Message from the vtTA

The Vermont Technology Alliance
provided testimony to the Vermont House Commerce Committee in support of bill H.327 , which would amend a law passed last year that imposed new requirements on consumer contracts that contain automatic renewal provisions. The vtTA has championed the bill because it revises the law so that it maintains strong consumer protections without mandating additional requirements which could impact Vermont tech and other businesses.
 
H.327 addresses unintended outcomes for Vermont's entrepreneurs and consumers in the current law, including adding additional administrative burdens and costs to Vermont's tech and other businesses that offer annual contracts. Without H.327 the current law could also impact business subscriptions to software and services that Vermont businesses depend on - from accounting software to website domain registration. This could result in increased prices or loss of service if the provider decides it is not cost-effective to offer it in Vermont. Vermont consumers could face similar impacts for popular subscription services, and lose discounts, convenience or their availability.  
 
The bill was voted out of the Commerce Committee and was passed by the full House. We are hopeful that it also will be approved by the Senate.  
 
We also provided testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on S.18 , a bill regulating standard contract provisions. The vtTA is concerned with the bill's potential impact on Vermont tech and other businesses, particularly businesses that use standard contracts in e-commerce. The legislation would impose new restrictions in the use of standard contract provisions and expose businesses to potential legal risks and costs.
 
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A vtTA public policy priority has been the expansion of Vermont's brand and marketing to promote the state's tech and innovation economy to attract tech employees and businesses to the state. Our discussion with the legislature in previous sessions helped in the approval of funding which led to the creation of a Vermont economic development marketing plan and the Think Vermont 
campaign.  
 
We're pleased to host a Let's Tech Together lunch and learn session April 1 on Vermont's economic development marketing and recruitment programs and plans with Joan Goldstein, Vermont commissioner of economic development and Robbie Adler, co-founder and chief strategic officer for Faraday.  
 
This session is an opportunity to hear an update on economic development marketing and recruitment programs - particularly as they support the tech sector - including efforts such as the Remote Worker Incentive, Stay-to-Stay weekends, earned media coverage, and Faraday's work with the state to apply artificial intelligence to identify potential candidates that are most likely to move to Vermont. Please sign up now to join this lunch and learn event.
 
 
Jeff Couture
Executive Director, Vermont Technology Alliance
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Upcoming Events

Blockchain Symposium  
(March 27, 2019 - Champlain College, Burlington)
 
Champlain College and Gravel & Shea present a Blockchain Symposium that will combine business, educational and professional networking opportunities for the blockchain industry. The Symposium is open to established distributed ledger technology professionals, technology and business students, and those interested in meeting blockchain leaders and learning how to get
involved.

Read more here.  
 

Peak Pitch 2019  
(March 29, 2019 - Sugarbush Resort)
 
Peak Pitch Vermont is a skiing, networking and business idea pitch event FreshTracks Capital organizes at Sugarbush Resort in March of each year. Entrepreneurs deliver their "elevator pitch" to investors while riding the chairlift throughout the morning, followed by a "pitch off" in the afternoon.

Read more here.
   

Let's Tech Together: Vermont Economic Development Marketing & Recruitment  
(April 1, 2019 - Community College of Vermont, Winooski)
 
The Vermont Technology Alliance presents a "Let's Tech Together" lunch and learn session on Vermont's economic development marketing and recruitment programs and plans with Joan Goldstein, Vermont commissioner of economic development, and Robbie Adler, co-founder and chief strategic officer for Faraday.

Read more
here .
   
 
UVM Invention 2 Venture Conference  
(April 4, 2019 - Davis Center, UVM)
 
The UVM Office Of Technology Commercialization presents the annual half-day Invention 2 Venture (I2V) Conference, bringing together experts, academic researchers, students, entrepreneurs and business leaders from across Vermont and New England to talk about how to protect, develop and finance start-up and tech business ideas.
 
Read more here .
 

Project Management Institute Annual Symposium  
(April 12, 2019 - Delta Hotel, South Burlington)
 
The Project Management Institute Champlain Valley Chapter (PMICV) presents its annual full-day Symposium featuring six speakers on a range of topics.
 
Read more here .
 

Women in Data Science Burlington Conference  
(April 13, 2019 - Generator, Burlington)
 
This event presents an evening of fascinating talks by women in the fields of data science, machine learning, and creative computing.
 
Find more here .
    
 

Vermont Technology in the News
 
Welcome Wagon: Vermont Pays Up as Internet Migrants Settle In  
(March 20, 2019 - Seven Days)
 
The state's much-hyped initiative to entice people to live in Vermont while working for employers in other states is beginning to show results, according to Gov. Phil Scott's administration. The first batch of newcomers arrived in recent months from all over the country. Each applicant is eligible for up to $10,000 ($5,000 a year for two years) for moving costs and expenses such as broadband internet, rent for coworking spaces and some office equipment. While administration officials say the program is off to a great start and should be expanded, critics question whether the money is well spent.
 
Read more here .
 
Vermont Has One of the Top Programs for Video Game Developers, But Few Graduates Stay  
(March 18, 2019 - Burlington Free Press)
 
After graduation this spring, Champlain College senior Jennifer Carlin is off to California to work on a Spider-Man video game for Sony's PS4 gaming console. Champlain College has one of the top gaming design programs in the country, and students like Carlin are snapped up by the growing tech industry. But few graduates find the kind of offer that will keep them in Vermont.
 
While independent game startups exist in Vermont, there are no mid-to-large-sized companies publishing games in the state.
 
Read more here.

Vermont Systems Receives Vermont Training Program Grant to Assist with Workforce Expansion  
(March 18, 2019 - Vermont Business Magazine)
 
Vermont Systems, an employee-owned recreation management software company headquartered in Essex Junction and a vtTA member, has received a workforce development grant of $150,353 through Department of Economic Development's Vermont Training Program. The grant will be used to help train over 100 employees on their enterprise suite of software products. Vermont Systems' parks and recreation software solutions are installed around the world for the U.S. military and across the country for municipalities and universities.  
 
Read more here .
 
 
Vermont to Halt Net Neutrality Law Pending FCC Case  
(March 17, 2019 - VTDigger)
 
The state of Vermont agreed not to enforce a new net neutrality law while a case challenging the repeal of the federal internet regulations plays out. The agreement came as a result of a lawsuit brought last October by a group of national telecom and cable organizations challenging state level efforts to safeguard net neutrality rules. As part of the agreement, the case will be on hold until there is a resolution in a separate lawsuit currently before the U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit seeking to restore the federal net neutrality regulations.
 
Read more here .
 

Schurz Communications Seals Burlington Telecom Deal  
(March 13, 2019 - Seven Days)
 
It's official: Schurz Communications has finalized its purchase of Burlington Telecom by signing paperwork and paying $30.8 million. Mayor Miro Weinberger announced the deal at a press conference in his office, calling it "progress far better than was thought possible seven years ago." The parties finalized the transaction despite a group's threat to appeal the deal to the Vermont Supreme Court. The group of six city residents challenged the sale before the state Public Utility Commission and has argued that the city owes $16.9 million to the Burlington taxpayers.

Read more here.
 
 
Taking Names: Vermont Builds Dossier on Firms That Sell Our Data  
(March 13, 2019 - Seven Days)
 
Consumers give out personal information, often unwittingly, with every click of a "sign up" button, response to an online survey or download of a free phone app. The companies that collect the data then sell it to obscure brokerages. A first-in-the-nation Vermont law that took effect in January is bringing the opaque industry into clearer view. The law does little to rein in bad actors. But, by requiring data brokers to register with the Secretary of State's Office, Vermont is assembling its own dossier of sorts on previously invisible links in the personal-data supply chain.
 
Read more here .
 
 
Commentary: It's Time to Start Considering Vermont As An Entrepreneurial Hub-- Here's Why  
(March 8, 2019 - Inc.)
 
In this commentary for Inc., the CEO for Barrett Digital says that with a track record of places five times its size, Vermont offers a unique combination of access and success. He cites the success of Dealer.com and newer startups.  
 
Read more here .
 
 
Vermont Employers Dig Deep for Perks to Draw Job Applicants  
(February 27, 2019 - VTDigger)
 
With the unemployment rate hovering at around 2.8 percent, Vermont employers are getting creative in their efforts to attract job candidates. Perks like health club memberships and in-house yoga have become standard at workplaces in Vermont and elsewhere. In order to stand out, Liquid Measurement, a manufacturing company in the Franklin County town of Georgia, offers everybody in the company a $1,000 vacation stipend that's available every year. "It's quite an art to attract people to Vermont from out of state," said Martha Hanson, chief human resources officer at Liquid Measurement.
 
Read more here . 
 
 
In Vermont, High-Speed Internet for All Gets More Likely  
(March 11, 2019 - US News & World Report)
 
At the start of 2019, more than a quarter of Vermonters lived without service that meets the federal government's definition of broadband: at least 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds. That's despite roughly $174 million in funding granted or loaned to Vermont Internet service providers in 2010 - by far the highest per capita funding for any state. But a community-based startup in east-central Vermont, combined with creative policy-making at the state level, is improving the prospect of universal coverage - and changing the lives of people who are getting connected.
 
Read more here .
 

Featured Member - Data Innovations   
 
 
 
Founded in 1989, with headquarters in South Burlington, Vermont, Data Innovations (DI) is the world's largest, most successful clinical and blood laboratory middleware software company. Data Innovations (DI) provides hospitals and laboratories around the world with solutions that range from connectivity to full workflow management. With a focus solely on laboratory data management, DI offers the most complete middleware system in the market to manage laboratory operations, including pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical sample processing, and non-clinical tasks such as equipment maintenance and specimen archiving.
 
Data Innovation's offerings help laboratories meet the challenge of improving turnaround time while handling higher volume and maintaining high data quality. The company's flagship products, Instrument Manager (IM), JResultNet and Laboratory Production Manager (LPM), represent the most complete offerings in the market. Data Innovations also offers clients comprehensive and proactive support, a variety of training options, and on-site consulting.
 
In addition to Vermont, Data Innovations also has offices in Belgium, Brazil, and Hong Kong, and serves more than 4,700 customers worldwide.
 
 
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.
 
We're pleased to welcome new business member AllEarth Renewables 
and individual members Bill Dunnington, Dunnington Enterprises; Maureen McElaney, IBM; Mike Oleksinski; Stan Ward, Inventory Technology Partners.
 
Renewing members include business members Dunkiel Saunders , Fletcher/CSI , Beth Gilpin Consulting , Green River Software , Project Management Institute Champlain Valley Chapter , Propeller Media Works , Springer-Miller Systems , Stone Environmental , Union Street Media , VIP , and individual members Sergei Serdyuk, Read Leaf Software; David Lansky, Precision Bioassay.
 

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 non-profit 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 tell you more about our organization - contact us at info@vtta.org . You also can find more information here , or sign up today to be a new member here .
 

Useful Information & Links
 
I-Corps Short Course
 
UVM Innovations, the Vermont Department of Economic Development, and the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) are hosting an I-Corps Short Course in Burlington in April, funded by the National Science Foundation. This two-week course is for Vermont-based academic researchers, early startups and student entrepreneurs who have a tech innovation in any STEM field and want to explore its commercialization potential. Participants will receive entrepreneurship training and mentor support, as they "get out of the lab" and talk with customers to identify the best product-market fit.
 
Apply here.
    
 
NSF Revises Small Business Application Process

Americas Seed Fund powered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) is piloting changes to the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) proposal submission process. The pilot replaces a recommended pre-proposal step, the Executive Summary, with a required first step, the Project Pitch.
 
Starting in March 2019, startups or entrepreneurs who submit a three-page Project Pitch will know within three weeks if they are a good fit for the SBIR/STTR programs' objectives of supporting innovative technologies that show promise of commercial and/or societal impact and involve a level of technical risk. Startups or entrepreneurs can submit a Project Pitch at any time during the pilot, which runs through December 2019.
 
More details about the NSFs new process are available at seedfund.nsf.gov.
     

Governor's Institutes of Vermont Invites Applications from Vermont High School Students
 
High school students from Vermont looking to boost their skills and gain college experience this summer are invited to apply to the Governor's Institutes of Vermont (GIV) for fun, intensive, study opportunities on Vermont college campuses in a wide range of subjects, including tech. Vermont 9th-11th graders will spend 1-2 weeks immersed in a topic they love, work alongside industry-leading professionals, make new friends and experience life on a college campus.    
 
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 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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