Issuu on Google+

HealtH caRe touRism agRicultuRe communitY education

taPPingtecH 2.0 tRansFoRming VeRmont’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. They’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 ’ 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 world’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 ’ 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 ’ 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 ’ 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. It’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 ’ 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

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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.

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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 it’s time to...

complete tHe ciRcuit Vermont’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

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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 ’ 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 ’ 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

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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

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vermont technology alliance

vermont technology council

vermont Biosciences alliance

VeRmont c ompani e s tHa t a R e “ ta p p in g te c H� 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

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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 ’ 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


Tapping Tech 2