Message from the vtTA
We continue to represent our members and the tech community at the Statehouse. Here are some of the key areas:

Cloud Computing Tax :
The vtTA and its members testified twice to the House Ways & Means committee about the proposal to add the sales tax to “software accessed remotely via the internet,” which would tax software as a service. Two bills have been introduced that seek to add the tax:  H.756 and H.841 . The testimony we gave on Jan. 22 addressed four issues:

  • Concern and confusion about an online services tax 
  • Impact to Vermont businesses that offer software as a service
  • Impact to Vermont businesses that use software as a service
  • Perception of Vermont as a state that supports and welcomes tech businesses

On Feb. 5, vtTA members Cairn Cross of FreshTracks, Robbie Adler of Faraday, and Michael Knapp of Green River Software shared details about the impact this tax could have on their businesses, Vermont’s tech community and overall business climate. In addition, Sergei Serdyuk of Red Leaf Software, submitted a letter to the committee.

The testimony provided important information and tech sector perspective to the committee. However, there is a good chance the tax will pass out of the committee and we will continue to work to address it if it does.

Non-compete Agreements
We testified to the House Commerce Committee on changing H.1 , a bill to ban all non-compete agreements with employees. Based on our testimony, and that of others, the committee and full house passed a restructured bill that will enable non-compete agreements in certain circumstances. The main criteria include codifying existing common law into statute, removal of the requirement of the payment of “Garden Leave,” allowing agreements with “key” employees paid above the average annual Vermont wage, and providing information to employers and employees. The vtTA supports the bill as it meets the needs of the majority of vtTA members. The bill will now go to the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing & General Affairs.

Economic Development
The House Commerce Committee took testimony on H.641 , which proposes to expand Vermont Economic Growth Incentive (VEGI) awards and "Think Vermont Innovation Initiatives,” such as R&D grants and other support that could benefit the tech sector and our membership. The Senate Economic Development Committee also started taking testimony on S. 256 , an expansion of the New Vermont Employee Incentive Program. The vtTA supports both bills and similar efforts to bolster the growth of the tech and innovation sector, and the recruiting challenges it faces.

The conference committee on S.110 agreed to a final version of the bill. While the bill focuses primarily with student data privacy measures, it also including changes that the vtTA supported to the 2018 auto-renewal law. Specifically, we supported removal of the "double opt-in" requirement for auto-renewing subscriptions, especially for B2B SaaS applications. The Committee did not agree to this change and the 2018 law will stand.

These are a few key highlights, but we will be monitoring a number of other bills and issues that could impact Vermont’s tech sector. If you have input, feedback or want to participate in outreach and discussion with legislators, or just want to know more about the vtTA please email me at .

As always we welcome new members and sponsors of the Vermont Technology Alliance.

Jeff Couture
Executive Director
Vermont Technology Alliance

Upcoming Events

Girls Engineering Day at American Precision Museum
(February 19, 2020 – American Precision Museum, Windsor)
Come celebrate women in engineering at the American Precision Museum. Girls and young women will have an opportunity to meet with women professional engineers and learn about the world of engineering and making things better.
Read more here .

JumpStart: How to Manufacture and Distribute In Vermont
(March 10, 2020 – Generator, Burlington)
Learn how local entrepreneurs Anna Barrett and Leyla Bringas have manufactured locally and distributed nationally for Lunaroma, Way Out Wax, and their newest joint venture, Atmosphoria.
Read more here .

Innovation Meetup at BRIC
(March 18, 2020 – Black River Innovation Campus, Springfield)
This monthly meetup allows start-ups, innovators, investors and anyone interested in Springfield's digital and tech ecosystem to network, generate and execute new ideas, and otherwise swell the rising tide of our regional creative economy.
Read more here .
Women in Data Science Conference Burlington
(March 21, 2020 – Generator, Burlington)
The second annual Women in Data Science Conference brings together speakers presenting 30-minute talks on a range of data science topics.
Read more here .

Peak Pitch Vermont 2020
(March 27, 2020 – Sugarbush Resort)
Peak Pitch Vermont, now in its 15th year, is a skiing, networking and fundraising event held at Sugarbush Mountain hosted by FreshTracks Capital. Entrepreneurs are paired on a chairlift with an investor or advisor, and provided the chance to deliver their elevator pitch on the way up the mountain during a fun and active day out on the mountain.
Read more here .

Vermont STEM Fair
(March 28, 2020 – Norwich University, Northfield)
The Vermont STEM Fair is an inquiry-based poster presentation competition open to all middle and high school level students in the state of Vermont. This year's event will also feature the Vermont STEM College and Career Fair to help future STEM professionals connect with those already in the field.
Read more here .

Vermont Technology News
Clubessential Holdings Announces Acquisition of Vermont Systems, Inc.
(February 2020 – Clubessential Holdings)

Clubessential Holdings, the leading provider of membership and club-management solutions to the private club, college athletic and health and fitness markets, announced the strategic acquisition of Vermont Systems Inc., the market leader in recreation management software for public entities. Vermont Systems (VSI), headquartered in Essex Junction and a vtTA member, specializes in developing software products for managing recreation and parks operations for governmental entities. This acquisition expands Clubessential Holdings' presence to municipal, county, state and federal military public markets.

Read more here .
Vermont Museums Banding Together on 2020 Tech Project
(February 18, 2020 – Rutland Herald)

Vermont’s museum curators are planning something new this year; a collaborative effort to draw more visitors and show them how technology impacts culture. Museums and galleries across the state, 36 in all, will participate in the “2020 Vision: Seeing the World Through Technology” project, put together by the Vermont Curators Group. “Our museums and galleries are already doing great things, this just gives us a chance to show it,” said Andrea Rosen, of the group.

A full list of what museums and galleries will participate, plus what they plan to offer, can be found at .

Read more here . Celebrates Environmental Benchmark
(February 13, 2020 – Vermont Business Magazine)

As strives to achieve Cox Enterprise’s company-wide “Zero Waste to Landfill” by 2024 goal, the company celebrated a best-in-class performance on an internal ranking system of waste diversion. Measured at 82% by Cox Conserves, the company’s sustainability division,’s diversion rate is an exemplary performance toward Vermont’s own sustainability goals.’s latest milestone already exceeds the statewide goal of increasing diversion rates to 50% by 2024.

Read more here .
GlobalFoundries and UVM Establish Education Partnership
(February 12, 2020 – UVM)

GlobalFoundries (GF) and the University of Vermont announced they have created a partnership program that offers Vermont-based GF employees the opportunity to further their education at UVM in undergraduate, graduate and graduate certificate programs at discounted tuition rates, coupled with GF’s tuition reimbursement program.

Read more here .
Burton Snowboards Selects NewStore as Omnichannel Partner for Digital Transformation
(February 11, 2020 – NewStore)

NewStore, the first to provide Omnichannel-as-a-Service, announced Burton Snowboards will implement the NewStore Omnichannel Platform in all of its stores globally. NewStore will leverage its partnership with Salesforce to connect into Salesforce Commerce Cloud, giving Burton a single unified platform to manage ecommerce, customers, transactions, store operations and inventory management. “We're working on a complete digital transformation for 2020, and launching the NewStore platform is a critical piece of this journey,” said Josee Larocque, senior vice president, operations at Burton.

Read more here .
Vermont Ag Agency Will Employ Blockchain Tracking Technology for 2020 Hemp Season
(February 10, 2020 – VEDA)

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets recently finalized a strategic contract with Vermont-based company Trace , to utilize the company’s blockchain-based platform with a secure soil-to-shelf hemp registration, licensing and enforcement tracking system. This first-in-the-nation hemp tracking system will allow the Agency to assist Vermont’s hemp growers and processors with the rapid expansion of the hemp marketplace.

Read more here .
Report Cites Vermont as a Leading Location for Mobile Workers
(February, 2020 – Rockefeller Institute of Government)

A new report from the Rockefeller Institute of Government looks at the mobile workforce and where it is growing the fastest and where it could become a sizable portion of the local job scene. The report, Where the Mobile Workforce is Living , lists Vermont as one of three states with the largest work from home population share, at 7.5%, along with Oregon at 7.5% and Colorado at 8.6%. The author says seven in ten freelancers would consider moving thanks to their job flexibility and are interested in options other than a large city.

Read more here . Announces New Digital Storefront Solutions for Dealers
(February 4, 2020 – announced new enhancements to its digital storefront during the runway to the 2020 NADA Show. The company’s latest offering harnesses Cox Automotive data – the largest collection of automotive shopping behavior insights available – to ensure dealers have the tools necessary to deliver unrivaled consumer experiences, forging the shortest and most personalized path to customer engagement and dealership growth.

Read more here .
Results of 2020 Vermont Business Economic Survey Released
(February 4, 2020 – Davis and Hodgdon Associates)

140 Vermont small- to medium-sized businesses from diverse industries completed the latest annual economic survey in January regarding the outlook of Vermont’s economy,
presented by Davis and Hodgdon Associates CPAs and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. 

Respondents identified the top three key issues facing their businesses as: finding qualified employees (69%), health insurance costs (55%), and Vermont taxes (37%). Not surprisingly these are the same key issues that business owners have identified in the previous nine surveys dating back to January of 2012.

Read more here .
Making it in Vermont: Cone Editions Press Revolutionizes Fine Photography Printing
(February 2, 2020 – VTDigger)

Cone Editions Press turns out super high-resolution digital prints on a variety of devices from an unassuming shop that looks like a barn. The company lists among its clients celebrities like David Bowie and the painter Wolf Kahn, and institutions like National Geographic and Lincoln Center. 

But what really interests founder Jon Cone, 62, is the technology he and his colleagues have developed since the company started serving artists in New York in 1980. Apart from creating super-high-resolution prints on an inkjet laser printer and on an etching press, the eight-person central Vermont company now formulates its own inkjet inks, produces its own software, and sells materials to thousands of other printmakers around the world.

Read more here .
GW Plastics Completes Expansion at Royalton Facility
(January 27, 2020 – GW Plastics)

In response to its growing medical device business, advanced contract manufacturing and injection molding company GW Plastics, Inc. has completed the latest expansion of its Royalton, Vermont Manufacturing and Technology Center. GW Plastics has added a 30,000 square foot expansion to accommodate the growth of its thermoplastic injection molding and medical device contract assembly business. GW Plastics has added over 30 new jobs and invested more than $10,000,000 in construction, new technology, and equipment.

Read more here .
Featured Member – DealerPolicy

DealerPolicy is the most trusted and complete insurance marketplace for automotive retailers and their valued customers. With its seamless integration into the car buying process, the company's innovative solution enables car-buying customers the opportunity to purchase insurance by connecting them with licensed insurance agents while at the dealership or after they arrive home with their new car.

The company delivers these benefits through an exclusive combination of partnerships with premier automotive retailers, an industry-best insurance carrier network, and access to licensed agents. DealerPolicy is currently operating in 13 states with plans to operate nationwide by 2020.

For more information, visit .

See job openings with DealerPolicy in the vtTA Career Center 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: A VT Backyard, IDA Ireland , Mamava , Spherion Staffing .

New individual members include: Andrea Bacchi, Bruce Wheeler, Jean Kissner, and Jim Maffessanti.
Renewing Individual Members include: Stephen Arrants, Melissa DeBlois, Maureen McElaney, Matthew Zucker.

Join the Vermont Technology Alliance
Join the Vermont Technology Alliance and support 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, and services – including job postings in our Career Center – and networking and business opportunities. 

We are happy to learn about your business or organization and tell you more about our organization – contact . You also can find more information here , or sign up today to be a new member here .
Useful Information & Links
Workplaces for All

The State of Vermont has launched a new website and outreach campaign addressing sexual harassment and workplace discrimination called Workplaces for All . This campaign is a result of legislation which allocated funds to the Vermont Commission on Women, in consultation with the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and the Vermont Human Rights Commission, to inform and assist Vermont employees, employers, and the public about the laws related to and best practices for preventing sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. 

Find the information at
State of Vermont - Release of Technical Assistance Request for Proposal
The State of Vermont, Agency of Human Services, Department of Vermont Health Access in partnership with the Agency of Digital Services announced the posting of Technical Assistance Request for Proposal. The agency is seeking to establish a contract with one or more vendors to provide Technical Assistance Consulting services and assist with procurement efforts associated with the modernization of the State’s Medicaid Enterprise System.

You can find the RFP here .

Applications Open for LaunchVT

LaunchVT is accepting applications for its 2020 accelerator cohort. LaunchVT is an early-stage business accelerator that runs from mid-April to mid-June and features business development sessions, an investor lunch, and a Demo Day where $35,000 in cash and over $100,000 in services are awarded.

The deadline to apply is March 8. Apply 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 currently has 200+ 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:
Sustaining Sponsor:
Partner Sponsors: