VERMONT INNOVATOR NEWS • WEEK OF MAY 20, 2019

Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation
Recommends Hosting College Interns
Are you a Windham Region employer looking for assistance on a special project, or some extra support over the summer? Have you ever considered hosting a college intern? Attracting and developing new talent is critical if your organization is facing the same workforce challenges we all are – tight labor market and an aging workforce. The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) Internship Program may be your solution!

The BDCC connects currently enrolled college students and recent college graduates with Windham Region companies through paid internship opportunities. The program attracts students from across the region, the state, and the country to start careers in Southern Vermont. Internships provide work-based learning experiences to students from a wide range of backgrounds and educational institutions. The only requirement for employers is to pay an intern at least minimum wage ($10.78).

Vermont is big on Internships:
71% of students attending college in Vermont engage in an internship or other field work experience. 95% of qualified students who seek an internship opportunity secure an internship placement (Vermont Futures Project) Great Interns can also become great employees: 25% of BDCC-placed Interns have gone on to accept permanent positions with their employer.

Highly motivated college students are already looking for summer opportunities, so now is the time to seek and hire an intern. If you are interested in hosting an intern, or know a college student interested in an internship, please contact, Sarah Lang at the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, slang@brattleborodevelopment.com or (802) 257-7731 ext. 222.

VERMONT INNOVATOR NEWS • WEEK OF MAY 13, 2019

Windham Grows Business Accelerator
Accepting Applications for Next Cohort
BRATTLEBORO, VT — Windham Grows, a program of Strolling of the Heifers, is accepting applications for its Summer/Fall 2019 cohort. Windham Grows is a food and agriculture business accelerator, connecting entrepreneurs with mentors, industry contacts, and support.

“Windham Grows fits into the Stroll’s mission by helping existing agriculture-related businesses develop in ways that strengthen the economy, the community, and the environment,” said Orly Munzing, Strolling of the Heifers Founder.

“Having a great product is only one piece of the puzzle to making success happen,” said Jim Verzino, the program’s Director and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. “We’re also having important conversations about food and agriculture, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and the collective social conscience. It matters.” So far, the 20+ professionals who have completed the first three cohorts have raised over $1.6 million in outside investments to help fund their growing businesses. Currently, the fourth cohort is in process and due to graduate in June.

Who are the graduates of Windham Grows? They are the current and emerging socially minded entrepreneurs in the region, including Whetstone Brewery, Vermont Tortilla, Putney Mountain Winery, and Frabjous Fibers and Wonderland Yarns.

The next cohort begins in July, and Windham Grows seeks food and agricultural entrepreneurs who want to build a business, change the conversation around food and farms, and strengthen their communities. Those fortunate enough to participate have had a transformative experience: “My sales grew 400% as a result of the program,” said Liz Clarke of Nanarella’s Fruite Paté, “I have gained a better understanding of starting a small food business, how to be an entrepreneur, business founder and implementer, and how to evaluate my own strengths.” Business leaders accepted into the program learn how to grow socially conscious, food-focused businesses with concentrated sessions on marketing, finance, production, technology and entrepreneur mindsets over the six-month course.

“Entrepreneurs receive mentoring, access to subject matter experts, connections to capital and non-capital resources, and cohort members become a collaborative peer group,” said Cairn Cross, co-founder and Managing Director of FreshTracks Capital, who is Windham Grows’ other Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

“The program consists of three-weekend residencies in Brattleboro, Vermont, and regular video meetings.” said Cross. “We also provide outside consulting services tailored to the needs of individual entrepreneurs to help them move their companies to the next level, as well as prepare them for the level after that.” In addition, the program provides food and lodging for non-local participants.

Of his overall experience in the program, Rob “Sugar Bob” Hausslein of Sugar Bob’s Finest Kind said, “I strongly encourage you to consider taking part in the Windham Grows program if: 1. You can commit to the time. 2. Need the help, and 3. Play well with others.”
Applications for the July cohort are due midnight May 29, 2019. To learn more and apply for admission to Windham Grows, please go to http://windhamgrows.org https://windhamgrows.org/curriculum/.

VERMONT INNOVATOR NEWS • WEEK OF MAY 06, 2019

Registration open for “Champion Change,
in the Workplace and Marketplace
Burlington, VT –Registration is now open for Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibilities annual spring conference, titled “Champion Change, in the Workplace and Marketplace”. Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) members, friends and state legislators will gather for the conference at the LEED-certified Davis Center at the University of Vermont in Burlington Wednesday May 15th. Throughout the day, attendees will engage in their choice of 15 workshops designed to help forward-thinking professionals find new opportunities through values-led work.

Over 300 participants will enjoy a localvore lunch menu and visit with 40+ exhibitors including corporate members like Green Mountain Power and non-profits such as Change the Story Vermont. The day will conclude with a cocktail and networking reception. The event will begin with opening remarks by Sascha Mayer, VBSR Board Member and co-founder of Mamava Inc., who will share her insights from her time leading the design and manufacturing start-up Mamava to a B Certified company with over 550 lactation suites in locations as diverse as airports, sports stadiums, automobile factories, and military bases.

“This year, we are excited to host a keynote panel, excited to host a kenynote panel “Hard Questions for Good Businesses”, underwritten by Mascoma Bank,” said Liz Dohrman, Education and Events Manager for VBSR, “Duane Peterson, CEO of SunCommon; Sarah Kaeck, founder of Bee’s Wrap; and Roberta MacDonald, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Cabot Creamery will inspire the audience with lessons from leading growing businesses with a commitment to sustainability and community here in the green mountain state.”

“Our educational events inspire change, and our members make change,” said Jane Campbell, Executive Director of VBSR, “The Spring Conference is our premier event and it is our best opportunity to strengthen our professional community for better impact.”

This year, workshop topics will include: The Impact of Culture & Engagement on Customer Satisfaction, Energy Transformation & Technology, Personal Tech & Social Media Policies, Innovative Benefits and Practices for Family Friendly Workplaces and more. Registration, food, and lodging information, and a complete conference agenda with workshop details can be found at www.vbsr.org. Carpooling is encouraged! A Mamava nursing pod will be available for nursing mothers. Please bring your favorite reusable water bottle and travel mug to help limit recyclables.