There’s been a lot of love coming Vermont’s way recently, extolling the many reasons why entrepreneurs find success here. BostonInno blogged a multi-part series about Burlington’s startup scene, recommending that for “professionals seeking to start a company, join a scaling tech team, raise a family and make an impact, there is not a better place than greater Burlington, Vermont.” Livability recently asked seven entrepreneurs why they chose the towns where they located their businesses. Sas Stewart, co-owner of Stonecutter Spirits, shared that the local support from Middlebury residents clinched it for her.
New resources for entrepreneurs are happening too. Recently, in the Northeast Kingdom alone three coworking spaces have opened. Vermont Works, an independent alternative investment firm supporting Vermont’s job and economic development, is building the Vermont Innovation Commons at the new Cambrian Rise site in Burlington. The Commons will be a business accelerator that includes living spaces. In eastern Vermont a similar project is underway in the town of Springfield, where the Center for Rural Innovation recently secured $1M in funding for a business incubator that will leverage the town’s fiber optic gigabit broadband network.
The season for competition for start-up funds is now winding down. The annual Road Pitch has ended for this year (here are the winners), but Peak Pitch will happen as the snow flies. VCET’s Female Founders StartHere Challenge just announced its list of finalists. The finalists for Governor Phil Scott’s Phosphorus Innovation Challenge, a reverse-pitch for companies to develop innovative ways to ensure clean water in Vermont’s lakes and rivers, were recently announced.
Vermont colleges and universities are continually investing in the success of entrepreneurs and startups. The University of Vermont’s SPARK-VT program recently announced the funding of three research projects. Recently UVM also received a $1M National Science Foundation grant to significantly boost the computing power of its supercomputer, opening up new possibilities for faculty and student researchers.
To learn about entrepreneurial and innovation support and tech commercialization, contact Nick Grimley at the Department of Economic Development at Nick.Grimley@vermont.gov.