Message from the vtTA

Dear VtTA Members and everyone in the Vermont technology community,
   
2019 was an exciting and eventful year for the Vermont Technology Alliance, and as the year winds to a close I thought it would be good to reflect on the past year and give you a window into our plans for the coming year.
 
We started the year with exciting additions to the vtTA board . Newly joining us were:
  • Maureen McElaney - Developer Advocate with IBM, a tireless tech community organizer, and a previous Tech Jam Award winner  
     
  • Vijay Desai - Managing Partner of Desai Management Consulting, and a leading local project management expert  
     
  • Michael Ly - Founder and CEO of Reconciled, and also heavily involved in shaping the use of Blockchain technology in Vermont  
     
  • Jon Winer - Chief Technology Officer for Vermont Systems, a quiet powerhouse in the parks and recreation software industry
These four new members have brought with them renewed energy, fresh ideas, and diverse perspectives that have already helped us come up with new ways to support Vermont's technology community.
 
Also, after tirelessly advocating for the inclusion of technology in Vermont's brand, Matt Dodd's term as Board President concluded. It has been my privilege to lead the board this year and build on Matt's work.
 
In the forefront of many members' minds this year was public policy, with legislation during this year's session that was unfriendly to Vermont's technology companies at best, and damaging at worst (Cloud Tax, bans on non-competes; etc.). As a result, we received requests from both members and individual legislators to increase our presence in Montpelier and ensure the tech community's needs are taken into account.
 
We are raising funds now to engage an external firm to increase our presence in the statehouse, monitor on-going legislation of interest to our membership, and support our policy efforts. If you would like to contribute, please contact our Executive Director, Jeff Couture at Jeff@vtta.org .
 
This year we continued to provide opportunities for our members and the larger technology community to meet each other, learn from each other, and connect throughout the state. Whether you attended one of our Let's Tech Together panels; met new people through a Bio and Tech Beer event; learned about the new Black River Innovation Campus in Springfield; participated in our public policy breakfast; or joined in our brand new Technology Leadership Forum, I hope that you found time to interact with your peers in Vermont's tech community.
 
In the coming year, I look forward to continuing to provide opportunities for all of you to meet, exchange ideas, and learn from each other through our events.
 
Additionally, the VtTA continues to be a top resource for connecting tech job seekers with tech jobs. Our Career Center consistently has more than 100 technology related job postings and Executive Director Jeff Couture is fantastic at helping job seekers find the companies that need them; supporting local employment and our local companies each and every time.
 
I am on the board of the vtTA because I believe that technology is a vital part of Vermont's economy and an engine for its future growth. I know many of you share that belief and I am so very thankful for your support and help. If there is more we can do for you, please do not hesitate to ask.
 
I hope you all have a happy and healthy holiday season and a fantastic start to the new year!
 
 
Alex Meyer
Board President
Vermont Technology Alliance 

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Upcoming Events
 
BRIC Holiday Bash  
(December 18, 2019 - Springfield)
 
The Black River Innovation Campus in Springfield is hosting its first annual Holiday Bash, featuring a variety of digital and technical hands-on experiences and demos.
 
Read more here .
 
 
Champlain Maker Faire at Highlight BTV New Year's Eve  
(December 31, 2019 - Echo Center)
 
Ch amplain Maker Faire is hosting a maker fair as part of Highlight BTV, Burlington's New Year's Eve celebration at the Leahy Echo Center. Makers are invited to exhibit at the ECHO, Lea hy Center for Lake Champlain, December 31, Noon - 5:00 pm.
 
Read more here .
 

Vermont Economic Conference  
(January 23, 2010 - Doubletree Hilton, Burlington)
 
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce presents its annual Vermont Economic Conference, featuring speakers providing national, global and state perspectives on economic trends impacting the year ahead.
 
Read more here .
 
 

Vermont Technology in the News
 
Federal Program to Help Boost Cell Coverage In Vermont Ending  
(December 15, 2019 - VPR)
 
The Federal Communications Commission has scrapped a grant program aimed at boosting cell coverage in underserved areas. The news is disappointing for Vermont officials who spent months last year proving that the carriers' claims of coverage were false.

In 2018, a state employee logged over 6,000 miles driving around the state to conduct sophisticated tests to determine where he could get a cell signal from the major phone companies. The tests showed that the companies' coverage claims did not match reality.

But the FCC ended the grant program and halted the challenge process, saying the carriers' claims were unreliable. The FCC instead decided to boost funding for high-speed 5G networks.

Read more here .
 
 
Burlington makers add sense of smell to virtual reality  
(December 15, 2019 - VTDigger)

The Generator maker space in Burlington has been home to a number of successful start-ups, but nothing quite as groundbreaking as OVR Technology, a two-year-old company that's adding the sense of smell to virtual reality headsets.  
 
Now, the company is readying the commercial launch of their product, a candy bar size device that attaches to virtual reality headsets so it sits just above the nose. VR software for gaming, education or training can be programmed to trigger minuscule bursts of scent at precise moments.  
 
The company, which was a finalist for a 2019 Vermont Tech Jam Award, is completing its first 200 systems, which can be used in trauma therapy treatment, education and more.
 
Read more here .
 

$10 million sustainable Ag Project Using Machine Learning and AI  
(December 13, 2019 - Vermont Business Magazine)

Researchers at the University of Vermont have teamed up with scientists around the U.S. to tackle agriculture's grand challenge of feeding the world's growing population while conserving natural resources and reducing its environmental footprint.

Using precision agriculture tools, network analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the project will analyze cover cropping strategies at over 100 farms throughout the East Coast and Midwest, and survey farmers and advisors across 20 states with the goals of improving profits for farmers and building more sustainable food systems.

The five-year project has been awarded $10 million grant from the USDA.

Read more
here .
 

Vt. Native Prefers Upper Valley to Silicon Valley for Tech Company Expansion  
(December 11, 2019 - Valley News)
 
 
Brian Kippen left Vermont 16 years ago to seek his fortune in California. Now the former Tunbridge resident wants to bring that fortune home to Vermont.

Kippen has been working since July to open an East Coast satellite facility of his California computer-aided machine shop at the former L W Greenwood & Sons construction equipment site in East Randolph.

Read more
here.
  
 
Vermont Tech to Expand in Williston, Downsize in Randolph  
(December 11, 2019 - VTDigger)
 
As leaders at the Vermont State Colleges ponder the system's future, Vermont Technical College is planning big changes to its two residential campuses. "We need to expand in Williston and we need to contract in Randolph Center," Vermont Tech President Pat Moulton told VSC trustees at a recent meeting.

About 600 of VSC's 1,620 students attend classes in Williston, and 60 live on campus. That's actually above capacity, and VTC is currently renting rooms across the street from its residence hall on Route 2A. VTC is working with White + Burke, Burlington-based real estate consultants, to prepare a conceptual plan and RFP for a public-private partnership to build a new mixed-use building on an acre plot the college owns at the corner of Helena Drive and Route 2.

Meanwhile, in Randolph, VTC's larger residential campus, the college needs to sell or repurpose properties that don't contribute to the school's academic mission.

Read more
here .
 
 
To Recruit Applicants, Colleges Lean on Big Data  
(December 9, 2019 - VTDigger)

Each day, admissions counselors at Northern Vermont University receive emails alerting them to who has been visiting the college's website. The messages include which pages prospective recruits have browsed, how many visits they've made, and any personal information - names, emails, addresses - these visitors have previously provided to the school. Faced with an ever-shrinking pool of potential applicants, college admissions officials are increasingly turning to tracking software to hit enrollment targets.

Read more
here .
 
 
Kaman Expands its Medical Composite Customer Base
(December 11, 2019 - Vermont Business Magazine)

Kaman Composites - Vermont, Inc. (KCV) in Bennington, a subsidiary of Kaman Corporation, has announced the expansion of its medical imaging customer base with an agreement to manufacture complex composite assemblies for Carestream Health in support of their cutting-edge DRX product line.

All composite detail parts and assemblies will be manufactured and delivered from the KCV facility in Bennington, Vermont. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2020.

Read more here .
 
 
Mamava places 1,000th Lactation Suite - Powered by Smart Technology
(December 11, 2019 - Vermont Business Magazine)

Mamava delivered its 1,000th lactation pod to The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center this month. Mamava is the category creator of freestanding lactation spaces and the leading expert in lactation space design, seeing a 50% increase in pod placements from 2018 to 2019.

Mamava's lactation pods are powered by a smart technology platform that enables easy wayfinding, autonomous access, and remote maintenance monitoring and usage reporting. The Mamava pods pair with the Mamava app, which helps moms find the pods, see availability, adjust lighting and airflow, and offers helpful resources.

Read more here .
 
 
UVM Enters Research Partnership with Threat Stack, Leading Cloud-based Cybersecurity Firm  
(December 6, 2019 - UVM)

At the front lines of the cybersecurity war against attacks on cloud computing is a company founded and led by UVM alum Brian Ahern, called Threat Stack, which Forbes magazine profiled as an emerging leader in cloud-based security that is "eating the lunch" of legacy firms like IBM. Last year the company saw its revenues grow 100 percent and now has 150 employees in its Boston headquarters. This fall, Threat Stack and UVM began a relationship with the potential to offer significant benefits to both the company and the university.

Read more
here .
 
 
OnLogic Unveils Line of Mini PCs Powered by AMD Embedded Processors  
(November 3, 2019 - OnLogic)

Global industrial and IoT computer hardware manufacturer, OnLogic, has teamed up with AMD to release a line of small form factor industrial computers powered by AMD Ryzen™ Embedded processors. Both the ultra-compact fanless ML100G-40, and actively-cooled MC510-40 are intended for use in manufacturing, automation, transportation, digital media, medical, and other IoT and Industry 4.0 applications.

Read more here .

 
Q&A: Dealer.com Co-Founder Mike Lane Builds his New Venture  
(December 1, 2019 - VTDigger)

Two years ago, former Dealer.com co-founder Mike Lane and former Dealer.com colleagues Eric Mayhew, Scott Gale and Brian McVey started Fluency , a software company. Fluency is an automation platform for digital marketing. The software facilitates the online advertising that targets people who are most likely to find the ads relevant. Fluency's role is to use data to create digital advertisements and push them to platforms like Google, Facebook and Bing.

Fluency now has 15 employees in Burlington, with three working remotely, and just marked its second year in business. Lane spoke with VTDigger about his work and the business.  
 
Read more here .
 
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.  
 
New business members include: Select and Scout Digital .
 
Renewing business members include: Aerie Consulting , Burton , DealerPolicy .  
 

Join the Vermont Technology Alliance
 
Join the Vermont Technology Alliance and be part of our growing tech community. The Vermont Technology Alliance welcomes all businesses, organizations and individuals who make up and support Vermont's diverse, tech-based economy to join our business association. Members benefit from vtTA's advocacy, programs, events, communications, networking, and business opportunities, and services - including job postings in our Career Center. 
   
You can find more information here , or sign up today to be a new member here . Or contact us at info@vtta.org.
Useful Information & Links

DeltaClimeVT Seeks Entrepreneurs for Energy 2020 program
 
Accel-VT, a climate economy business accelerator managed by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, has changed its name to DeltaClimeVT to reflect the program's mission of finding climate change solutions.
 
Along with the name change, the VSJF opened the application period for the DeltaClimeVT Energy 2020 program, which will focus on reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in buildings, and enabling better integration of distributed energy resources and smart building technologies. They are seeking innovative, early-stage, energy entrepreneurs for the business accelerator to be held in Burlington.
 
Eight to ten companies will be competitively selected from Vermont and throughout the U.S. and Canada to work with climate economy leaders, industry experts, potential partners and investment professionals.  
 
Applications are due Feb. 16, 2020.
 
Find more here .
 

CCV to Offer Scholarships for Cybersecurity Credential  
 
In an effort to address Vermont's need for a highly skilled cybersecurity workforce, Community College of Vermont will offer scholarships for eligible students who enroll in the College's Cyber Academy. In partnership with Socratic Arts, CCV's Cyber Academy offers an online cybersecurity credential designed to equip students with the necessary skills for success in entry-level cybersecurity positions.  
 
Read more here .
 

Startup 802: An Entrepreneurial Mindset in Bennington

The Lightning Jar and CCV in Bennington offer this six-week session from January 22 to February 26. Being an entrepreneur is a lot more than simply creating or managing a business. Develop the skills and mindset needed to recognize opportunity, innovate, explore creative ideas, and learn what it take to start a business. 
Learn more here  or contact Nicole Stetson at CCV-Bennington: (802) 447-2361 or  nicole.stetson@ccv.edu .
 

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 regularly  lists between 100 - 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 Member/Sponsors

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