F.A.Q.

How do I apply or get help from VCET?
Whether you are in search of some business advice, executive mentoring, want to work in one of our coworking spaces, or are seeking investment, we want to get to know you better. You can start by filling out our “Get to Know You” form or reaching out to us via this site’s contact form.

How can VCET help me?

We’ll help make it easier for you to start and grow your company, increasing the chance it will succeed. In fact, over 85% of firms completing an incubation program nationally survive, versus 35% who are not members.  If in doubt, talk with our members and portfolio companies as references.

What industries are appropriate for VCET?
We are open to a wide range of industries and ideas. Basically, the only industries we don’t focus on are the 3 R’s – real estate, retail, and restaurants. We remain opportunity obsessed, results driven.

I already have a company up and running. Is VCET right for me?
VCET works with inventors, start-ups, spin-offs and early stage companies with several million in sales. So, yes!

Do I have to rent an office or join as a member?
No.  We try to help entrepreneurs in their community, dorm room or one our spaces.  It’s your call.

Do you charge a fee for seeking your help and advice?

Nope.  We are a non-profit serving all of Vermont, and we really enjoy meeting and talking with entrepreneurs, students and growing technology firms about their ideas, challenges and road ahead.  Some opt in to more significant engagement from the VCET team, the coworking facilities or a direct venture fund investment.  These do often have small fees and/or some equity exchange involved.

If I am not yet seeking capital or don’t expect to for a while, is VCET right for me?
You bet. About half of VCET clients do not need outside capital and are attracted to programs and services related to business advice, team building, flexible office space or accessing VCET’s compelling network of partners and supporters.

Does being in one of your spaces disqualify me from the Seed Capital fund?
No. It might help, but it might not either. The seed capital fund is a separate program with a different investment process and criteria. Investment decisions are made by a three person investment committee with one member being the VCET President and the other two being unaffiliated new venture professionals.

Will you sign my NDA?
Nope. As a policy, we do not sign non-disclosure agreements with entrepreneurs or companies seeking our advice or capital. We make best attempts to maintain your information confidentially. Our reputation as valued, trusted advisers and investors is paramount. If there is something that you are uncomfortable sharing, then please exclude from materials and communications with us. It’s your choice.

What does it cost to be a VCET client?
Advice and coaching are free.  For coworking sites, member fees vary by site but are crazy low, flexible and designed for your success and ours. Fees range from free to $200 per month and in some instances companies provide a small (1%-2%) stock grant to VCET as a way to help the ecosystem, secure more team time and “pay it forward”.

Why are the fees so inexpensive?
Through the incredible and consistent support of US Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the University of Vermont, FairPoint Communications, Middlebury College, U.S. Small Business Administration, HUD, and the State of Vermont, VCET is able to offer heavily subsidized services, great office facilities and capabilities for Vermont’s entrepreneurs and new venture partners. Thanks to all of our volunteers, mentors and partners as well!

Can part of my team be in other states or countries?
Yes. Contemporary technology firms source people, materials and customers globally. We ask that a significant presence of people, production, R&D and offices be located in Vermont. Our partners and VCET want it all here for sure, but priority one is building successful and sustainable companies. If that means a portion of your team and business must be located in other state or another country, then we can consider your situation. Each is a separate decision depending on the unique circumstances and potential public benefit to Vermont, the ecosystem and our college and university partners.

Can non-US companies enter the US using the VCET program?
Absolutely.  This is referred to as a “soft landing” for a non-US company to seek a toehold into the US or North American markets. VCET has done this for clients in Europe and Canada already. Your participation in one of our programs will be judged on the level of commitment to hiring people, developing technologies and establishing a legitimate base of operations here. If you are just in need of a US post office box, then we are not the place for you.

Do you have references?

You betcha! Please contact any of them on the Portfolio page or we can make introductions to you in sectors or situations most relevant to your particular stage of development or industry sector.

Is VCET owned by UVM?
No. UVM is our strategic partner and we lease a facility on UVM’s campus at Farrell Hall.  VCET is an independently managed 501 c (3) non-profit governed by an outstanding and committed Board of Directors

What’s the mailing address and phone number?
Contact information can be found here.

What should I know about VCET and information within this site?
VCET is not a financial, tax, accounting or investment firm, nor is it a broker-dealer, and does not endorse or recommend the services of any firm or company. The firms or companies with whom it has investment or other relationships or are listed on this website are solely responsible for the information provided by them. VCET shall not be liable for any damages or costs of any type arising out of, or in any way connected with, the use of the VCET website or with any investment or other relationship the user of the VCET website may enter into with any firm or company mentioned or otherwise referred to on the VCET website.