News

New platform brings startups, investors, and mentors together to advance innovation and business growth in Vermont. 

Burlington, VT (October 15, 2020) – The Vermont Startup Collective is a new platform that offers entrepreneurs a dedicated virtual space for building community, advancing business ideas, and connecting with other startups, remote workers, small business owners, freelancers, investors, and mentors. Supported by more than 35 Vermont organizations, the platform is free of charge and designed to be accessible and inclusive to all. 

“When COVID-19 hit, we feared we would lose our ‘special sauce’— the connections made, opportunities discovered, and problems solved through casual, daily interactions,” said Dave Bradbury, president of the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET). “But in fact, the opposite happened. More than ever, entrepreneurs sought community—for camaraderie, to problem solve, or just for a laugh. The Collective takes all that entrepreneurial energy, focuses it in a trusted digital space, and makes it widely available to everyone who needs it.” 

Born from requests by innovators, consultants, and business leaders seeking connection during COVID-19, the mobile/desktop platform surrounds active and aspiring entrepreneurs with constructive guidance from advisors and mentors, thought-provoking conversations with peers, and critical tools and resources to start and scale. 

“Innovation in Vermont has always been driven both by creativity and necessity. The pandemic has brought home the ways our businesses can use technology to adapt their operations and how they connect with the broader business ecosystem. Thanks to the work of VCET and its partners, businesses will have access to this powerful tool that brings the essential benefits of Vermont’s startup ecosystem into a digital space,” said U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy. 

Soft-launched in September, early signals from users indicate that the fresh, effective approach of The Collective has helped them to connect in new and exciting ways. 

“Being an entrepreneur can be isolating in the best of times,” said Stacy Huffstetler, founder and managing director of WidgetBrain. “You’re facing a really unique set of

challenges, questions, and opportunities. Building and leveraging a community is a key part of successful entrepreneurship. It’s awesome to have a space dedicated to the shared experience of starting, funding, and running a business with others who are eager to engage.” 

Posts on the platform range from a discussion around customer insights to the promotion of an upcoming innovation competition. Users can join groups curated by topic, such as Dismantling Racism, Sustainability, Building a Team, and Capital, and join relevant “circles” including Young Professionals or Female Founders. 

“The Collective allows information-sharing and networking beyond the four walls of any individual organization,” said Bradbury. “It invites expertise from anyone and everyone committed to successful entrepreneurism in Vermont and that’s where we start to see a flywheel effect for the innovation ecosystem.” 

More than three dozen entrepreneurial support, economic development, and higher education organizations across Vermont have come together to contribute to The Collective. These launch partners include: 12-22 North, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC), Black River Innovation Campus (BRIC), BTV Ignite, Burlington Code Academy, Burlington Community Economic Development Office (CEDO), Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE), Champlain College, Do North Coworking, FreshTracks Capital, The Generator, Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation (GBIC), Hula, Instig8VT, IoT Conduit, LaunchVT, Mercy Connections, The MINT, Reconciled, The Lightning Jar, The Space on Main, The Sustainable Innovation MBA – University of Vermont (SIMBA), UVM Entrepreneurship Club, University of Vermont, Vermont Bioscience Alliance, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, Vermont Business Roundtable, Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET), Vermont Community Foundation, Vermont Council on Rural Development, Vermont EPSCoR, Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC), Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF), Vermont Technology Alliance (VtTA), Vermont Technology Council, and Vermont Womenpreneurs. The Collective is curated and moderated by VCET. 

To learn more or to join The Collective, please visit www.vermontstartupcollective.com.

Vermont Startup Collective Logo

An Interview with Chroma Technology’s President

by VBSA-admin on February 7, 2019

Chroma Technology’s President, Paul Millman, was featured in a recent VT Digger Business & Economy interview:

Vermont economic development officials hold up Chroma as one of the state’s leading success stories. Founded in 1991 by co-workers who left their jobs at Omega Optical to start a competing business, Chroma now employs 140 people and has offices in Europe and Asia.

Paul Millman, Chroma’s co-founder and now its president, recently talked with VTDigger reporter Anne Wallace Allen about Chroma and where it is headed.

Check out the interview here: Q&A with Paul Millman of Chroma

Continuing with our mission to promote success in biomedical entrepreneurship, the I-Trep program offers individual one-to-one consulting with experts to assist in the preparation of proposals and the management of awarded SBIR/STTR Grants.

Assistance is available for the following areas:

1. SBIR/STTR Phase I submission or resubmission

2.  SBIR/STTR Phase II submission or resubmission

3.  Accounting for awarded grants

4.  Compliance assistance for awarded grants

Request for this consultant service is available year-round.  The request will be submitted to the I-Trep administrative office where it will be discussed by the Steering Committee.  If selected, the I-Trep program will put you in contact with an expert to help you with your topic of interest.  The I-Trep program will cover the consultation fee (maximum amount $3500).  While there is no deadline for the requests, awards will be funded on a first come first served basis.  

Click here for the >>>Application

Eva Garland Consulting, LLC

Eva Garland Consulting was founded by Dr. Eva Garland, who excels in securing resources and leading scientific teams to develop innovative new technologies that span the biological and physical sciences.  As Vice President of Research & Development for an early stage biotechnology company, Dr. Garland was awarded over $12 million in grant funding, including twelve SBIR/STTR Awards as well as funding from Foundations and state and local sources. Dr. Garland and her team have secured hundreds of additional grants totaling over $100 million for technologies ranging from pharmaceuticals, wound care products, antiseptics, medical devices, agrochemicals, and industrial products.
http://www.evagarland.com/

Questions?  Contact Mercedes Rincon (mrincon@uvm.edu) or Tina Thornton (tina.thornton@uvm.edu).