Message from the vtTA
Wrapping Up the Year, Recognizing vtTA Member’s Contributions, and Looking Ahead to 2021

It's an understatement to say it’s been an unusual year, one that many of us are happy to see come to an end. We became familiar with masks and social distancing, acronyms Like PPE and PPP, and turning our homes and apartments into offices and classrooms.

Many VtTA members and other tech businesses were impacted by the pandemic. We are thankful for the majority of VtTA members who maintained and renewed their memberships, and those who joined as new members this year. 

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, vtTA members continued to step up to help Vermont community organizations in 2020. In April we shared some of the many ways they helped address the needs of the Coronavirus, and this month how vtTA members made financial and in-kind contributions to community and non-profit organizations in Vermont in 2020. We highlighted examples from a dozen vtTA businesses, both small and large, whose contributions alone represent more than $800,000 in giving this year.

Although our traditional in-person events were cancelled, we offered some virtual sessions, and discounts to other tech webinars and education offerings. We continued to promote Vermont’s tech businesses and opportunities, and advocated for the needs of the tech sector, from preventing the cloud computing tax to supporting expansion of broadband and telecommuting opportunities. We posted more than 800 jobs in our Career Center that were viewed by more than 11,000 potential candidates, and our LinkedIn group grew to more than 1800, with members throughout Vermont and the US.

We are excited about what’s ahead next year. On tap for the vtTA is an exciting new logo and brand design, as well as a new, revamped website that will launch in the first quarter of 2021. Also, we are planning a vtTA Tech Conference during the first week in March, offering a forum to hear experts and thought leaders address key tech topics and trends. Planned themes are Rural Tech – Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions; Technology Innovation and Innovators; Tech Skill Development and Education; and Accessibility and Social Justice in Tech. We’ll be opening up a “call for speakers” invitation at the beginning of the year. And with the start of the new legislative session in January, we once again intend to be the leading voice for Vermont’s tech sector for lawmakers. 

As we close out the year, we are pleased to announce new additions to our board of directors in 2020:

We welcome the energy and experience they bring to the board and their support for our mission to strengthen and expand Vermont’s tech economy.

As you make plans for 2021, if not currently a member, please consider joining the vtTA. We welcome membership from all tech-focused businesses, organizations and individuals, as well as those that support, work with or benefit from the technology business sector.

We wish you all the best for the Holiday Season and a new (and brighter) New Year. 

Jeff Couture
Executive Director
Vermont Technology Alliance

Upcoming Events
Restart Vermont Technical Assistance (ReVTA)
(December 22, 2020)
The Restart Vermont Technical Assistance Program (ReVTA) will provide a free webinar to help employers navigate pandemic-related personnel questions. The event will feature a panel of HR, Benefits and legal experts.
Find more here.
Generator Virtual Info Session
(January 6, 2021)
The Generator makerspace in Burlington hosts a virtual information session for anyone interested in finding out about the facility and how to participate and take advantage of its resources

Find more here.
Vermont Economic Conference
(January 13 – February 10, 2021)
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce holds its 2021 economic conference virtually through interactive seminars on Wednesday mornings from January 13 - February 10, offering Vermont and national perspectives. 
Find more here.
Leading SAFe (5.0) Course
(February 8-10, 2021)
Attendees of this course will gain the knowledge necessary to lead a Lean-Agile enterprise by leveraging the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) and its underlying principles derived from Lean, systems thinking, Agile development, product development flow, and DevOps (Development Operations).
Read more here.
SAFe 5.0 Certified Scrum Master Class
(February 15-17, 2021)
This SAFe® Certified Scrum Master Certification training course includes 13 hours of instructor-led training presented by a certified SAFe Program Consultant. During the course, participants will acquire the specific skills, behaviors and the mindset necessary to become a successful Certified Scrum Master and servant-leader.

Read more here.
Vermont Technology News
vtTA Members Make a Positive Impact on Vermont Organizations in 2020
(December, 2020 – vtTA)

Each year, members of the Vermont Technology Alliance contribute several million dollars in financial contributions and in-kind support to community and non-profit organizations in Vermont – and 2020 was no different. Even this year, given the economic impact of COVID-19 and the limitations of social distancing, many businesses have continued to make a positive impact on Vermont communities and organizations. We highlight a dozen vtTA businesses, both small and large, whose contributions alone represent more than $800,000 in giving in 2020.

Read about them here.
The FCC awards over $9 billion to boost rural broadband access, including $32.5 million for Vermont
(December, 2020 – vtTA)

The Federal Communications Commission announced $9.2 billion in grants to more than 180 service providers nationwide to provide broadband internet access to 5.2 million homes and businesses, which includes $32,533,635 for Vermont.

The grants are part of the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I auction, awarded to satellite companies, cable operators, fixed wireless providers, electric cooperatives, and telephone companies, to begin expanding broadband internet access to rural areas throughout 49 U.S. states.

According to the FCC’s news release, 99.7% of these locations will be receiving broadband with speeds of at least 100/20 Mbps, with an overwhelming majority (over 85%) getting gigabit-speed broadband. 

Read more here
Broadband Plan Offers Ways to Connect 61,000 More Households
(December 15, 2020- VTDigger)

A new report offers a series of short-term solutions aimed at connecting Vermonters to internet service during the Covid-19 pandemic — when having a reliable connection has arguably never been more crucial. 

The report, produced by Rural Innovation Strategies and Maryland-based consulting firm CTC Technology & Energy, includes a variety of preliminary recommendations that, if adopted together, could help provide some form of a reliable connection to the nearly 61,000 Vermont households estimated to lack internet or have poor service. The report, commissioned by the Legislature, will be completed later this month.

Read more here.
Vermont AG Joins Lawsuits Against Facebook and Google
(December, 2020 – Vermont Business Magazine)

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan has joined with other attorneys general to sue tech giants Facebook and Google for anticompetitive practices.

The Attorney General joined a bipartisan coalition of 47 other attorneys general to file a lawsuit against Facebook Inc, alleging that the company illegally stifles competition to protect its monopoly power. Read more here.

The AG also joined another bipartisan coalition of 37 attorneys general to sue Google for anticompetitive conduct in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. The coalition alleges that Google illegally maintains its monopoly power over general search engines and related advertising markets. Read more here.
Lawmakers Earmark $11.5 Million More to Small Business Grants
(December 15, 2020 – VTDigger)

A panel of Vermont lawmakers voted to send $11.5 million in CARES Act money to the state’s small business grant program. After months of intense focus on the plight of the hospitality industry, the Joint Fiscal Committee is trying to steer some more money toward the state’s small retail stores and to other businesses.

Anticipating another round of federal money in the New Year, state officials are also looking for ways to do a better job of targeting Covid-19 relief money in general so that it reaches the businesses that need it the most.

Read more here.
Study Shows 23 Towns Will Get the First NEK Broadband Buildouts
(December 8, 2020 – VTDigger)

More than 20 Northeast Kingdom towns will have broadband service from a regional district by 2023, according to a new study. The study, written by the technology infrastructure firm Tilson, names 23 towns in the region as the first sites to receive partial fiber buildouts through NEK Community Broadband, the region’s communications union district that was formed in March.

Read more here.
Vermont Tech Company Develops AI Software That Can Detect COVID Status
(December 7, 2020 – Seven Days)

A Vermont tech company says it has created artificial intelligence software that hospitals can use to rule out whether someone has COVID-19 — simply by analyzing routine blood work.
Artur Adib, founder and CEO of Biocogniv, told Seven Days that his company's new AI software relies on blood tests often already performed during emergency room visits and would allow hospitals to gauge a patient's COVID status without using up critical testing supplies.

"What this enables hospitals to do is to protect their stash," he said, estimating that they could save up to 70 percent of their PCR kits.

Read more here.
Cyberattack Cost UVM Medical Center $1.5 Million a Day
(December 8, 2020 – Seven Days)

The October cyberattack cost the University of Vermont Medical Center $1.5 million a day in increased expenses and lost revenue, hospital president Stephen Leffler said Tuesday.

That “back of the envelope” calculation doesn’t include the cost of getting the system back up and running, he told reporters. Forty-two days have elapsed since the attack occurred on Oct. 28. The total cost, including lost revenue and expenses, could exceed $63 million.

Read more here.
A Local Tech Company Connects Vermonters With Free Meals
(December 2, 2020 – Seven Days)

The team behind Localvore Passport, a subscriber-only platform for restaurant deals, has teamed up with Vermont Everyone Eats, a hunger relief program, to put free meals into people's hands easily. 

Funded by federal CARES Act dollars and an additional appropriation from the Vermont legislature, Everyone Eats has provided thousands of meals during the pandemic. Over the summer, the program hired Localvore to create a new, free portal that allows those looking for free meals to browse participating restaurants and order directly through an app. More than 1,000 people have signed up to order more than 10,000 meals from dozens of restaurants around the state.

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.

Renewing members include Advanced Illumination, Ascension Technology (NDI), Graybar, NRG Systems, Paul, Frank + Collins, Scout Digital; and individual members John Kerr, Andrea Kokolis, and Jeff Manley.

Not a vtTA member yet? Then why not join now? Find more information here, or sign up at our new member registration page here. You can also contact us at
Useful Information & Links
Replay of Pandemic Information Webinar Series for Vermont Businesses
The Department of Health and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development weekly webinar series focused on health and commerce pandemic updates for the business community are available for replay. This webinar series is designed for business owners and organizations that primarily serve businesses.

Find full details and how to submit questions at the ACCD Business Recovery Resource Center.
RFI for Department of Public Service

The State of Vermont Department of Public Safety (DPS) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to gather input and obtain information and cost estimates to provide hardware, software, and support for a modern, mobile, biometric identification system. The department is part of the tri-state Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) that includes Maine and New Hampshire. The department wants to focus on mobile fingerprinting platforms that will interface with its existing system, but is interested in all approaches to implementing and managing a modern biometric identification system.

DPS intends to evaluate the submissions by respondents to explore how they would meet their needs and understand the costs, project plans and support services associated with proposed solutions. 

The RFI request can be accessed 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 and subscribe to updates. The Career Center has 100+ tech and non-tech jobs with Vermont Technology Alliance member businesses and organizations. Jobs available from vtTA members are listed at no charge in the Career Center as a member benefit.
For more, visit the Career Center.

The vtTA Thanks Its Member/Sponsors
Leadership Sponsors:

Partner Sponsors: