VERMONT INNOVATOR NEWS • WEEK OF JUNE 17, 2019

VCET launches #ScaleHere Network
Supporting Rural Entrepreneurs
The Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) today announced new partnerships with five innovation hubs to boost startups, innovation and localized economic development throughout Vermont. The #ScaleHere platform accelerates business growth throughout the state by sharing the business resources aggregated at VCET to companies at other non-profit innovation centers outside of the greater Burlington area.

“Economic development used to be here or there, but today, it’s here and there,” said David Bradbury, VCET President. “The #ScaleHere platform shares expert advice, business mentoring and deeply discounted technology services to members in these innovation centers that can exceed $100,000 in support per company.”

In addition to VCET’s three innovation hubs in Burlington and Middlebury, the #ScaleHere partners launching today include: Do North Coworking, Lyndonville; The Space on Main, Bradford; The Mint, Rutland; Black River Innovation Campus (BRIC), Springfield; and The Lightning Jar, Bennington.

As part of the #ScaleHere platform, eligible members in these innovation hubs now have free access to a larger network of resources to help them start and grow their businesses. Platform members can connect with more than 130 business mentors, get one-on-one coaching and consulting sessions, and connect to third-party technology and business resources. The #ScaleHere platform also brings valuable financial incentives such as SaaS partner program discounts, up to $100k in cloud credits, and $20k in fee-free payment processing.

“The #ScaleHere platform is another example of how Vermonters are working together to reverse our declining workforce trends,” said Michael Schirling, Vermont Secretary of Commerce & Community Development. “Our rural communities and city centers coming together to share resources, lower costs, connect with area colleges, and ultimately aid our state’s entrepreneurs, will help the companies of tomorrow take root and grow in Vermont.”

Since launching at the University of Vermont, VCET has earned national recognition for its impacts advancing Vermont’s technology ecosystem through strategic curation of people, places, and capital, leading to business growth and investments in the local economy. Now, through #ScaleHere, entrepreneurs can thrive more broadly in any part of Vermont, inspiring business growth and innovation throughout the state. The Vermont Technology Council has provided support for this initiative along with VCET’s other key partners such as U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Middlebury College, The University of Vermont, Consolidated Communications, Champlain College, the Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development, and Norwich University.

VERMONT INNOVATOR NEWS • WEEK OF JUNE 03, 2019

Vermont Business for Social Responsibility
Honors Outstanding Business Leaders
Burlington, VT – Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) is pleased to honor three outstanding individuals and organizations who are leading by outstanding example, and developing successful socially responsible business models. Our 18th Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner will recognize Bram Kleppner, CEO at Danforth, with the Terry Ehrich Award for Lifetime Achievement. The VBSR Innovation and Inspiration Award will be given to Windham Grows, and the VBSR Young Changemaker Award will be given to Dan Hock, Programs Director of Old Spokes Home.

The VBSR Terry Ehrich Award for Lifetime Achievement (formerly the Terry Ehrich Award for Excellence in Socially Responsible Business) honors an outstanding individual in honor of Terry Ehrich, late owner of Hemmings Motor News and a founding member of the board of directors of VBSR. The award is given annually to a person exemplifying Terry’s commitment to community, the environment, progressive public policy, and the workplace.

Prior to Danforth, Kleppner spent 10 years at Ben & Jerry’s doing international marketing and business development, where he co-led Ben & Jerry’s first anti-global warming campaign. Since 2011, as CEO he has led Danforth from declining sales and losses to double-digit growth and profitability. He’s overseen Danforth’s becoming the world’s first 100% solar-powered pewter workshop; company-wide profit-sharing; paid parental leave; and paid time off for community service. With his leadership Danforth is currently driving to zero fossil fuel use, and raising its lowest hourly wage to $15 by 2023. Kleppner serves the community in several capacities, including on the Vermont Tax Structure Commission, chairing the Board of Directors of the Population Media Center, working worldwide to resolve the interrelated problems of women’s rights, protecting the environment, and population. He also works locally on women’s rights as part of Change The Story’s Champions for Change, a group of male leaders working for gender equity.

“Bram is a committed and practiced champion for public policies and business practices that protect the environment and our workers”, said Daniel Barlow, Public Policy Manager at VBSR, “Again and again throughout his career, Bram has found great business success by leading on the issues most critical to our community, such as climate change and gender equity.”

Recipient of the VBSR Innovation and Inspiration Award, Windham Grows, a project of Strolling of the Heifers in Brattleboro, is a food and agriculture business hatchery which gives mentorship, education, tools, and financing and promotes sustainability to help food and agriculture businesses grow in a renewable way. This award will be accepted by Orly Munzing, Executive Director of Strolling of the Heifers.

Dan Hock, the Programs Director and 10-year veteran of Old Spokes Home Bike Shop & Non-Profit will be given the VBSR Young Changemaker Award. Old Spokes Home creates access to bikes and the opportunities they provide for our whole community by selling new and used bikes, offering affordable full service repairs, free bikes and accessories to young children, and through youth empowerment and job training in partnership with organizations like Vermont Works for Women, Spectrum, Vermont Adult Learning and others.

VBSR’s 18th Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner will be held at Basin Harbor on September 25th 2019 at 5:30 pm. A sunset view of the Adirondacks, historic resort buildings and gardens, environmentally-focused operations and a chef-designed menu featuring Vermont producers make this the perfect setting to celebrate Vermont’s leading socially responsible professionals. Guests will have the chance to network and celebrate while enjoying a cocktail hour, dinner, dessert and a cash bar. Registration details and more information about our event sponsors and awardees can be found at vbsr.org.