VCET Adds 7 New Venture Experts to Team

Burlington, Vt. (December 22, 2021) – Vermont entrepreneurs will be able to tap into the advice and networks of seven new venture experts at the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) in the New Year. Adding both breadth and depth, the group of national investors and local advisors will support companies as they grow and scale in Vermont.

Two longtime volunteer VCET advisers and startup mentors, David Aronoff, partner at Flybridge Capital, and Evan Lovell, chief investment officer at Virgin Group, have joined the non-profit’s board of directors. 

Gwen Pokalo, director of the Center for Women & Enterprise; Andrew Allen, co-founder of Contractor Headquarters; Diane Abruzzini, managing director at Rigorous; Cassie Polhemus, CEO of the Vermont Economic Development Authority; and Ernie Spears, chief revenue officer of Alumni Alliances comprise the Advisory Board to the Vermont Seed Capital Fund, a $6 million evergreen venture capital fund.

“There is a reason technology founders look to VCET,” said Frank Cioffi, VCET board chair. “It’s our people. These professional investors and entrepreneurs bring the expertise to meaningfully support and fund the next generation of employers here in Vermont. We’re incredibly grateful for their contributions.”

In the past six months, VCET and the Vermont Seed Capital Fund have funded companies that are manufacturing mRNA, writing code for the metaverse, improving childcare, and building blockchain technology. Cioffi says the organization is supporting more entrepreneurs than ever before and that the advisors and directors will help companies expand their networks, find new customers, and access capital from sophisticated public and private investors.

The non-profit Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) provides expert business mentoring, professional networking, a coworking and accelerator hub in Burlington, innovation programs, and manages the Vermont Seed Capital Fund, LP, a revolving $6 million venture capital fund. In 2013, VCET was named #11 globally and #5 in the U.S. by the UBI Index.