Virtual community

Virtual community for entrepreneurs here to stay, free to join

Launched in Response to Pandemic, Vermont Startup Collective Grows in Membership and Relevance as Business Reopens

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

“The Startup Collective is the perfect blend of networking, resources, commiseration, ‘how to’ content, ‘been there, tried this’ experience, collaborative problem solving, reality in face ET of passionate dreamers,” said Molly Yanus, Founder. from Echo Consulting. “It has personally helped me make critical connections and given me the confidence to embark on an important pivot for my business in a crazy year. I am so impressed and grateful for the amazing teams that came together to make this community a reality for Vermont.

Born out of requests from innovators, consultants and business leaders looking for a connection during COVID-19, the mobile/desktop platform surrounds active and aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals with constructive guidance advisors and mentors, stimulating conversations with 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 entrepreneur 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 that I will have a community of knowledgeable people ready and willing to help me. Honestly, it makes me 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 $70,000 support grant, 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 as a ‘starter idea’ to be tested internally has now grown into an open, authentic and empowering network for Vermont professionals, students and entrepreneurs,” said VCET President David Bradbury. . “We are thrilled to see the real problems of business owners being solved daily by their peers, investors and experts. The dynamic is really encouraging.

Members can join groups organized by subject, such as Legal, Technical, or Design & Branding, and join relevant “circles” such as 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 especially valuable to new entrepreneurs in Vermont who may not yet know where to turn, new business owners looking to crowdsource information, and businesses that are scaling up. such as Widewail, Faraday, Greensea Systems, Lift Learning, GPMS International and Beta Technologies are looking to hire multiple positions.

To learn more or to join The Collective, please visit www.vermontstartupcollective.com

Source: Burlington, VT (May 28, 2021) – Vermont Startup Collective