Message from the vtTA

It was good to see so many members and friends at the "Tech and Bio Beer" social event held recently. We enjoy hosting these informal networking events with our Vermont bio-science friends. Look for another one in July. We also appreciated the number of job seekers who checked out the job listings of vtTA members at the Central Vermont Job Fair this month. We'll be at the Vermont Career Connections job fair May 23 with an updated list of opportunities.

Our next "Lunch & Learn" is April 18 at vtTA member business Logic Supply with guest speaker Michael Schirling, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. Mike will discuss the role of his agency and its priorities, and in particular economic development and the tech sector. You can find more information  here . Our May Lunch & Learn session will focus on tech job recruiting.

In the Legislature, the House Commerce Committee continues work on drafting an independent contractor bill to better define when someone is an independent contractor or an employee. You can find the latest version here . The vtTA supports changes that will balance worker protection with the needs of tech businesses who want to use independent contractors and individuals who seek careers as independent workers.

Also of note is the Senate's economic development bill, S.135 , which includes changes to the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive, creation of a state-sponsored retirement plan for self-employed individuals and businesses with 50 or fewer employees, and $250,000 for economic development marketing. The vtTA has spoken out in support of marketing Vermont as a home for tech jobs and tech businesses.

Finally, concerning Internet privacy, Vermont lawmakers are considering a bill that would make the state the first in the nation to monitor the activities of so-called "data brokers," while Senate bill S.147, would require Internet service providers to ask for permission before selling customers' personal information.
   
Jeff Couture
Executive Director, Vermont Technology Alliance
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Upcoming Events
Lunch & Learn: Vermont's Agency of Commerce and the Tech Sector
[ April 18, 2017 - Logic Supply, South Burlington]
 
Michael Schirling, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, is the guest speaker for this Lunch & Learn session at Logic Supply in South Burlington. Michael will discuss the role of his agency, and economic development ideas and initiatives, particularly those of interest to Vermont's tech business sector.

Find more and register here .
Pitch It, Fab It  
[April 20, 2017 - Generator Burlington]
 
Teams of entrepreneurs and inventors will pitch their design ideas for the opportunity to work with the UVM Instrumentation and Model Facility to design and fabricate a killer product. Judges will award up to $2,500 in materials and expert mentoring.

Find more
here .
 
BizFit 2017 - Economic Development Conference and Summit
[April 27, 2017 - Mountain Top Inn & Resort, Chittenden]

Sponsored by Evolve Rutland, the BizFit conference will focus on the powerful interrelationship between healthy economic development and a healthy community by engaging all stakeholders in discussions about Rutland's and Vermont's economy.
  Find more here .
 
Making Innovation Symposium
[April 27, 2017 - Norwich University, Northfield]

Norwich University presents innovators from the fields of creative design, technological design, and design for social good, for a Todd Lecture panel discussion at 7 p.m., which follows a showcase of innovation at 6 p.m.

Find more here 


Vermont Technology in the News
BTV Ignite Announces New Director
[April 13, 2017 - Source: Press Release]

 
Dennis Moynihan has been named the Executive Director of BTV Ignite, a non-profit dedicated to aligning Burlington's powerful gigabit infrastructure as a tool, test bed, and accelerator for economic, educational, and community benefit. A native of Michigan, Moynihan most recently served as London Node Director for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology's Digital team.

Read more here.

Burlington Ranked #12 in list of Top 50 Best Cities for Entrepreneurs 
[April 10, 2017 - Source: Vermont Business Magazine/Liveability.com]
 
Burlington ranked number 12 on a list of Best Cities for Entrepreneurs. Livability.com publishes the list in partnership with Entrepreneur magazine, ranking the top 50 small to mid-sized cities across the US on what makes the best places for entrepreneurs to start a business and find quality of life. "Every city on this list is a great place for a startup," says Becky Henson, Livability spokesperson. "What makes this list comprehensive is that entrepreneurs can find a place to start and grow a business, as well as have the amenities of a city where they can actually enjoy living."

Many of the cities on the list are also featured on Livability.com's 2017 Top 100 Best Places to Live - the annual list that ranks cities with populations between 20,000 and 350,000. Burlington ranks #11 on this list.

Read more here.
 
VSECU partners with $50 million venture capital fund
[April 13, 2017 - Source: vtdigger]

The Vermont State Employees Credit Union has announced a partnership with a new venture capital fund known as Vermont Works. Vermont Works, which is still raising the $50 million, calls itself the state's only professionally managed fund with a "double bottom line." The companies it invests in must be profitable while having a socially minded cause.
 
Read more here. 
 
Vermont Seeks to be First to Regulate Data Brokers
[April 10, 2017 - Source: vtdigger]

A House panel is considering a bill that would make Vermont the first state to try to rein in private firms that sell people's personal data. The House Commerce and Economic Development Committee has been taking testimony on the bill, H.467. Data brokers are firms that collect, analyze, package and sell to third parties information about people who are not their customers.
 
Read more here.
Committee Looks at Bill to Restore Internet Privacy Protections
[April 10, 2017 - Source: vtdigger]

The Vermont Senate Finance Committee is considering a bill that would reinstate privacy protections that President Donald Trump signed a law to eliminate. The bill, S.147, seeks to force Internet service providers to ask their customers' permission before selling their personal information, such as their search history, to third parties, among other things.

Read more here.

GlobalFoundries Cutting Workforce with Early Retirement
[April 6, 2017 - Source: Burlington Free Press]


GlobalFoundries is offering early retirement to longtime employees in all three of its U.S. semiconductor manufacturing plants, including Essex Junction, blaming a fickle chip market for the reduction in workforce. The voluntary retirement program is focusing on support roles in sales, administration, information technology,and finance.

Read more here.
 
FirstLight Enables Wireless Carrier's Small Cell Expansion  
[April 5, 2017 - Source: Vermont Business Magazine/Press Release]
 
FirstLight, a leading fiber-optic bandwidth infrastructure services provider operating in the Northeast, announced a long-term dark fiber contract with a major wireless carrier for the implementation of a new metropolitan small cell technology ring throughout Manchester, NH, Biddeford, ME and Burlington, VT.
 
Read more here.
 
Women in Tech: How Vermont Fits In
[April 4, 2017 - Source: Vermont Public Radio]

Vermont Public Radio's "Vermont Edition" looks at the role of women in the tech industry, with a discussion with Alison Cossette, a senior analyst at Remedy Partners; Julie Lerman, a longtime coder who shares her expertise by speaking at conferences and mentoring development teams around the world; and Maureen McElaney, founder of the Burlington chapter of Girl Develop It and a Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services.

Read more here .
Stone Environmental Receives Award for Best Use of Story Maps  
[March 29, 2017 - Source: Vermont Business Magazine]

Esri, the global leader in spatial analytics, recognized Stone Environmental this month at the Annual Esri Partner Conference for its exceptional contribution to spatial analysis technology. David Healy, vice president of Stone, accepted the award on behalf of Stone's work on the Bennington Downtown Area-Wide Plan Story Map.

Read more here.    

UVM Spinoffs Have Strong Presence at National Innovation Summit 
[March 28, 2017 - Source: UVM Communications]

Four start-up companies that grew out of the research of UVM faculty and graduate students, two technologies developed by UVM faculty that have commercial potential, and a start-up launched by staff at the UVM Medical Center will be on display at the invitation-only National Innovation Summit & Showcase, May 14 - 17 in Washington, D.C. 
Read more here.

Featured Member: iSystems


 
iSystems is the software development company behind the Evolution HCM Technology. Evolution HCM delivers an all-inclusive, scalable and highly valuable Human Capital Management software that gives its customers a substantial business advantage.
 
Evolution is an all-in-one, single-database payroll, tax and HR/benefits system with leading-edge features:
  • Payroll:  Advanced, auditable payroll system that can handle payroll of all sizes and complexity levels.
  • Tax Management:  Federal, state, and local tax rates are all updated and maintained, and reconciliation of all bank accounts can be done directly within the system.
  • HR, Benefits, and Employee Portal:  
    HR and benefit options for businesses of all sizes, allowing companies and employees to easily track and report on essential employee data.
Behind the powerful Evolution system is a talented team of professionals dedicated to supporting service bureaus with the training and tools needed to grow a successful payroll business. 
 
The Evolution software continues to evolve into a robust HCM technology system. In the past three years, iSystems has tripled its IT development staff and brought in leading developers with strong SaaS backgrounds.
 
Find out more about iSystems and Evolution - the software, technology, and the people - at www.evolutionhcm.com
  
Vermont Technology Alliance Membership Update

The Vermont Technology Alliance is able to carry out its mission through the support of its members. The vtTA thanks the following renewing business members: Renaissance Information Systems and Springer-Miller Systems.  

Join the Vermont Technology Alliance

The Vermont Technology Alliance welcomes all businesses and individuals who make up Vermont's diverse, tech-based economy to join our non-profit business association. Members support and benefit from vtTA's advocacy, programs, events, communications, and services, including job postings in our Career Center, and networking and business opportunities.        

Find more information
here , or sign up today to be a new member here .

Useful Information & Links
Research and Development Tax Credit Benefits for Small Business

Many small businesses have celebrated the permanent extension of the research and development (R&D) tax credit by Congress, retroactive as of 1/1/15. According to vtTA member Davis & Hodgdon, there are many important enhancements that can be used by certain small businesses:
  • Small businesses with less than $50 million in gross receipts may take the R&D credit against their Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).
  • Small businesses may take the R&D credit against their payroll taxes (essentially making it refundable) for five years.
Find more information here .


vtTA Career Center
 
Vermont Technology Alliance member companies are hiring, and when you visit the Career Center on the Vermont Technology Alliance website you can browse and search for these job openings . The Career Center features more than 150 tech and non-tech jobs with Vermont Technology Alliance member businesses.
 
For more, click here .
    
VTC Coder Camp for Girls

Vermont Technical College is hosting a Coder Camp for Girls, the week of July 17 at its Williston campus. This is a day camp designed for girls ages 13-16 who want to learn about software development and create their own programs. Campers will work with Vermont Tech faculty and student counselors who have extensive experience with software development. The deadline to apply is June 1.
 
Find more here .
 
Cyber Security Camp at Norwich

Norwich University will hold a cybersecurity camp for 21 selected applicants July 23 - 29, Applications are due April 30. Applications are invited from high school students who will be entering their junior or senior year in the fall of 2017. GenCyber@NU is funded by a grant from the National Security Agency and National Science Foundation - and is free for attending students.

Find more information here.


Resources 
Are you looking for business services, meet-up groups, government information or funding sources? Find this and more at vtTA's Resources page posted on the Vermont Technology Alliance website . And be sure to let us know if there's something we should add.

Find the resources page here .