Tapping Tech 2
The Green Mountain State has a proud tradition of inventing things. Learn how today's inventors are transforming Vermont's economy.
HealtH caRe touRism agRicultuRe communitY education taPPingtecH 2.0 tRansFoRming VeRmontâ€™s economY BroUgHt to yoU By if you had to describe vermonters in a word, what would it be? Hardworking. independent. strong. fiLe: mattHeW tHorsen What about innovative? t he green mountain state has a proud tradition of inventing things. For hundreds of years, Vermonters have been finding ways to do things better — from thaddeus fairbanks, whose platform scale revolutionized weights and measures, to mark Bonfigli, who helped change the way cars are bought and sold when he and four friends founded Burlington-based Dealer.com, a company that provides marketing and web solutions to auto dealers. In the past decade, Dealer.com has become the North American leader in its industry. The company hired 250 people in 2011, and expects to continue growing in 2012. Last year, Dealer completed an extensive renovation of its headquarters, a former manufacturing facility in Burlington’s South End. But car dealers aren’t the only ones benefiting from vermont innovations; behind that story of phenomenal growth are numerous other examples of the ways in which vermont-made and vermontsupported technology is improving vermonters’ lives. In this edition of “Tapping Tech,” we’ll introduce you to some of the people who are using technological tools developed and maintained right here in Vermont. We’ll show you how these innovations are driving job growth, economic prosperity and improvements to our quality of life. We’ll also explain how you can help these innovators survive and thrive in our beautiful state. read on... HealtH caRe 04 a newport Pediatrician goes Paperless touRism 08 mobile makes sense for a manchester mom-and-Pop Kind. agRicultuRe 12 a Westford farmer finds an ag app communitY 16 rural residents socialize on the Web education 20 vermont teens trade Writing tips online “tapping tech 2.0” is brought to you by the vermont technology alliance and the vermont technology council. the vtta is a trade group, formerly known as the vermont software Developers’ alliance. it was founded in 2004 — by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs — to support and promote vermont’s thriving software and technical community. its members share ideas, expertise and strategies for success. the technology council was founded in 1994 to support technology-enabled economic development, and it serves as the statewide board for the national science foundationsponsored vt ePscor program. the vtc also creates the state science and technology plan, and has helped found organizations such as the vermont center for emerging technologies, vermont academy of science and engineering and vermont manufacturing extension center. vtc and vtta created this publication to tell the story of the state’s growing tech sector, which is one of vermont’s best-kept secrets. 24 investing in vermont’s future complete tHe ciRcuit 26 supporting and Promoting vermont innovation 30 meet vtta members and friends tapping tech 2.0 was published in march 2012. read, download and share this document at www.tappingtech.org ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t ’ s e c o n o m y 3 Dr. tHomas moseLey a n e Wp o Rt p ediat Ric ian g oe s p ap e Rless tecHnoLogy Partner PHysician’s comPUter comPany Winooski 4 F or 30 years, Dr. Thomas Moseley III has been treating Northeast Kingdom kids at his private practice, Newport Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. During that time, he’s accumulated an impressive collection of file folders, all of them packed with medical records chronicling the lives of his young patients. The folders contain patient charts, and now Moseley and his staff no longer have to pull them from the stacks to access patient information. Last year, the practice switched to an electronic health record (EHR) system, a rapidly evolving form of health information technology aimed at replacing paper record keeping. EHR systems enable doctors and other health professionals to record and access patients’ data electronically. Records can now be electronically referred to a specialist, accessed remotely by a doctor who is on vacation or ﬂagged with an alarm that will alert another clinician to any medication-related allergies. EHRs are designed to make health care more efficient. Take the case of a 4-month-old Newport Pediatrics patient who was born prematurely. The infant has already required more medical care in her short life than ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t ’ s e c o n o m y many healthy people will ever need. She was diagnosed with diabetes insipidous and complicated metabolic problems that have necessitated multiple consultations with specialists, a host of medications, specialized insurance coverage and numerous hospital visits, both in and out of state. Recently, Medicaid evaluated whether to grant disability benefits to the girl’s family. As part of the investigation, Medicaid asked the practice to send a detailed snapshot of the infant’s clinical history. In the past, it would have taken a nurse several hours poring over dozens of medical documents to compile and photocopy the relevant information. Thanks to the new EHR, the staff was able to comply within minutes, transmitting the latest and most salient information with the press of a button. “All that information — the enormous charts filled with active problems, complications, medications — is now made readily available to us and gives us a much better overall picture of what’s going on with the patient,” Dr. Moseley says. “This is what primary care is supposed to do.” HealtH caRe “all that information — the enormous charts filled with active problems, complications, medications — is now made readily available to us.” Dr. tHomas moseLey JeB WaLLace-BroDeUr Upgrading to EHR technology can be pricey. Fortunately, Newport Pediatrics was able to take advantage of a federal incentive included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The federal program, which is available until 2016, gives qualifying practices that make the switch up to $44,000 per physician in additional Medicare payments, or up to $63,750 per physician in Medicaid payments. That helps offset EHR implementation costs. But Moseley will see the biggest return on his investment through an incentive program offered by the nonprofit National Committee for Quality Assurance. It encourages practices to embrace EHR technology by upping insurance reimbursement rates by $2 per patient, per month, for qualifying practices. Next year, Newport Pediatrics, which treats some 2500 patients, should see a revenue increase of about $44,000 annually. Dr. Moseley says he’ll use the money he’s saving to hire another nurse. But better and more efficient care isn’t the only positive outcome of Dr. Moseley’s decision to invest in EHR technology. Newport Pediatrics is using an EHR system developed by Winooski-based Physician’s Computer Company, a locally owned software firm that employs 53 Vermonters at its headquarters in a former textile mill. PCC, founded in 1983 by a team of young Vermont software engineers, is a national leader in pediatric practice-management software. Its pediatric-specific EHR offering is relatively new, but, not surprisingly, demand for it is growing. “We have clients all over the U.S.,” says PCC cofounder and company president John Canning. “But it’s gratifying to be able to have a direct impact on patients right here in Vermont.” DiD yoU KnoW? in vermont, 66.8% of physicians use some form of eHrs. in 2010, 38.8% indicated they planned to apply for federal incentives to upgrade. source: national ambulatory medical care survey, centers for Disease control and Prevention/ national center for Health care statistics h e a Lt h c a R e 5 WHat aRe tecH JoBs WoRtH? vtTA member companies pay their employees well. 65,000 $ 51,841 $ median household income in vermont, 2010 UniteD states censUs BUreaU average wage at a software company in vermont vtta survey for every 1 software developer hired, tech companies add an additional 6 nontechnical supporting positions in fields such as sales, marketing, support, administration and accounting. vtta survey touRism Lee KroHn m oB i le m aKe s sense F oR a m a n cH e ste R mom-and-pop tecHnoLogy Partners roUte 802 Williston sUmmit tecHnoLogies Williston 8 H einel’s Clothiers on Main Street in Manchester is a classic Vermont family-owned retailer. Locals and tourists alike shop here for socks, boots and casual wear including items from the Johnson Woolen Mills. Owner Harlan “Hal” Levey claims that Heinel’s is the mill’s oldest customer. Founded in 1879, Heinel’s has changed hands a few times — most recently in 1989, when Levey and his wife Carol bought the store. A former elementary school music teacher who moved to Vermont from Manhattan in the 1970s, Levey is not a high-tech guy. “We’re just not into it,” he says of technology. “We still operate without cellphones and without whatever.” Until recently, he still rang up purchases on the store’s original brass cash register. But although Levey doesn’t use a smartphone, he understands that an increasing number of his customers do — especially those from his old hometown. That’s why he’s among a growing number of merchants who are embracing Experience Manchester, a new mobile application aimed at travelers searching for stuff to see and do. ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t ’ s e c o n o m y When tourists arrive in Manchester and check their phones, they can now connect to the town’s free Wi-Fi network. And when they do, they’ll land on the webapp Experience Manchester, a directory of local shopping, dining, lodging and entertainment options that launched in January. Experience Manchester is also available as a downloadable iPhone app from Apple’s App Store. Experience Manchester’s listings are optimized using photos, descriptions, one-touch dialing, mapping, a website link, menus and current discounts and deals. Users can also build an itinerary and share it via Facebook and Twitter. Not surprisingly, the app’s “anchor tenant” is Manchester Designer Outlets, which attracts thousands of visitors with disposable income from the socalled “Golden Triangle” — New York City, Albany and Connecticut. Levey, who doesn’t advertise in the local newspaper, plans to buy an ad in this online directory in June, in time to take advantage of increased tourist traffic. “People who use this technology, unlike those who browse through a daily newspaper, are more directly focused on shopping and dining and what businesses Lee KroHn caroL anD HarLan Levey, oWners of HeineL’s cLotHiers like ours have to offer,” says Levey, “so yes, we’re very interested in being a part of it.” The free Wi-Fi network is a service provided by Williston-based Summit Technologies. Summit has been powering Wi-Fi hotspots at Vermont’s welcome centers and the Burlington International Airport for six years. Route 802, a mobile marketing start-up that’s an offshoot of Summit, launched the Experience Manchester app as a travel and tourism tool. The app is the first in what will be a statewide network of local mobile directories that will help subsidize some of those Wi-Fi hotspots. Route 802 is creating apps for other tourist destinations, including Stowe, Burlington, Middlebury, Mt. Snow and the Northeast Kingdom. Rather than compete with local newspapers, the company is partnering with them to populate and market the apps. Its media partners include the Stowe Reporter, the Addison Independent and Seven Days. The app network is the brainchild of Summit Technologies President Al Levy. He sees Route 802 as a vital marketing tool for the Vermont tourism industry, targeting the smartphone-savvy users who drive it. “Mobile web development is growing eight times faster than traditional web development, so the press to mobile is now,” Levy says. “People are recognizing how valuable and important mobile is, and what we’re providing can be extremely cost effective.” “People who use this technology are more directly focused on shopping and dining and what businesses like ours have to offer.” DiD yoU KnoW? smartphone ownership has more than doubled in two years. in 2009, only 18 percent of mobile subscribers had smartphones. WHo oWneD smartPHones at tHe enD of 2011: • 44% of all americans • 53% of 18-24 year-olds • 64% of 25-34 year-olds • 49% of mobile consumers say they frequently use their smartphones while shopping source: mobile media report, nielsen, December 2011 HarLan Levey, oWner of HeineL’s cLotHiers touRiSM 9 VeRmont is cReating tecH JoBs Vermont tech companies are creating new opportunities for small Vermont businesses all across the state. Theyâ€™re adding jobs, too. new jobs created by vtta member myWebgrocer: 40 23 10 since January 1, 2012 (as of march 2012) in the 4th quarter of 2011 ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t â€™ s e c o n o m y 160 total employees as of march 2012 the vermont tech Jam, an annual job fair and tech expo created in 2008, gets bigger every year. 2100 job seekers, students and tech enthusiasts came to the 2011 tech Jam in Burlington. 82 organizations exhibited. most of them were there to recruit interns and employees. 200 PeoPLe 250 JoBs placed in jobs in 2011 by vtta member technical connection, inc., a high-tech recruitment firm based in Burlington. added by vtta member Dealer.com in 2011. agRicultuRe a WestFoRd FaRmeR Finds an ag app tecHnoLogy Partner emPoWer moBiLity, LLc Burlington 12 o ne week each year, usually in early February, Tony Pouliot sits down at a desk tony PoULiot, farmer and types into his computer a hand-written record of everyThat’s why the 32-year-old heir to the family farm thing that happened during the last 12 months on his fa- looks forward to letting his smartphone do most of ther’s 1000-acre dairy farm in Westford. the work. The University of Vermont Extension is Every harvest of corn and grass and every load of fer- currently piloting new iPhone and web applications tilizer spread on each of the farm’s 80 fields has been that will allow Vermont farmers to scrap their notedocumented in a stack of weather-beaten notebooks books – not to mention the scribbled-on napkins, food Pouliot and his brother carry with them all year long as wrappers and disposable coffee cups – for real-time, they bump along in the tractor or walk the rows. Pouliot virtual record keeping. spends hours feeding those hundreds of pages of notes The new technology, set to debut this spring, will alinto an antiquated Excel program. low Pouliot to use a web-based software application He has to do it — Vermont environmental law re- to create a plan for his farm based on his estimates of quires farmers to write nutrient management plans that the coming year’s crop yield, manure and chemical fermust be updated and submitted to the state each year tilizer usage, and other factors. So when Pouliot is out for review. But it’s a part of his job that he dreads. “I’m a spreading manure, he can simply enter the amount on farmer for one reason,” says Pouliot. “I can’t stand being his iPhone. The data will be collected in real time and inside, which is why it’s so hard for me to do all these re- synched back to the web application. cords. It’s time consuming and one of the least desirable For Pouliot, who also oversees the farm’s herd of 460 jobs I have to do at the end of the year.” dairy cows, “It should cut down on a lot of work that ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t ’ s e c o n o m y “our records for the farm are going to be more accurate and we’ll have a better overall picture of the efficiency of the farm.” tony PoULiot, farmer mattHeW tHorsen comes into the plan,” he says. “And if the plan can be updated automatically, at the same time I’m entering new data, our records for the farm are going to be more accurate and we’ll have a better overall picture of the efficiency of the farm.” Heather Darby, the University of Vermont Extension agronomist who came up with the idea for the new applications, says farmers can also use them on an iPad, which can easily be mounted in the cab of a tractor or chopper. “Farmers will no longer have to come to us with scraps of paper and breeding tags scribbled with how many loads of manure they put on,” says Darby. “This technology should make it easier for them to focus on farming and less on the numbers.” UVM hired Burlingtonbased Empower Mobility, LLC, to develop the web and mobile applications; Empower, in turn, contracted some of the work on the web application to Colchester-based RedLeaf Software. Empower founder Tom Jaros, a 1994 graduate of UVM, says the scope of the project provided the platform for a small business loan, which helped him recruit two more employees and lease office space in the city’s South End. “This put Empower on the map, but it wasn’t about a financial award as much as being about the things I’ve wanted to see Vermont companies do, such as collaborate with Vermont-funded institutions like UVM,” says Jaros. The new web and mobile applications will be available later this year. Farmers who use them will likely pay a nominal fixed rate each year to renew their subscriptions. Darby says regular use of the new technology by Pouliot and his fellow farmers should also lead to a cleaner, more viable agricultural industry and taxpayer savings in environmentally-related cleanup efforts. “Farmers that are this into keeping track of nutrients and crop records, in general, are going to have a positive impact on the environment,” says Darby. DiD yoU KnoW? at the beginning of 2012, 19% of all adult americans owned tablet devices such as the iPad.tablet ownership in the U.s. nearly doubled during the 2011 holiday buying season. source: Pew internet and american Life Project a g R i c u Lt u R e 13 iBm, essex Junction all of the microchips manufactured by iBm in vermont are sent out of state, and disseminated throughout the U.s., asia and europe. some come back inside mobile devices and consumer electronics products. in fact, iBm estimates that approximately half of the worldâ€™s mobile traffic passes through its chip technology. eXpoRting tecH, impoRting $$$ The majority of the high-tech companies in Vermont earn 90% or more of their revenue from out-of-state customers. Here are a few firms creating products and services locally, and exporting them elsewhere. Biotek instruments, inc., Winooski this family-owned company develops and manufactures all of its microplate-based laboratory technology right here in vermont. it maintains sales and service offices in singapore, china, south Korea, germany, switzerland, france, india and the United Kingdom. 14 ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t â€™ s e c o n o m y global-Z international, Bennington global-Z international helps companies all over the world clean up and maintain international databases. their proprietary software, equipped with the most up-to-date international address data, helps customers assure mail and parcels reach valid addresses worldwide. myWebgrocer, Winooski myWebgrocer manages digital solutions for more than 114 grocery retailers nationally, representing more than 10,000 stores, and 90+ major consumer packaged goods brands. mWg is also now serving stores in new Zealand. microstrain, Williston this mid-size engineering firm develops and manufactures advanced sensing systems that control and monitor unmanned vehicles, aircraft, heavy equipment and industrial robots; nasa used a microstrain sensor network to monitor acoustic shock during space shuttle launches. Designed, built and tested in vermont, microstrain’s products are sold across more than 60 countries to many of the world’s leading companies. Par springer-miller systems, stowe Hotel, resort and spa visitors around the world can thank vermont’s Par springermiller systems for their trouble-free stay. the company provides guestcentric software and services to the hospitality industry, and has installed systems in more than 1000 locations globally. Headquartered in stowe, Psms maintains offices in Las vegas, toronto, London and Kuala Lumpur. manufacturing information systems, (aka misys) Woodstock misys manufacturing software is an add-on to the most widely used accounting systems, and helps manufacturers plan production, manage inventory, purchase materials and track costs. the 25-year-old firm has sold its software to 7000 companies in 56 countries. its clients make everything from energy efficient lighting to sleep masks to truck roll-top covers. ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t ’ s e c o n o m y 1 5 JeB WaLLace-BroDeUr sUsan cLarK, miDDLeseX toWn moDerator R u Ral Re s i d ents s o ci ali Ze o n t He We B tecHnoLogy Partner front PorcH forUm Burlington 16 g etting to know your neighbors in Middlesex, Vermont, can be challenging. The 2000 residents of this Washington County community are scattered along winding rural roads. And there’s no village center, no post office and no grocery store, where chance meetings among neighbors can turn into half-hour chats. Until recently, residents turned to town hall or the local elementary school for community interaction. But these days, an increasing number of Middlesex neighbors are connecting through the free, web-based communication tool Front Porch Forum. Burlingtonbased FPF has been available in Middlesex for nearly two years, and more than 80 percent of the households subscribe. Middlesex town moderator Susan Clark, an ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t ’ s e c o n o m y active forum participant, raves about the service. “Front Porch Forum has changed our ability to communicate about everything,” she says. To use FPF, residents simply enter their name, email and address at frontporchforum.com. The FPF system assigns them a forum based on their address, and invites them to submit messages to an e-newsletter that’s distributed periodically to their neighborhood. Their name, road name and email address appear automatically with each of their submissions. Postings cover everything from lost dogs to auto mechanic recommendations, from sharing municipal budget information to mobilizing help for victims of Tropical Storm Irene. FPF collects those posts and sends them as an e-newsletter to everyone on the forum. In Middlesex, all FPF subscribers are part of the same forum. In a place where neighbors might only see each other once a year at Town Meeting Day, the subjects of FPF postings may seem mundane, but they help facilitate communication about bigger issues. “It makes a huge difference to know that you’ve got a way to have a conversation about simple, everyday things like selling your canoe or needing a plumber,” Clark says. “If you have those simple conversations, then when it comes time to have the hard conversations you’ve already woven a fabric of understanding.” Clark says FPF’s presence in Middlesex has led to a more informed community. “The PTO and the planning commission are all active on the forum and the school board recently used it to gather feedback on the budget proposal, giving people a much richer voice.” communitY “front Porch forum has changed our ability to communicate about everything.” sUsan cLarK, miDDLeseX toWn moDerator Though the service is free, FPF is a for-profit company, cofounded by CEO Michael Wood-Lewis and his wife Valerie. The two created the community-building tool after moving to Burlington’s South End in the late 1990s. They launched FPF in the Queen City in 2006. Its 40,000 residents now communicate with each other in 37 different neighborhood forums — more than 50 percent of Burlington’s households subscribe. Over the years, FPF has expanded to 70 Vermont towns, and now covers roughly a third of the state. Among FPF’s eight full- and part-time employees are online community managers who moderate each forum, a tech team and sales staff who generate most of the company’s revenue through ad sales to Vermont businesses. Last year, Front Porch Forum used a $220,000 loan from the Knight Foundation to rebuild its software using Ruby on Rails. Wood-Lewis says the positive response from Middlesex underscores the need for the service in Vermont’s remotest areas as well as its most densely populated. “We know how valuable it is to Vermonters,” he says, “and we want to make it available to everyone in the state.” DiD yoU KnoW? vermonters are using the internet to connect in innovative ways. in the hours after tropical storm irene hit, a group of twentysomething volunteers from Burlington set up a website #vtresponse that immediately matched vermonters in need with people and organizations willing to help them. coMMunitY 17 HoW do tecH JoBs BeneFit VeRmont? The high-tech worker will pay an additional $4,000 to $7,000 a year in property taxes, depending on where they live. 150,000 $ amount the average employee at a vtta member company contributes. 73,333 $ amount the average vermonter contributes to the gross state Product. 18 ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t â€™ s e c o n o m y vtta survey estimated revenue brought into the state of vermont by vtta members: 280m $ in 2011 150m $ in 2009 vtta survey employees received approximately 65% of that ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t â€™ s revenue as wages. economy 19 education RICK SCHLUNTZ AND STUDENTS AT HARTFORD MIDDLE SCHOOL Ve rm on t Te ens Trade Wri ti n g Ti p s Online TECHNOLOGY PARTNER YOUNG WRITERS PROJECT, INC. Winooski 20 R ick Schluntz used to have old-school opinions about the use of new technology in his classroom. In 2009, the Hartford Memorial Middle School science teacher was still mourning the loss of his blackboard and chalk. He was reluctant to embrace his new interactive whiteboard gizmo. And then Geoff Gevalt, director of Vermont’s Young Writers Project, asked if Schluntz and his students would test-drive a new digital classroom. Schluntz agreed to try it. Two years later, he’s a convert. YWP’s password-protected system allows students to interact with teachers, and with each other. They can post homework assignments and their own writing, and offer feedback and critiques online. Schluntz says the online classroom environment has transformed his approach to teaching, and allowed students to take more pride and ownership in their work. “Because we’re ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t ’ s e c o n o m y publishing our classwork online, kids who don’t normally share in class are much more willing to put themselves out there and offer very honest and creative thoughts about writing and science,” he says. Schluntz says his digital classroom is an interactive repository for homework assignments, an open source study guide and a forum for the civil exchange of ideas. Use of the technology among digital classroom participants, he adds, has had a positive impact on test scores; 93 percent of students scored above average on their New England Common Assessment Program reading and writing tests. He notes that his students have posted 3000 submissions since the pilot program began. Many of the posts are unsolicited entries from kids who chose to write on their own time. “That’s the gravy that makes this such an impressive classroom tool,” he says. “Kids who wouldn’t Tom McNeill “Kids who don’t normally share in class are much more willing to put themselves out there.” Rick Schluntz, Hartford middle school teacher that records between 850 and 1000 visits a day, and now with the digitally-centered YWP Schools Project. “We want to connect kids,” says Gevalt, “and in Vermont, which is rural, poor and very spread out geographically, technology makes it possible.” The YWP’s one full-time and seven part-time employees work from a basement office next to a large, coffeehouse-like space reserved for YWP’s Friday night poetry slams. Both are tucked into the northwest corner of a former textile mill in Winooski. In 2011, the nonprofit had a modest operating budget of $300,000. Grants from the Bay and Paul Foundations, A.D. Henderson Foundation, Vermont Community Foundation, Windham Foundation, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, FairPoint Communications, Physician’s Computer Company, the Vermont Business Roundtable, Vermont Country Store and a number of other foundations have helped YWP grow. “We’re in our sixth year,” he says, “and there is more demand for what we’re doing.” Did you know? A study of 120 US CEOs by the National Commission on Writing found that writing was a highly valued skill, and estimated that employers spend billions annually correcting writing deficiencies. Tom McNeill have any relationship inside the school are writing and commenting on each other’s work, creating a community where it doesn’t otherwise exist.” Schluntz also says that he learns more about each student — what they’re thinking, what they know and what confuses them. “This helps me be a better teacher.” More than 8000 students and 400 teachers from across Vermont and part of New Hampshire participate in the YWP’s digital classrooms, which are part of the YWP Schools Project. The classrooms use open source software that has been modified by YWP and volunteer developers around the world. YWP builds private websites for each school that are adapted to the needs and curricula of the teachers who moderate them. YWP trains teachers to use the software, provides them with mentoring and curriculum ideas and offers full technical and content support throughout the year. Schools pay for these services, but for cash-strapped school districts struggling to keep up with the pace of technological change, it’s a good deal. The digital classrooms initiative is just one of the ways that the nonprofit YWP fulfills its mission of “building a generation of better writers.” Gevalt founded the YWP in 2003, while he was managing editor of the Burlington Free Press. Initially, the project simply worked with schools to collect writing submissions from Vermont students that were then published in the Free Press and other newspapers. But in 2006, the Vermont Business Roundtable offered Gevalt a two-year, $250,000 grant to leave journalism, form a nonprofit and widen the scope of the grassroots project. Since then, the YWP has continued to publish work in newspapers, and in a yearly anthology, while simultaneously expanding its digital efforts — first through the development of youngwritersproject.org, a student-led online blogging community e d u c at i o n 21 WHat does it taKe to get a HigH-paYing tecH JoB in VeRmont? Many tech jobs require a specific skill set, but these are some general characteristics that vtTA member companies prize in employees. Itâ€™s never too early, or too late, to cultivate these qualities. 22 ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t â€™ s e c o n o m y yoU can PrePare for a HigH-tecH career By: going to college. more than two-thirds of the employees at vtta member companies have attended college. the ones who didn’t go to college have a natural aptitude for computer programming or some other high-tech skill. member companies employ graduates from every college in vermont and work with placement offices to find new employees with specific skills. finding and exploring your passions. many of the high-tech companies in vermont grew out of their founders’ passions. asking “why?” get in the habit of noticing the way things work, and why. curiosity and inquisitiveness are valued in vtta member companies. attending the vermont tech Jam. Hundreds of middle and high school students come to the tech Jam to meet employers and educators interested in helping them plan for a career in the tech sector. vtta memBers are LooKing for emPLoyees WHo can: • solve problems • communicate effectively • listen • play well with others interning with a tech company. the vermont technology council internship program, created in 2010, has helped place more than 60 college students with vermont tech companies. internships make students aware of the great employment opportunities in vermont, and provide employers the chance to recruit their future workforce. for more information on vtc’s program, visit www.vttechcouncil.org. ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t ’ s e c o n o m y 23 INVESTING IN VERMONT’S FUTURE T HE BENTLEY AW ARDS I f Vermont students are to succeed in the 21st century economy, they need access to state-of-the-art educational tools. That’s why the vtTA created the Bentley Awards. The prizes are named after 12-yearold Bentley Davis Seifer, son of Bruce Seifer and Julie Davis, who died in 2011 while swimming at the Bolton Potholes. Bruce helped start the vtTA back in 2004, and he and Julie encouraged Bentley to pursue his interests in math and science. These awards celebrate Bentley’s life, and aim to inspire schools, teachers and other young people to explore technology as he did. Initially, the vtTA planned to offer a prize of $3000, three Apple iPads and technical support to a Vermont K-12 school that demonstrated a strong need for support for a program focused on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). But vtTA members were so excited about the 21 proposals they received for the inaugural Bentley Awards that they expanded the scope of the awards. They launched a fundraising drive to fund all of the projects, and raised more than $20,000. As a result, the organization is giving the full prize to three schools, and splitting the remaining funds among the other applicants. The vtTA will also distribute $100 iTunes gift cards to iPad recipients, courtesy of Apple employees, who were also moved to contribute. These awards celebrate Bentley’s life, and aim to inspire schools, teachers and other young people to explore technology as he did. 24 ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t ’ s e c o n o m y The top three schools, and their winning proposals: Mount Abraham Union High School, Bristol Proposal: Integrate physics, industrial technology and CAD “Produce tangible student projects using computer modeling, graphic design and computer-controlled fabrication. Projects include a low-cost pellet stove for heating, wooden-truss structures fabricated with a computer-controlled router, and sports equipment.” Hinesburg Community School Proposal: iPads to teach astronomy “My sixth-grade science classes focus on the solar system. The iPads provided by the Bentley Award would augment our current curriculum, thanks to the many wonderful applications that help students understand the solar system and the night sky.” Grafton Elementary School Proposal: Geocaching “Geocaching is an adventure game for GPS users where students will set up caches all over their community and then share these locations on the internet. They will learn to use GPS technology and will further document their travels using iPads and digital cameras.” The vtTA will fund the Bentley awards annually. Find out how to apply at www.vtTA.org. EDUCATION 25 noW itâ€™s time to... complete tHe ciRcuit Vermontâ€™s tech companies are diverse in their aims, and in the services they provide, but they share some common needs. Several themes recur when talking with vtTA members: vermont needs to continue its investment in broadband and connectivity, and infrastructure in general. Being able to get cell service and a broadband internet connection anywhere in the state is crucial to Vermont’s future prosperity. Vermont needs to continue to improve in this area. The state must also invest in maintaining its traditional infrastructure — roads, bridges, airports and schools. tech companies in vermont have a hard time finding business financing. Many tech companies deal with intellectual, rather than physical, property, which can make it difficult to secure collateral for a large loan. The vtTA would like to see the state do more to help local financial institutions recognize the benefits of investing in Vermont’s knowledgebased businesses. tech companies need educated employees. The vtTA and the VTC would like to see increased communication between Vermont’s tech companies and its high schools and colleges. The state’s new science, technology, engineering and math initiative, which offers a financial incentive for recent graduates who accept STEMrelated jobs at Vermont companies, is a step in the right direction. The VTC and vtTA members want to see an increased focus, not just on science and math, but on graduating students who can write and reason, and work collaboratively to solve problems. The Vermont workforce is incredibly loyal and hardworking. We also need them to be curious and communicative problem solvers. ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t ’ s e c o n o m y 27 complete tHe ciRcuit HoW You can Help fiLe: anDy DUBacK There are lots of ways to get involved with the Vermont Technology Alliance and help Vermont advance its technology community and infrastructure. fiLe: anDy DUBacK PHotos from tHe 2011 vermont tecH Jam 28 ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t â€™ s e c o n o m y Join the vtta There’s energy in the air around our organization. Come check out one of our monthly meetings and learn what everyone is talking about. • Stay in touch with industry colleagues • Learn about what’s happening around Vermont • Network and share with other business leaders • Work in partnership with legislators to affect needed change Join now at www.vtTA.org follow the vtta Stay up to date with the Vermont Technology Alliance’s latest news, event information and community-sourcing endeavors: • facebook.com/VermontTechAlliance • twitter.com/VermontTechAlliance • linkedin/VermontTechAlliance attend Lunch & Learns Our Lunch & Learn events are a great way to network while listening to local and regional professionals provide their insights into Vermont’s tech future. Sign up now at www.vtTA.org support tech-friendly Legislation We need help making Vermont an even better place for tech businesses. Support us as we work with businesses, community institutions and the legislature to: • Promote tech-friendly infrastructure, especially broadband implementation • Expand access to financing and investment opportunities for area employers • Encourage investment in educational opportunities for a more tech-skilled workforce Find out more at www.vtTA.org come to the vermont tech Jam The vtTA helps organize this annual October job fair and tech expo where you can: • Find a job or qualified employees • Network with local tech professionals • Learn how to train for a tech career at a local college Get the latest updates at www.techjamvt.com ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t ’ s e c o n o m y 29 Vermont has grown more tech friendly in recent years, but members of the vtTA believe the state needs to go much further to truly tap the tech sector and maximize its potential. By working together, and investing in Vermont’s future, we can keep these high-paying, low-impact jobs in the state, and attract even more in the years to come. Vermont Compani e s th a t a r e “ T a p p in g T e c h ” 7th Pixel Montpelier 89 North Inc. Burlington Burlington BioTek Instruments, Inc. Winooski AADCO Medical Randolph Bk’s Computing Barre Accelerated Outsourcing Bristol Blackbullet Burlington Accolade Group Waterville Blue Runner Design Bennington Acute Technology Morrisville Adaptive Engineering, LLC Richmond Advanced Illumination Rochester Albany College of Pharmacy Colchester and Health Sciences AllEarth Renewables Williston Bluehouse Group Richmond Brandthropology Burlington Breen Systems Vergennes Brown Computer Solution Brattleboro Burlington College Burlington Burlington Free Press Burlington Allscripts South Burlington Burlington Telecom Burlington American Health Care South Burlington Software Burton Snowboards Burlington AnC Bio Newport Apollo Bioscience Burlington Appleseed Solutions Essex Jct Button Systems Castleton C2 - Competitive Computing Colchester Cadenza Systems Middlebury April Cornell Burlington Catamount Research and St. Albans Development, Inc. Ascendo, Inc. Burlington CEDO Burlington Ascension Technology Corp. Burlington Champlain College Burlington Astute Computing Waterbury Center Christina Wahlig, Esquire Williston Avatar Energy South Burlington Bear Code LLC Montpelier Berkshire Cow Power Richford BiaDiagnostics Inc. 30 BioMosaics Inc. Burlington ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t ’ s e c o n o m y Christopher Seiler, Consultant Chroma Technology Corp. ClearBearing Burlington Bellows Falls Burlington vermont technology alliance vermont technology council vermont Biosciences alliance cloud garden Brattleboro eQ2, inc. Burlington coaching center of vermont Winooski eWa government systems, inc. montpelier coldwell Banker-Hickok & Boardman realty commerce generation Burlington Burlington community college of vermont Waterbury comport consulting south Burlington exetechs cornwall fairpoint communications south Burlington flint information technology Barre found Line, inc. Burlington conix systems center manchester front Porch forum Burlington control technologies Williston futureclaw Burlington corey machanic Bulrington galaxyPlace fairlee costa enterprises Waterville Waitsfield gallagher, flynn & company, LLP Burlington creative microsystems csL software solutions Burlington gBic Burlington custom support Bradford global classroom Burlington Data innovations north america south Burlington global-Z international Bennington goehlert & associates south Burlington gordon e.r. troy, Pc charlotte freshtracks capital shelburne Data systems, inc. Burlington Dealer.com Burlington green mountain antibodies Burlington Digital Bridges 2.0 middlebury green mountain coffee Waterbury Dinse, Knapp, mcandrew Burlington Burlington green mountain software corporation Burlington Draker Laboratories DymPoL, inc. Waitsfield greenriver.org Brattleboro Dynamic Business solutions, inc. south Burlington greensea systems, inc. gvH studio richmond Bennington eagle networking solutions Burlington gW Plastics, inc. royalton earthlogic colchester Waitsfield Haematologic technologies, inc. essex Jct. edoorz, inc egan media Productions, inc. colchester Harmony information systems essex Junction empower mobility, LLc enhanced Designs Burlington Jericho Headwaters strategy, LLc Underhill continued next page ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t â€™ s e c o n o m y 31 Vermont Compani e s th a t a r e “ T a p p in g T e c h ” Hen House Media, LLC South Burlington Hendrickson & Associates, LLC. West Glover Proctor IBM Essex Junction iLucid Burlington Burlington Metaink Technical Montpelier Communications, LLC Microcheck Northfield microDATA St. Johnsbury Microdesign Consulting, Inc. Colchester Image Softworks Fairlee MicroStrain Inside Edge Software Huntington Middlebury College Middlebury Interlock Software Burlington Mincar Consulting Richmond iSystems, LLC Colchester iTech US South Burlington MyWebGrocer Williston Winooski N Hawley Business Solutions Milton IVEK North Springfield NEHP, Inc. Jazz Software Colchester NEMRC Georgia Joanne Ferris-Forkey Chittenden County Net-Spin Moretown John Garison, Technical Writer Chester John Valance, Consultant South Burlington Justin Kunz, Consultant Milford, NH Kelliher Samets Volk Burlington Williston Network Performance, Inc. South Burlington New Breed Marketing Winooski North Country Newport Communications LabPas Business Unit, Phase Montpelier Forward Inc. Northeast Computer Systems Lyndonville Lake Champlain Regional Burlington Chamber of Commerce Norwich University Northfield Lee River Software LLC Jericho Localvore Today Burlington Logic Supply South Burlington Manufacturing Information Systems Woodstock Martell Enterprises Newport Maven Peal Instruments Strafford MBF Bioscience 32 Mergus Analytics, LLC Burlington Merritt & Merritt & Moulton Burlington High Meadow Business Manchester Solutions Center HPC Consulting MealTrain.com continued Williston ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t ’ s e c o n o m y Northfield Savings Bank Northfield NRG Systems Hinesburg Object Computers, LTD Charlotte Off The Page Creations Essex Junction Omega Optical, Inc. Brattleboro Original Gravity Media Burlington Ormsby’s Computer Store Barre Outer Heaven Computer Solutions Brattleboro P&C Software Services, Inc. Jericho vermont technology alliance Panther internet, inc. Par springer-miller vermont technology council Burlington retn south Burlington Burlington Paradigm consulting company Bethel ringmaster software corporation Pc resources Jericho roger tubby stowe Peter Wolf Photo-graphics Jericho ross Boisvert, consultant Barre Physician’s computer company Winooski route 802 Williston saureus Lebanon securshred south Burlington Piematrix stowe vermont Biosciences alliance Burlington Burlington seven Days Burlington Precision contract manufacturing springfield small Dog electronics Waitsfield Problem-Knowledge coupler corporation Burlington Precision Bioassy Propeller media Works Publishers’ assistant Pursuevt Qvault, inc. Burlington Jericho Burlington essex Junction smallrock software, inc. colchester softstart middlebury soro systems, inc. south royalton sound toys Burlington soundmind solutions moretown southern vermont computer systems manchester center rachel morton associates Burlington st. michael’s college radius network, LLc monkton standards technology group Williston colchester rainWorx software south Burlington raise your voice Burlington sterling valley systems, inc. stowe rb technologies, LLc east montpelier stone environmental, inc. montpelier reading Plus/taylor associates Winooski stromatec, inc. Burlington reality venture capital Burlington redLeaf software, LLc rehabtech consulting renaissance information systems rent a geek research Proteins, inc. colchester Barre Jericho Burlington essex Junction stanley technical services subatomic Digital summit technologies Hinesburg Williston Williston surplus traders alburgh systems and software Williston systems ideas, inc. tag new media tech vault, inc. montgomery ctr. Burlington south Burlington continued next page ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t ’ s e c o n o m y 33 vermont technology alliance vermont technology council vermont Biosciences alliance VeRmont c ompani e s tHa t a R e â€œ ta p p in g te c Hâ€? technical connection, inc. technology consultants, inc. Burlington south Burlington northfield teljet Longhaul, LLc Williston vermont ePscor Burlington tertl studos, LLc montpelier vermont Hitec Williston the Data farm Huntington montpelier the silverbeard corp. east fairfield vermont information consortium, LLc the tech group, inc. south Burlington the top floor thinky about that tiger style timberline interactive middlebury south Burlington Huntington middlebury vermont information Processing vermont information technology center vermont Law school colchester Burlington south royalton triangulus Burlington vermont manufacturing extension center triggerfish interactive, LLc Westford vermont Photonics Brattleboro Union street media Burlington vermont sBir University of vermont Burlington White river Junction Upper access Hinesburg randolph center vermont state colleges castleton, Burlington, Johnson, Lyndon, randolph Upper valley Writing services chester Uvm innovations Burlington vermont systems, inc. essex Junction UX Designedge st. albans Bay vermont technical college randolph vcam Burlington vermont technology Partners Brattleboro vector new england colchester vermont academy of science Burlington & engineering vichi scientific Waitsfield vtc summer internship Program Burlington vermont Business graphics Burlington Wattmetrics, LLc Bethel vermont center for emerging technologies Burlington WH group richmond Wolpin and associates Bristol Woodward Design guilford yachtWhere Burlington yizri, LLc Burlington young Writers Project, inc. Winooski vermont circuits Brattleboro vermont Design Works Winooski vermont economic Development authority 34 vermont environmental consortium continued montpelier ta p p i n g t e c h : t r a n s fo r m i n g v e r m o n t â€™ s e c o n o m y looKing FoR an inteRn oR inteRnsHip? the vermont technology council helps connect in-state businesses with motivated, capable students. Businesses provide the opportunities, students provide the talent — the technology council brings the two together. the vermont technology council internship Program is straightforward: • • • • • Businesses provide paid summer internship opportunities for college students. as with any job, students are expected to give real value to the business. Businesses describe the position in a simple submission form on the technology council website. each opening is widely marketed to prospective applicants — students attending colleges both within and outside of vermont. students apply for positions by submitting their application materials directly to the host business. the business is under no obligation to hire; if a good candidate does not emerge or if circumstances change, the business doesn’t have to extend an offer. QuaLitieS oF a good inteRnShip 1 the posted openings attract the right talent for the job. 2 the business has thought through student supervision and mentoring. 3 4 the students give real value to the employer. the students gain important work experience and return to school sharing valuable information with their peers and professors. connect at www.vttechcouncil.org Where can you find vermont tech companies job seekers students teachers colleges career changers start-ups entrepreneurs Dealer.com and myWebgrocer present the 2012 vermont tech Jam october 26 & 27, 2012 at the champlain mill in Winooski this annual job fair and tech expo, organized by seven Days and the vermont technology alliance, showcases the state’s growing tech sector. meet qualified employees. Learn about exciting careers available right here in vermont. network with tech professionals and community leaders. Have a rockin’ time. “each year at the tech Jam, we meet great potential employees and interns.” — exhibitor “i already have students asking me when they can sign up for next year.”— high school teacher “i drove four hours to get there, and i’ll do — attendee it again.” all under one roof? friDay & satUrDay oct. 26 & 27 2012 past exhibitors include: iBm, Dealer.com, ge Healthcare, myWebgrocer, Logic supply, Biotek, microstrain, chroma technology corp., empower mobility, LLc, symQuest, allscripts, champlain college, Draker Laboratories, green mountain coffee roasters, Pwnie express, fletcher allen Health care, vermont technical college, Physician’s computer company, University of vermont alternative energy racing organization, seventh generation, everBank, Dynapower, Union street media, c2, greensea systems, middlebury college solar Decathlon team, green mountain Digital, Burlington college and many more. find the latest info — and sign up for updates — at techjamvt.com. twitter: @techjamvt facebook: /techjamvt