Message from the vtTA
Wrapping up 2020

As 2021 comes to a close, we would like to thank our members, friends and supporters who we have had the privilege of connecting with and helping, and who have helped us throughout the year.

There were a number of highlights as we continued our focus on public policy, recruiting, and events & networking on behalf of our members and Vermont’s tech sector.

We launched a new Vermont Technology Alliance website and a VTTA brand and logo refresh. The new site has a modern, updated look and continues to carry our Career Center job board and popular News and Events features, member profiles, and information about our programs and mission.

Our public policy advocacy encompassed issues such as preventing the levying of a new “Cloud Computing Tax” that would impact all online services for businesses and individuals, funding for the Entrepreneurs’ Seed Capital Fund, expanding broadband coverage throughout the state, supporting remote worker and worker relocation grants, and preventing taxation of the Paycheck Protection Program grants. The coming year will certainly bring more legislation that will impact technology businesses throughout the state, including the expected return of the Cloud Tax proposal.

We hosted a VTTA Tech Conference and job fair, a virtual forum to hear a dozen, diverse speakers address key technology topics and trends, explore tech job opportunities, and network with Vermont’s tech community. Other networking and event activity included the Vermont Tech Jam career and tech expo; the return of our Sunset Cruise event; and webinars on topics including technology law, risk management issues, Facebook advertising, and employee business ownership.

The VTTA continued to be a top resource for connecting job seekers with job opportunities through our Career Center, which regularly lists 150 – 200 job openings. We also are a regular source for information and contacts for job seekers, and draw the attention of those interested in Vermont’s tech ecosystem through this newsletter, our website, and social media, including our LinkedIn group, which has grown to more than 2000 members, including many outside Vermont.
We look forward to continuing and building on these and other areas in 2022. If you’re interested in learning more about our public policy activity and supporting our efforts, or if you have an idea for a webinar you would like to present, or want to learn more about the VTTA and becoming a member, please reach out to me at [email protected].

We wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season!

Jeff Couture
Executive Director
Vermont Technology Alliance

Featured Member – Advanced Illumination
Founded in 1993, Advanced illumination was the first lighting company to develop and sell an LED lighting product, and has continued being a global leader in the machine vision industry ever since. 

Ai combines innovation in product development and process control to deliver tailored lighting solutions to its customers. Ai has Stock products that ship in 1-3 days and hundreds of thousands of Build-to-Order lights that are ready to ship in 1-3 weeks. Their customers face unique challenges regarding their ever-evolving inspection systems; Ai is here to innovate with them. 

For details about Advanced illumination’s LED lighting and control products, visit
Upcoming Events
Female Founders Speaker Series: Investors
(January 10, 2022)
Season 6 of VCET’s Female Founders Speaker Series continues Monday, January 10 with the theme of “Investors.” This event features Louisa Schibli, Caroline McBride, and Allison Maino, three women who will share their stories and demystify what it takes to become a successful investor.
Find more here.
Vermont Economic Conference
(January 25 and 26, 2022)
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce is hosting a two-day, virtual 2022 Economic Conference on January 25 and 26. The sessions are an opportunity to learn about the national and state economic trends facing Vermont businesses for 2022, while also hearing how Vermont can become an economic leader by welcoming all, supporting and growing our diverse communities, and leaning into our state’s strengths.
Find more here.
Submit Topics for VTTA Webinars

The VTTA hosts hour-long “Let’s Tech Together” webinars on a variety of topics of interest to the tech and broader business and entrepreneur community throughout the year. As we look to 2022, we welcome proposals from speakers who would like to present on a topic, or suggestions for presentations you would like to hear.

Send your ideas for consideration to [email protected].
Vermont Technology News
Recent Announcements Point to Broadband Expansion Progress in Vermont
(December, 2021 – VTTA)

Recent announcements at the end of 2021 highlight progress being made in expanding high-speed broadband infrastructure and access in Vermont. 

The Vermont Technology Alliance has been advocating for expanded broadband for more than 10 years. Now with the increased awareness for the need for connectivity for education, work, and telemedicine resulting from the pandemic, and with the infusion of substantial federal funding, Vermont is in a strong position for progress in making high-speed broadband available across the state, particularly in unserved or underserved areas.

Some of the recent news highlights include:

  • Nearly all of Vermont is now eligible for funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help cover the cost of building high-speed broadband infrastructure in rural areas.

  • Four Vermont Communication Union Districts received $9.9 Million to help expand broadband.

  • ECFiber secured $11.8 million in new funding for expansion.

  • CVFiber has chosen a team for creating a broadband network to deliver 100/100 Mbps broadband service to all addresses connected to the electrical grid in the 21 communities it serves.

Read more here.
In Push for Rural Broadband, Vermont Groups Partner to Buy 2,000 Miles of Fiber-Optic Cable
(December 15, 2021 – VTDigger)

More than 2,000 miles of fiber-optic cable is ready to be installed across Vermont over the next two years as leaders continue their push to bring high-speed internet to all corners of the state.

Through a public-private partnership, the Vermont Community Broadband Board, Vermont State Employees Credit Union, Vermont Community Foundation and Vermont’s Communication Union Districts Association spent nearly $7 million to purchase the material.

Vermont Community Broadband Board Deputy Director Robert Fish said that the 2,000 miles of cable will supply construction through 2022 and part of 2023.

The purchase comes at a vital point in time, Fish said. With the federal government injecting billions of dollars into expanding broadband across the country and supply chain crunches being felt nationwide, the demand for and cost of fiber-optic cable has shot through the roof.

Read more here.
THINKMD Finalizes $4 Million Equity Investment
(December 15, 2021 – THINKMD)

Medical technology company, THINKMD, a VTTA member, announced it had finalized a $4 million equity investment round. This injection of capital will enable the company to enter its next phase of growth. Investors in the round include Save the Children Federation, Save the Children Impact Fund Ltd. and the Sorenson Impact Foundation. 

This new funding comes on the heels of a $2.3 million technology development grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced in September.  

Read more here.
Attorney General Donovan Raises Concerns About Border Patrol’s Use of Clearview AI Facial Recognition Technology
(December 13, 2021 – Vermont Attorney General Office)

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan sent a letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requesting information about the agencies’ use of Clearview AI in Vermont.

Clearview AI is a technology company that collected billions of citizens’ images from the internet for the purpose of creating a mass surveillance facial recognition system. In March 2020, Attorney General Donovan sued Clearview AI for violating Vermont’s Consumer Protection Act and Data Broker law.

The letter to CBP and DHS requests information from the agencies so that the Attorney General’s Office can “better understand the impacts upon Vermont’s legitimate rights to privacy and liberty.”

Read more here.
Resonant Link Selected to Participate in Shell Gamechanger Accelerator
(December 1, 2021 – Resonant Link)

Resonant Link, a company that builds the world’s most efficient wireless chargers, has been selected to participate in Shell GameChanger Accelerator™ Powered by NREL (GCxN), a multi-million-dollar program developed in collaboration between Shell GameChanger and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). GCxN provides promising early-stage cleantech companies with resources to accelerate product commercialization without investment risk.

Resonant Link, a VTTA member, has been selected along with four other startups that are focused on decarbonizing industrial processes or optimizing electric vehicle charging through innovative technology solutions.

Read more here.
UVM and Tufts University Researchers Build First Living Robots That Can Reproduce
(November 30, 2021 – UVM)

Scientists from UVM and Tufts University have discovered an entirely new form of biological reproduction — and applied their discovery to create the first-ever, self-replicating living robots.

The same team that built the first living robots (“Xenobots,” assembled from frog cells — reported in 2020) has discovered that these computer-designed and hand-assembled organisms can swim out into their tiny dish, find single cells, gather hundreds of them together, and assemble “baby” Xenobots inside their Pac-Man-shaped “mouth” — that, a few days later, become new Xenobots that look and move just like themselves.

And then these new Xenobots can go out, find cells, and build copies of themselves. Again and again.

“With the right design — they will spontaneously self-replicate,” says Joshua Bongard, a computer scientist and robotics expert at the University of Vermont who co-led the new research.

Read more here.
Alex Hernandez Named President of Champlain College
(December 9, 2021 – Vermont Business Magazine)

Alejandro ("Alex") Hernandez has been named the tenth President of Champlain College. Hernandez currently serves as the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies and Vice Provost of Online Learning at the University of Virginia. He will begin his new role on June 6, 2022 and relocate to Burlington this summer. 

In his current role at UVA, he has grown programs that combine in-demand digital skills with the deeper human skills needed for long-term career success, and formed partnerships that allow more students to pursue a college education.

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 and Renewing members: Renewing members include Advanced Illumination, and individuals Jeff Manley, Richard Gliech and Stephen Waite

Not a vtTA member yet? Then why not join now? Find more information and register here. You can also contact us at [email protected].
Useful Information & Links
USDA Small Business 101 Workshop 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is presenting a virtual “USDA Small Business 101 Workshop” January 11, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. and January 12, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. The workshop is designed to provide businesses in rural and under-served areas unfamiliar with Federal contracting, the information, tools, and resources available to increase their access to Federal procurement opportunities. Discussions will primarily focus on an introduction to business requirements and USDA’s effort to expand procurement opportunities to small, rural, minority, women, veteran, and other disadvantaged businesses. 

The workshop also will offer an opportunity to network with other small businesses, partners and stakeholders.

Find additional information and the link to register on the USDA’s small business website here.
Cisco’s Problem Solver Challenge Offering
$1 Million in Prizes for Tech Startups

Cisco’s 6th annual Global Problem Solver Challenge aims to recognize new business ideas that leverage technology for social impact from early-stage entrepreneurs around the world. 

$1,000,000 USD in prize money will help accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technology, products, and services that drive economic development and/or solve social or environmental problems. The application deadline is February 11.

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 and subscribe to updates. The Career Center on average features 150+ tech and non-tech jobs with Vermont Technology Alliance member businesses. Jobs available from VTTA members are listed at no charge in the Career Center as a member benefit.
Find the Career Center here.  
The VTTA Thanks Its Member/Sponsors
Leadership Sponsors:

Partner Sponsors: