Message from the vtTA

With the start of the New Year brings a new legislative session in Montpelier, and new discussion of programs and activities that can be important to the tech business sector.
The Vermont Technology Alliance is hosting a networking and public policy panel discussion event for tech business leaders and legislators on Tuesday, January 23, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier.
The evening will feature a panel discussion with the chairs and vice chairs of the House and Senate economic development committees, and the Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
The focus will be on the economic development goals and priorities this legislative session and a discussion on public policy areas important to the tech sector, with an opportunity for attendees to share input and ask questions.
The event includes a networking reception. So please come join us for an informational public policy forum in a casual, networking environment.
We look forward to working on behalf of Vermont's tech economy, tech-focused businesses and organizations in 2018. We appreciate the support of our members and are pleased to welcome SymQuest as our latest annual member/sponsor.
Jeff Couture
Executive Director, Vermont Technology Alliance
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Upcoming Events
VCET Female Founders Series  
(January 22, 2018 - Hotel Vermont, Burlington)
Season two of VCET's Female Founder Speakers Series continues Jan. 22 with a presentation featuring female entrepreneurs from industries celebrating sustainability and personal care.
Find more information here .

Networking and Public Policy Panel Event
(January 23, 2018 - Capitol Plaza Hotel, Montpelier)
The Vermont Technology Alliance is hosting a networking event and public policy panel discussion with the leaders of the House and Senate economic development committees, and Secretary of Commerce and Community Development.
Find more information and register for this tech networking and public policy event .
Hinesburg Pop Up Coworking - Vermont Smoke & Cure  
(January 25, 2018 - Vermont Smoke & Cure, Hinesburg)
The Hinesburg co-working community will meet again in a one-day, pop-up event at Vermont Smoke and Cure at the Cheese Plant facility in Hinesburg.
Find more information here .
LaunchVT Collegiate Event
(February 15, 2018 - UVM Davis Center)
LaunchVT Collegiate is a pitch competition for young entrepreneurs at Vermont's colleges and universities. The winner of LaunchVT Collegiate is automatically awarded a spot in the next LaunchVT event.
Find more here .

Vermont Technology in the News
Propy Launches Blockchain Real Estate Pilot in South Burlington (January 17, 2018 - Electronics 360)
Blockchain startup Propy, Inc. will launch a pilot project in collaboration with the South Burlington City Clerk's Office to use blockchain technology to record real estate conveyance documents. "The Propy pilot will showcase the savings of blockchain distributed technology - furthering Vermont's and the City of South Burlington's goal to achieve more cost-effective government. In parallel to making land record management systems significantly more efficient," said Natalia Karayaneva, CEO of Propy.

Read more
here .
FairPoint Name Vanishing as Consolidated Begins Rebranding  
(January 15, 2018 - U.S News & World Report)
The company that bought FairPoint Communications is discarding the old name and making plans to upgrade the service of tens of thousands of customers in northern New England. Consolidated Communications, which has operations in 24 states, will begin rebranding with its own logo for trucks and buildings early in the new year, providing the most visible change for its customers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont since it bought FairPoint last summer.

Read more

Vermont joins suit to halt FCC rollback of net neutrality
January 16, 2018 - VTDigger)
Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan is part of a coalition of 21 states and Washington, D.C. seeking to block the rollback of net neutrality rules by the Federal Communications Commission. Meanwhile, momentum is growing in Congress among Democrats to block the net neutrality rollback through a procedure that allows lawmakers to keep a rule from taking effect by a simple majority vote.
 Read more here.
SymQuest Runs Interactive Campaign to Support Local Food Banks 
(January 11, 2018 - SymQuest)  

SymQuest Group recently contributed 971 pounds of food to four Northern New England food banks as a result of its interactive Thanksgiving client appreciation campaign. Nearly 1000 of SymQuest's clients participated in this year's campaign.

Read more
here .

Vermont Could Collect Taxes in Crypto under Proposed Law  
(January 8, 2018 - Coindesk)
A state legislator in Vermont has proposed a bill (S.269) to create a new regulatory framework for the use of blockchain technology. Sen. Alison Clarkson introduced the bill on Jan. 3, and the measure has since been forwarded to the Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs. It outlines how the state could classify certain firms as "digital currency limited liability companies," particularly those that operate their own networks.  
Read more about the blockchain technology bill.
NextCapital Raises $30 Million in Series C Financing    (January 4, 2018 - Vermont Business Magazine)

NextCapital has completed its Series C Preferred Stock financing, led by Oak HC/FT. Existing NextCapital shareholders Manulife Financial, Transamerica Ventures, Vermont Seed Capital Fund and Route 66 Ventures also participated. The company has an office in Burlington, and Rob Foregger, co-founder, is a Vermont native and Stowe resident.  
Read more here.

Generator Picks Four Maker-Entrepreneur's for Residency  
(January 3, 2018 - Generator)

Generator makerspace announced the four entrepreneurs chosen for its new 12-week, Jump/Start residency program, and free public lecture series. Each Jump/Start Entrepreneur receives $1000 in cash, and over $4500 worth of in-kind services, including 24/7 access to Generator's high-tech fabrication facilities, classes and expert consultations.

Read more here.

PCC partners with American Academy of Pediatrics on Childhood Obesity Study
(December 28, 2017 - PCC)
The Physician's Computer Company (PCC) announced a collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics and 18 pediatric practices throughout the country to research childhood obesity. The study will involve the AAP's research network and will measure obesity outcomes in children 3-8 years of age. PCC will work on recruitment, data extraction, and transmission of data.
Read more about the study .

United Van Lines: Vermont is Top State for In-Migration  
(January 3, 2018 - United Van Lines, Vermont Business Magazine)
Each year United Van Lines tracks where its customers move. And once again in 2017, Vermont was the top state for inbound migration. While Americans are moving westward, flocking to the Mountain and Pacific West while the Northeast and Midwest continue to lose residents, Vermont had the highest rate of in-migration in the nation according to the report, and was the only state in the Northeast with a positive trend.  
Read more about the United Van Lines study .

Microsoft Forms Coalition to Bring High-Speed Internet to Rural Communities  
(January 2, 2018 - GeekWire)    
Microsoft is partnering with organizations across the country to form Connect Americans Now (CAN), a coalition that will pressure policymaker to help bring broadband internet access to rural America. Microsoft's plan involves broadcasting broadband internet to rural regions over unoccupied TV channels to help bring broadband connectivity to two million people living in rural communities within the next five years.  

Featured Member: Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC) 
The Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center's primary mission is to strengthen and empower Vermont manufacturers.

VMEC has operated statewide as a not-for-profit center since 1995, collaborating with public and private partners in business, government and education to bring world-class assistance and resources to Vermont manufacturers and other enterprises of all sizes, helping them overcome ever-changing challenges, become more competitive and grow their profitability. A valuable local resource and trusted advisor, VMEC has a 22-year track record of achieving measured results and quantified impact for its clients, with a high average return-on-investment reported by clients as a direct result of VMEC assistance.

The VMEC Team brings expertise in consulting, coaching, hands-on implementation, continuing support, and training and education for leaders and workers - helping them to innovate, plan, perform and accelerate profitable growth in ways that drive increasing enterprise value. The VMEC Team provides proven systems and solutions focused on strategies, processes, products, technologies and people.

Find more at .
Vermont Technology Alliance Membership Update
The Vermont Technology Alliance works on behalf of its members and is able to carry out its mission through the support of its membership.
The vtTA welcomes SymQuest as a new annual member/sponsor and thanks its other renewing business members: Akonis , Beth Gilpin Consulting , Creative Microsystems , Draker , Dunkiel Saunders , FreshTracks Capital , HowardCenter-IT , Propeller Media Works , and Stone Environmental ; and individual members: Stephen Arrants, Melissa DeBlois, Judith Mueller and Matthew Zucker.   

Join the Vermont Technology Alliance
The Vermont Technology Alliance welcomes all businesses, organizations and individuals who make up and support Vermont's diverse, tech-based economy to join our non-profit business association. Members 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 , and sign up today to be a new member here .

Useful Information & Links
UX Burlington Call for Proposals
A call for proposals has been issued for the UX Burlington 2018 conference to be held June 15 in Burlington. Organizers are seeking submissions for six 30- to 60-minute talks from speakers who are leading, strengthening, and revitalizing User Experience. New and seasoned speakers are welcome. The submission deadline is February 28.  
Find more here .

SBA Seeks Entrepreneurs for Business Growth Program

The Small Business Administration is seeking 20 entrepreneurs throughout Vermont to participate in a free business course starting in April.
Emerging Leaders is a free executive-level training program for established business owners poised for growth that will run over seven months at Vermont Technical College's Williston campus. Each participant will learn ways to improve their business and will create a three-year strategic growth plan to build a sustainable business of size and scale.
Emerging Leaders is for established business owners and is not for start-ups or people who are thinking about starting a business. To be considered, firms must be for-profit enterprises, been in business for at least three years, have at least one full-time employee, and have annual revenues between $400,000 and $10 million.
There are no restrictions on the types of businesses that can participate. Business owners interested in the program need to fill out the online application here. For more information, visit , email  or call 802-828-4422 ext. 203 .

VMEC Offering Spring ExporTech Program  
Growth opportunities exist in global markets and exporting can be an important strategy for increasing sales.  Learning how to tap into these new markets can have a huge upside potential. The spring 2018 program will be Vermont's sixth ExporTech offering to help Vermont-based businesses move quickly from planning to closing export sales. Program sessions are March 8, April 26 and May 31 in Colchester.
Find more information here .

Independent Contractors - New Guidelines from Labor Department
The VT Department of Labor has released new guidelines concerning independent contractors and workers' compensation insurance. The new guidance states that an employer cannot be assessed workers' compensation premiums or found to be liable under the workers' compensation code for workplace injuries incurred by an independent contractor if:
  • The contractor is registered with the Secretary of State as an LLC or corporate owner.
  • The contractor has filed and received approval from the Department of Labor to opt out of worker's compensation coverage.
The employer also is not liable if the contractor has its own insurance. .
You can find the guidelines 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 up to 200 tech and non-tech jobs. Jobs available from vtTA members are listed at no charge in the Career Center as a member benefit.
For more, click see the vtTA Career Center . 
The vtTA Thanks Its Annual Sponsors

Leadership Sponsors
Sustaining Sponsors:  
Partner sponsors: