Message from the vtTA

The Vermont Technology Alliance is partnering with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Quebec (FCCQ) to offer a free, online site to help make connections between Vermont tech businesses and counterparts north of the border. It's called the COREX Opportunities B2B networking platform, and Vermont businesses are inviting to sign up at

The COREX Opportunities B2B networking site offers participants an opportunity to find customers, suppliers or potential partners; post requests for proposals, tenders or other business opportunities; and ask questions of users and organizations in Quebec. When we met with our Quebec counterparts last year, we saw a strong interest in connecting with Vermont's tech community. This platform is one way the vtTA is helping to make introductions for potential new business, trade or partnerships.

How can the U.S. rebuild its manufacturing economy? For Jacob Long, CEO of the American Woolen Company, it involves re-branding "Made in America" as top-quality craftsmanship. American Woolen was a textile manufacturing leader in New England in the late 20th Century - which included the iconic mills in Winooski, VT - until closing its doors in 1954. Long will discuss how he has brought this historic company back to life, and his entrepreneurial vision for reinventing manufacturing in New England at Vermont Technology Alliance's Lunch & Learn event on March 3 . Be sure to sign up now.

Many of our members are hiring - for not only tech jobs, but also non-tech roles as well. Interested? Then be sure to check out the more than 180 job openings currently posted on the vtTA Career Center .

Finally, we want to offer a special thanks to our premier sponsor, PCC, whose annual financial commitment enables us to carry out our year-round efforts on behalf of Vermont's tech economy.

Jeff Couture
Executive Director, Vermont Technology Alliance
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Upcoming Events

[March 3, 2017 - Generator, Burlington]

The American Woolen Company once owned the mills in Winooski in the
mid-20 th Century. The business has been reborn as the only U.S. manufacturer producing fine worsted and woolen cloth. In this Lunch & Learn, American Woolen Company CEO Jacob Long will share how he has brought this historic company back to life, with an emphasis on recasting "Made in America" as top-quality craftsmanship.
Find more and register here .

Open Data Day Event
[March 4, 2017 - Big Heavy World-SEABA Center, Burlington]
Code for BTV is inviting the community to share projects they've worked on that use publicly available data as part of International Open Data Day.
Find more here .

Peak Pitch Vermont
[March 9, 2017 - Sugarbush, Warren]

Hosted by FreshTracks Capital, Peak Pitch Vermont pairs entrepreneurs with investors and advisors at Surgarbush Resort. Entrepreneurs give their "chair lift" business pitch on the way up the mountain.

Find more here .

[March 9, 2017 - Doubletree, South Burlington]

The Champlain Valley VMware User Group (VMUG) holds its spring meeting.
Red River and Cisco will deliver the keynote, and there will be presentations from Nimble, Rubrik and Nexum and others.

Find more here.

Champlain College and the U.S. Department of Justice are presenting this free one-day conference outlining current cyber threats to organizations of all sizes, and what tactics they need to use to prepare and to respond to those threats.
Find more here .

Central Vermont Job Fair
[April 5, 2017 - Barre City Auditorium]
This 8 th annual job fair brings together hiring employers to share their job openings with job seekers.
Find more here .

Vermont Technology in the News
[February 23, 2017 - Source: VTDigger]

The House Commerce and Economic Development Committee is considering making changes to the state's labor laws in light of a new decision from the Vermont Supreme Court. The committee heard from the Legislature's lawyers about a December case that decided whether two workers at a Vermont company were employees or independent contractors. The case dealt specifically with the classification of the two workers in relation to whether the company needed to pay taxes for unemployment insurance.
Read more here.

[February 23, 2017 - Source: Vermont Business Magazine/WalletHub]

Often perceived as socially drab lawmaking centers, many state capitals actually are thriving hubs of activity and thus some of the most livable places in America. WalletHub compared all 50 across 42 key indicators of affordability, economic strength, quality of education and health, and overall living standards.

Though 17 of them are the largest cities in their states, the biggest population doesn't always represent the best quality of life. Montpelier ranked 6th overall and Austin was first. In the sub-categories, Montpelier ranked first in both health and educational attainment.

Read more here .

GlobalFoundries looks to fill 200 jobs
[February 23, 2017 - Source: WCAX]
GlobalFoundries in Essex Junction has the help wanted sign out. The company told WCAX News it is looking to hire about 200 people in production, manufacturing, IT and engineering. GlobalFoundries says it has seen increased demand for the chips coming out of Vermont.

Read more here .

VEDA Approves $7.1 Million in Economic Development Financing
[February 22, 2017 - Source: Press Release]

The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved $7.1 million in economic development financings, including for manufacturing. Among the projects are a $1.5 million loan to Chroma Technology Corporation as part of the company's planned $21.7 million expansion in Bellows Falls, and financing of $128,500 to Flex-A-Seal, Inc. in Essex Junction to purchase the property adjacent to the company's existing manufacturing facility in Essex Junction.

Read more here.

Vermont Small Business Economic Outlook Survey Released
[February 20, 2017 - Source: VT Digger/Press Release]
More than 100 Vermont small- to medium-sized businesses participated in the semi-annual Vermont economic survey in January. The survey, presented by Davis and Hodgdon Associates CPAs and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, revealed that while opinions about the Vermont and U.S. economies are moving in a positive direction, there is still a great desire to see improvement in the state's business climate and tax laws. Respondents identified the top three key issues facing their business as taxes, health insurance costs and finding qualified employees.

Read more here .

Two Senate Committees Endorse New Tech Agency
[February 15, 2017 - Source: VT Digger]
Two committees in the Vermont Senate have decided to endorse Gov. Phil Scott's proposal to create an Agency of Digital Services. The Senate Institutions and Government Operations committees both voted unanimously to endorse the idea. The proposed Agency of Digital Services would be a standalone entity whose secretary answers to the governor. It would replace the existing Department of Information and Innovation, which is within the Agency of Administration.
Read more here .

DAI and THINKMD Announce Partnership
[February 14, 2017 - Source: Press Release]
DAI, a global development company, and THINKMD announced a strategic partnership that aims to leverage DAI's extensive international network to bring THINKMD's digital health products to scale. As part of this partnership, DAI led THINKMD's latest financing round, joined by Fresh Tracks Capital and select private investors.

Read more here .
An innovative project developed at the University of Vermont has received a $1.8 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative for research aimed at improving the electric grid's ability to accommodate power generated from renewable energy sources. As more roof-top solar comes onto the grid, electric utilities have to manage an increasingly variable and uncontrollable power supply. The UVM-led project seeks to overcome these challenges by adapting advanced real-time control and optimization concepts.

Read more here.
[February 15, 2017 - Source: VT Digger/Press Release]

Green Mountain Power was named to Fast Company's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Energy list for its work to partner with customers on a new energy future, including innovations like battery storage. The designation was part of Fast Company's annual ranking of the world's Most Innovative Companies. Other top companies making the energy list include: Tesla, GE, and Google.

Read more here.
In infrastructure plan, a big opening for rural broadband
[February 13, 2017 - Source: Brookings Institution]

Despite tens of billions of dollars of federal subsidies for rural communications networks, rural broadband connectivity remains a vexing problem. While the numbers show improvement from prior years, the most recent broadband report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) found that 39 percent of the rural population, compared to just 4 percent of the urban population, lacked access to what the FCC regards as basic fixed broadband service-25 megabits per second (Mbps) up/3 Mbps down.
Read more here .

FairPoint Communications announced the completion of broadband expansion projects in 20 Vermont towns that extend and enhance FairPoint's approximately 17,000 mile fiber optic network. As a result of these completed projects, improved broadband speeds are available to more than 5,100 locations in Vermont -- in some areas for the first time. 
Read more here .
ECFiber Expands Broadband Service
[February 7, 2017 - Source: VT Digger/Press Release]

The East Central Vermont Telecommunications District (ECFiber) is continuing its steady growth, bringing service to parts of Royalton, Strafford, Pittsfield and Randolph.These expansions were funded privately and through Connectivity Initiative grants from the Vermont Department of Public Service.

Read more here .

Coming and Going: Vermont Struggles to Grow Its Workforce
[February 10, 2017 - Source: Seven Days]

Ethan Bechtel chose Vermont as the home base for his mobile app startup,  OhMD. Bechtel, 34, is the sort of entrepreneur economists and politicians want to attract to Vermont. Many of them, including Gov. Phil Scott, bemoan the state's stagnant population and wring their hands about the need for more young workers. Convincing people who leave to come back - and to bring their friends - must be a priority, Scott suggested to lawmakers during his January 23 budget address.
Read more here .

[February 9, 2017 - Source: Vermont Business Magazine/Press Release]

Renewable NRG Systems has added two fixed solar arrays to its LEED Gold-certified headquarters in Hinesburg, allowing the company to meet all of its electricity needs with on-site, renewable energy. The upgrade coincides with the 35th anniversary of RNRG, which has been designing and manufacturing purpose-built products for the wind and solar sectors since the renewables industry was in its infancy.

Read more here .

Featured Member: Creative Microsystems

Creative Microsystems, based in Waitsfield, Vermont is a micro- and nano- technology fabricator, with a focus on technical challenges from the idea stage through proof of concept, prototyping, and pilot production. They see the big picture, on nanometer at a time.
Creative Micro's experience in diffractive optics, laser physics, microlithography, advanced materials, chemistry, microelectronics and biology, allows them to apply multi-disciplinary approaches to solving customer problems. This often results in unique, technologically significant solutions and intellectual property, while also providing state-of-the-art fabrication and metrology capabilities for implementation.

Creative Microsystem's 13,000 square foot facility has extensive capabilities for advanced lithography, high resolution imaging, surface characterization, custom coating, binary and analog patterning, reactive-ion etching (RIE), and ion milling. It includes a 3,000 square foot Class 10/100 raised floor clean room for the development and production of defect sensitive micro-and nano-devices, and numerous optics and electro-optic laboratories.

To learn more, visit 

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 new and renewing business members: 
Renewing Members:

Join the Vermont Technology Alliance

The Vermont Technology Alliance welcomes all businesses and individuals that represent or support 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
Call for Proposals for UX Burlington 
The UX Burlington conference organizers are looking for 30-minute talks on technical and community topics related to User Experience, for the conference scheduled for. June 8 and 9. This includes the web, mobile, and back-end systems that improve UX, to talks about research, accessibility, team communication, and increasing inclusivity and diversity in tech. Deadline for submissions is March 15. 
Find more here.
Vermont Small Business Development Center Workshops
The Vermont Small Business Development Center is hosting a number of workshops in March on starting a small business and other topics to help future entrepreneurs turn their passions into business ventures.
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 150 - 200 tech and non-tech jobs with Vermont Technology Alliance member businesses.
For more, click here .
 SCORE Small Business Education Series
Score continues to offer free education sessions for small businesses on the second Wednesday of each month from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the New England Federal Credit Union in Williston. This series is targeted to those who are either thinking about getting into business or have a new business, and could use some information and education to help them be successful.
Next workshop: Define Your Presence on the Internet - March 8
Speaker Elaine Young, digital marketing professor at Champlain College, will be joined with panelists Lisa Wood of Sprout New Media and Denise Dukette of Out of the Office Virtual Assistance to discuss the concepts of how to reach customers online, including using social media to market your business.

802-879-8790 to reserve a seat or register online here .

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 .