Virtual community for entrepreneurs here to stay

Launched in response to the pandemic, the Vermont Startup Collective increases its membership, its relevance to the reopening of businesses

BURLINGTON Vermont (May 28, 2021) – Since launching in October 2020, the Vermont Startup Collective has experienced surprisingly strong engagement and rapid growth. With a focused virtual space to advance business ideas, learn new skills, and connect with the community, entrepreneurs are able to get the support they need, when they need it most. With over 750 members today, the online community is emerging as a center of gravity for entrepreneurs, startups, remote workers, small business owners, freelancers, investors and mentors in Vermont. . So far 89% of members return regularly and over 50,000 member-to-member interactions have taken place so far. Membership is free and the community is organized by the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET).

“The Startup Collective is the perfect blend of networking, resources, compassion, ‘how-to’ content, ‘I’ve been there, I’ve tried this’ experience, collaborative problem solving, reality and passionate dreamers, ”said Molly Yanus, founder of Echo Consulting. “It has personally helped me make essential connections and gave me the confidence to be involved in an important pivot for my business during a crazy year. I am so impressed and grateful for the amazing teams who have come together to make this community a reality for Vermont. “

Born out of demands from innovators, consultants and business leaders looking to connect during Covid-19, the mobile / desktop platform surrounds active and aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals with constructive guidance from counselors and mentors, stimulating conversations with their peers, and critical tools and resources. to start and grow. Supported by more than 40 Vermont organizations, Collective members now have direct access to countless entrepreneurship support organizations and experts from across the state, all in one place.

“The Vermont Startup Collective has put the wisdom, experience and networks of Vermont entrepreneurs at my fingertips whenever I need it. All I have to do is ask a question and I know I will have a community of knowledgeable people ready and willing to help me. Honestly, I feel so much more confident that I will achieve my goals knowing that my community is there to support me, ”said Skylar Bagdon, student entrepreneur at the University of Vermont.

Thanks in large part to the generosity of the Vermont Community Foundation, which provided a supporting grant of $ 70,000, the Collective is free and designed to be accessible and inclusive for all, ensuring that ALL entrepreneurs, workers remotely and innovation participants have access to the support they need. Vermonters are connecting, helping and contributing to each other like never before.

“What started out as a ‘seed idea’ to be tested internally has now grown into an open, authentic and empowering network for Vermont professionals, students and entrepreneurs,” said David Bradbury, President of VCET . “We are delighted to see the real problems facing business owners daily be solved by their peers, investors and experts. The momentum is really encouraging.

Members can join groups organized by topic, such as Legal, Technical or Design & Branding, and join relevant “circles” like Tech Founders or Young Professionals. New to the Collective are free, self-guided courses such as Creating a Family-Friendly Workplace, Introduction to SEO and Investing in Your Community. New ideas for topics, circles and courses can be requested by members at any time.

The website and mobile app have been particularly valuable for novice entrepreneurs in Vermont who may not yet know where to turn, new business owners looking for participatory information, and large businesses. scale like Widewail, Faraday, Greensea Systems, Lift Learning, GPMS International and Beta. Technologies is looking to hire multiple positions.

For more information or to join the Collective, please visit wwww.vermontstartupcollective.com.

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