
Taylor, Phoebe, Sam, and Dave