The Blog

October 9, 2015 (Burlington, VT): The Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) and Hotel Vermont announced today the InnovateHER VT Challenge, a new business pitch event in Burlington, VT.

InnovateHER VT is a part of a national pitch competition that celebrates and promotes women entrepreneurs and ventures that impact and empower the lives of women and families.

The competition will be held at Hotel Vermont on October 19, 2015. Vermont EPSCoR and VCET have underwritten a $10,000 cash prize to the event winner as well as a nomination to participate in the national SBA event (which has $70,000 in prizes) in spring 2016. Organizers intend this competition to increase access to capital and feedback for local entrepreneurs, to highlight the importance of women led companies, and ventures that are specifically designed to improve the lives of women and families.

Hotel Vermont General Manager, Hans van Wees states, “Our community is fortunate to be home to one of the highest concentrations of talent, creativity and determination in the country. Hotel Vermont is honored to have hosted many of Vermont’s young entrepreneurs since opening in May 2013. Working with VCET in hosting entrepreneurs who develop ideas, products and services that will impact and empower the lives of women and families is especially gratifying.”

Last year, 36.8% of businesses in the US were started by women (according to research from the Kauffman Foundation). “Vermont’s challenge is to support entrepreneurs in order to grow its economy and women led ventures can be a greater part of the solution.  InnovateHER VT is one of the many events and programs advancing women as entrepreneurs,” said Catherine Collins, VP of Entrepreneur Development at VCET.  “Hotel Vermont is a forward leaning brand that supports Vermont entrepreneurs in many ways including things such as placing Vermont Soap in each room and showcasing Budnitz Bicycles in the lobby.”

The judging panel consists of local entrepreneurs and investors which includes Kelly Scannell from Reading Plus, co-founder of Rick Gibbs and others.

The event beings at 5:30pm, is free and open to the public. Individuals are encouraged to participate in the competition or to join as a networking opportunity within Vermont’s venture community. Information about entering the challenge as an entrepreneur can be found at Applications to pitch are due by Noon on October 15th.

InnovateHER VT

October 19th, 2015
5:307:30 pm
Juniper Hall at Hotel Vermont
Burlington, VT

Please Register to attend the Event at:

Applicants to make a pitch apply here:

About Hotel Vermont: Locally developed, designed and owned/operated, the rustic and modern Hotel Vermont is the first independent hotel to join the quaint town of Burlington. The 125-room, LEED-certified hotel features an array of Vermont-made amenities from local partners.


About Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET):

Since 2008, VCET has worked with over 1,300 start-ups and entrepreneurs, now operates 3 coworking facilities, curates an expert mentor network and makes direct investments from a $5M revolving seed capital fund.  VCET was co-founded by US Senator Patrick Leahy, the University of Vermont’s Dr. John Evans and the Vermont Technology Council. In 2013, VCET was named #11 globally and #5 in the US by the UBI Index.Visit and follow @VCET

Newsletter #8: Feb. 25, 2015

We’re all wondering when Harold Camping will finally be right. Probably never. That guy was a dolt (as evidenced by his TWO failed predictions that the world was going to end). And even if he had been right, why would we want to know the world was about to end? So we can live our last days in fear? Sounds like a buzz kill if I ever heard one. But it did get me thinking…what if the rapture were by sector? Further, what if that sector were tech startups?

Continue Reading..

Please find attached the Fiscal Year 2014 public report of the Vermont Seed Capital Fund, LP.   A subsidiary of the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) is the Fund Manager. Investing activities began in May 2010 shortly after the first capital contribution arrived, and as of October 2014, 18 companies from around Vermont have been initially supported.   The Fund completed its 5th consecutive annual financial and process Audit without issue as conducted by an independent CPA firm.

VCET invested $1M in capital alongside a total of $4.1M of one time capital from the State of Vermont via the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA)  to form this permanent, revolving $5.1M high risk pool of capital.
Click here for the report:  VSCFFY14AnnualPublicReport9.30.14-2-2

View VCET’s impact metrics as of Spring 2014

Impact Sheet Fall 2014

Think males were the first to pioneer modern computer programming? Think again. NPR takes a look at the history of computer programming and the role that women played in starting the revolution, starting from the famed Ada Lovelace. Read more here.

If you’re thinking about starting your own venture, blogger Jeff Pruitt gives some great advice on how you can make calculated risks that will pay off and avoid unnecessary risks. Read more here.

View VCET’s impact metrics as of Spring 2014

Impact Sheet Spring 2014

VCET is pleased to announce its plans to collaborate with FairPoint Communications to create VCET @ BTV, a co-working space coupled with business mentoring and networking opportunities for promising startup companies in the FairPoint Technology Hub in downtown Burlington. For more information, please visit

Vermont Seed Capital Fund

The Vermont Seed Capital Fund, LP is looking for select investment opportunities in early stage, high opportunity, technology based companies in Vermont. Objectives are to impact next generation job and wealth creation in Vermont by providing companies and entrepreneurs access to early stage risk capital. The fund is a revolving, “evergreen” equity fund with $5 million of initial capitalization from the State of Vermont and U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy.  The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is a strategic partner for this fund.

This is a professionally managed venture capital fund which invests exclusively into Vermont start-ups and growing firms determined as offering high growth potential, financial return commensurate with risk, and public benefit for Vermonters. Portfolio firms also have access to substantive programs, facilities, partners, and value-adding services offered via a strategic relationship with the non-profit VCET organization.

Investment transactions range from $25,000 to $250,000. The fund can act as lead investor or as part of investment syndicate.


Basic Eligibility Criteria: Any Vermont based start-up, emerging growth firm, or team seeking to form a new company, relocate or expand into Vermont is eligible for consideration except if your company:

  • Has last 12 month sales greater than $3 million
  • Has headquarters or principal team location outside of, or not committing substantially to Vermont
  • Is a restaurant, retail store or real estate project

Each company or proposal submitted is considered on an individual investment basis. Venture capital is a highly competitive source of private funding. The Fund targets market based investment returns from high opportunity businesses with exciting market opportunities, innovative technologies and credible founding teams.

The Process: Start the conversation with our team early to share ideas, help refine the opportunity or for simply advice on market conditions, valuation parameters and to de-mystify the venture capital raising process.

The investment process takes considerable time and effort, so be prepared and forewarned. Funding is highly competitive and not all worthy firms will be funded.  This is not a grant program. The process includes:Initial Screening: Firms will be reviewed for eligibility, suitability, entrepreneur qualities, and initial assessment. A response declining to pursue, offering alternative funding sources, or seeking follow up information will result.Initial Due Diligence: Firms experience an in-depth review and assessment on their markets, business model, financials & capital path, existing & prospective management team, technology & products, sales & distribution, and comparative advantages, among other areas.

Advanced Due Diligence: Few firms reach this step. Transaction structure, valuation, terms, corporate and legal due diligence and remaining questions are completed. If an investment is considered desirable and fund objectives can be attained, then an Investment Recommendation is prepared for the Investment Committee and any invited domain or subject matter experts.

Investment Decisions: The independent Investment Committee has final determination on the proposed term sheet and investment recommendation. This committee is responsible for the approval of all investments.

Adding Value and Infrastructure: Portfolio firms have unique and advantageous access, if they so select, to facilities, professionals, networks, specialized research assets, and strategic partners associated with the VCET organization.  In addition to Board participation, the Fund Manager and VCET team are actively engaged with firms on building teams, accessing critical first customers, strategic partnerships, corporate strategy, networking and training opportunities, mergers and acquisitions, and executive mentoring. All of which lowers burn rates, lowers investment risk, hastens progress towards “value-changing” events, and increases probabilities for market based returns and success as Vermont based employers.

Follow-On Capital and Investment Exit: For most seed stage firms, follow-on funding is necessary to achieve their potential. We offer an exceptional network of local, regional, and national venture firms, corporate investors, angel investors, grant and debt options to fund firm growth and next stage development. Our team will be involved in sourcing follow-on capital and active regarding exit and liquidity opportunities.

Emerging companies may have terrific ideas, but not necessarily all of the skills, experience and resources in place to grow and prosper. In response, VCET’s programs and capital funds offer select early stage firms substantive business mentoring along with traditional business incubator services and infrastructure.

Since 2005, the VCET team has worked with entrepreneurs helping to crystallize concepts, assemble teams, craft business models, secure resources and locate early customers. Some firms will develop rapidly in a matter of months for a software launch while others might take years to complete medical trials. Either way, VCET programs, facilities and capital programs serve a select few firms by supporting the design, positioning and acceleration of a new product idea, a better service offering or a truly breakthrough platform technology.

Simply put and relentlessly pursued, our mission is to help you create next generation jobs for this generation of Vermonters.

Our long term strategic partners include US Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the University of Vermont, the Vermont Technology Council, the State of Vermont, Middlebury College, Norwich University, Champlain College, the Vermont State College System and many other economic development organizations.

VCET is a 501 (c) 3 public benefit corporation serving all of Vermont.

Follow us on Twitter @VCET