Message from the vtTA

   
Summer is a great time for Vermont's tech community to relax and network. It was good so many friends and new faces at the July Tech & Bio Beer event at Queen City Brewery in partnership with the Vermont Biosciences Alliance. The event was made possible thanks to vtTA supporting sponsor Instrumart.
 
Be sure to sign up for our annual signature event, the Sunset Dinner Cruise on August 24 . It's a fun gathering, a great way to network, celebrate summer, and connect with members and friends of the tech community. The cruise is made possible by presenting sponsor FirstLight Fiber and by vtTA sponsors PCC a nd Dealer.com. Don't miss the boat - be sure to register now.

In an earlier newsletter, I shared that several vtTA members met with Michael Schirling, Secretary of Commerce and Community Development, to discuss obstacles and opportunities for Vermont firms to secure IT contracts with the State of Vermont. Mike asked the vtTA to provide a letter summarizing the concerns and recommendations. We've prepared a letter that captures the key recommendations, signed by more than 30 Vermont Technology Alliance members that will be submitted this month. One of the recommendations is to offer the volunteer help of experienced Vermont IT professionals to help the state with the contract process. If you are interested in participating in this effort, contact jeff@vtta.org.

Thank you for staying connected with the Vermont Technology Alliance and, as always, we welcome
business and individual membership in our organization.
 
 
Jeff Couture
Executive Director, Vermont Technology Alliance
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Upcoming Events

Rutland Mini Maker Faire & Makerspace Grand Opening
(August 12, 2017 - Rutland)

J oin the Rutland region maker community for the grand opening of The MINT, Rutland's Makerspace and the Rutland Mini Maker Faire. The Rutland Mini Maker Faire  runs from Noon to 5 p.m. with a ribbon cutting for the MINT at 3 p.m. Dozens of makers will be exhibiting. 
 
Find more information about the Rutland event .
Vermont Technology Alliance's Annual Sunset Dinner Cruise   
[August 24, 2017 - Spirit of Ethan Allen, Burlington]
 
Set sail with the Vermont Technology Alliance and friends aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen for our annual sunset dinner cruise. Enjoy spirits and a plated dinner amid the spectacular setting of Lake Champlain. Come join us for an evening of food, fun and conversation.
 
Sign up for the vtTA Sunset Dinner Cruise.

Catalysts of the Climate Economy Summit
(September 6-8, 2017 - UVM)
   
This summit will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders who are accelerating economic development by solving the challenges presented by climate change. The summit will feature spark speeches, solution pitches, a business and policy leader fishbowl, sessions with industry leaders, and innovation tours.
 
Find more information on the Climate Economy Summit .
Young Professionals Summit of Vermont
(September 9, 2017 - Rutland)
 
The Young Professionals Summit of Vermont is an annual, one-day event for Vermonters to network, share ideas, and confront issues faced by the state's young workforce.
 
Find more about the Summit.
Vermont Code Camp
(September 16, 2017 - Champlain College)
 
Vermont Code Camp is a full-day event that brings together technology community members, students and professionals from around Vermont and beyond. Sessions are on a variety of software topics including programming, databases, web development, and business.
 
Find more about the Code Camp .

Vermont Technology in the News
Vermont Will Shop Around for Public Safety Telecom Technology
(July 20, 2017 - Source: VTDigger) 
 
A special state panel looking at the future of public safety communications technology has voted to shop around for vendors before signing on with an agreement between a federal program and AT&T. States are being asked this year whether they want to join FirstNet and contract with AT&T as the principal vendor for technologies designed to enhance communications between police, fire and other first responders. Tens of millions of dollars would be spent during the 25-year rollout of FirstNet in Vermont on communications improvements that officials say could boost cell phone and internet reliability in a state where service is spotty.

Read more here .
Coding and Connectivity: New Plan to More Fully Integrate Technology in Vt. Classrooms  
(July 18, 2017 - Source: VPR)

Vermont still has a lot of work to do to fully integrate technology into public school classrooms, according to the latest draft of the state's digital learning plan , put out by the Agency of Education. Peter Drescher is the technology coordinator for the Vermont Agency of Education. Drescher says this issue isn't having enough computers - the schools have plenty at this point - but that teachers aren't fully embracing the technology.

Read more about the technology plan .

Attorney General Opposes FCC Rollback of Net Neutrality Protections
(July 18, 2017 - Source: Vermont Business Magazine)

Attorney General TJ Donovan has joined with 12 other attorneys general to oppose a rollback of critical net neutrality protections by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In comments submitted to the FCC, the attorneys general argue that the FCC must ensure open access to the internet and the continued equal access to all content providers, which can only be upheld through the principles of an open internet, or net neutrality.

Read more about the AG letter .
 
Iranian men charged with hacking Vermont Software Company  
(July 17, 2017 - Source: Associated Press)

The U.S. Department of Justice says two Iranian men who worked with someone pardoned by President Barack Obama have been charged with hacking a Vermont software company, Arrow Tech Associates, and stealing software that does aerodynamic analysis and design for bullets and GPS-guided artillery shells.

Read more here .
Vermont Works Teams with Packetized Energy  
(July 17, 2017 - Source: Press Release/VTDigger)

A Burlington, VT energy start-up and a new social impact investment firm announced a capital investment that will fund operations and growth into the future. Vermont Works Management Company, LLC has become the anchor investor in Packetized Energy's current fundraising effort, according to both firms. Packetized Energy was incubated at the University of Vermont and aims to help customers manage electricity supply.

 

TDS Telecom Expanding Broadband in Vermont
(July 17, 2017 - Source: Press Release/VTDigger)

Construction is under way to expand and improve broadband to nearly 650 locations in central Vermont. TDS Telecom began work in February in the Northfield and Roxbury areas, with the project expected to be done by spring 2018. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated $263,655 to reach residents in some of the hardest to serve areas in Vermont.  
 
Read more here .


Dunne and Adib Launch Tech-Focused Websites
(July 17, 2017 - Source: VTDigger)
 
Matt Dunne, formerly with Google, and Artur Adib, formerly with Twitter and Firefox, have each launched separate websites designed to support and promote Vermont's tech economy, which they describe in this commentary. " We need to take proactive steps to form a stronger, forward looking Vermont economy," they write. "And ironically enough, connecting people is what both of our projects are all about."
 
Read about the websites in this commentary .
Investors Hope to Raise $50M for VT Growth Companies  
(July 14, 2017 - Source: Burlington Free Press)

Two friends and Vermont neighbors, Frank Koster and Robert Zulkoski, intend to raise a fund of $50 million over the next year to invest in the growth of Vermont companies through their new business venture, Vermont Works. They hope to address the needs of Vermont growth stage companies looking for capital, and help close the gap between Vermont's ranking 5th in the nation in the number of start-ups per capita, but only 49th in scale-ups.

Read more about Vermont Works . 
Vermont Works for Women Receives Grant for STEM Program  
(July 14, 2017 - Source: Press Release/VTDigger)

Vermont Works for Women has received a one-year grant from the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation to further the opportunities of high school girls to explore career opportunities through a one-day expo at Vermont Technical Center in Randolph. "Women Can Do" brings together 9-12th grade girls from across Vermont to highlight careers in the skilled trades and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.  
Read more here .

FirstLight to Acquire 186 Communications  
(July 12, 2017 - Source: Press Release)

FirstLight announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 186 Communications .The transaction will combine 186's high-capacity fiber network in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont with FirstLight's fiber network and services. Upon completion of this transaction, and another pending acquisition of Finger Lakes Technologies Group, the company will operate approximately 14,000 route miles of high-capacity fiber-optic network connecting nearly 8,000 locations and 12 data centers across the Northeast.

Read more here .
    
Employee or Contractor? Vermont Supreme Court Tackles the Gig Economy
(July 6, 2017 - Source: Seven Days)

On June 23, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled -- in a case involving a solo contract carpenter -- that those who operate limited liability companies, or LLCs, don't count as employees, at least for the purposes of paying for unemployment insurance. The court's determination could have a far-reaching effect on members of Vermont's freelance economy, ranging from web developers to photographers to Uber drivers. But while the ruling may have brought some clarity, it won't close the books on the debate over when an independent contractor is actually an employee.

Seven Days explores the issue .


Featured Member:  Middlebury Interactive Languages
 
 

Middlebury Interactive Languages, headquartered in Middlebury, Vermont, is the academic leader in digital language learning for K-12 students. MIL provides access to superior world language and English Language Learner curriculum solutions that prepare students with the skills and cultural understanding to compete in the 21st Century global marketplace.

Middlebury Interactive has taken principles of Middlebury College's renowned world language pedagogy, developed and refined over the past 100 years, and adapted it for the digital and K-12 setting. MIL's offerings include digital K-12 language learning courses, and a summer language academy for 8th - 12th grade students.

Its curriculum solutions provide flexible implementation options and can be delivered fully online, in blended learning environments and traditional classroom settings. An unyielding commitment to academic excellence along with customized programs and courses designed specifically at grade level, set Middlebury Interactive apart from other providers.

Find out more at www.middleburyinteractive.com .
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 members. The vtTA welcomes new business members Business Resource Services and Vermont Works; and renewing members, Coldwell Banker Hickok and Boardman, C2 - Competitive Computing, Logic Supply, and The University of Vermont.

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

Make Connections with Quebec Tech Businesses

The Vermont Technology Alliance, in collaboration with the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ), offers an online business networking and opportunity exchange service for technology companies in Vermont: The COREX Opportunities B2B networking platform - vta.corexb2b.com .

COREX Opportunities promotes contact between Vermont and Quebec companies through targeted networking based on their industry sector and their individual profiles and needs. Companies can also use this tool to find new customers, suppliers or potential partners, post requests for proposals or other business opportunities, or ask questions.

Connect to the COREX platform .
   
Catalysts of the Climate Economy Pitch Contest

Catalysts of the Climate Economy is a three-day national innovation summit in Burlington, Vermont bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders who are accelerating economic development by solving the unprecedented challenges presented by climate change.

The summit is hosting an innovation and pitch contest for entrepreneurs from around the country to exhibit their ideas for a better future. Winners will receive a cash prize and the opportunity to present their work to an audience of investors and other interested parties.
 
Here's the process: 
 
Round 1: To enter, participants tweet their #FutureFormula pitch by July 30, 2017.

Round 2: Select participants will receive an application form to be submitted by August 7th.

Round 3: A short list of applicants will present at a booth at cc:econ in order to earn votes from attendees.

Round 4: Finalists will pitch on stage to a panel of judges for a grand prize of $10,000.

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 about 200 tech and non-tech jobs with Vermont Technology Alliance member businesses. Jobs are listed in the Career Center at no charge as a vtTA business member benefit.
 
For more, click 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 .
 

The vtTA Thanks Its Annual Sponsors

Leadership Sponsors
   
 
Sustaining Sponsors:

   

Partner sponsors: