Newsletter July 14, 2020

 As usual, a huge thank you to our supporters:
UVM, Vermont Technology Council, Middlebury College, Vermont Agency of Commerce, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, VT EPSCoR, Fairpoint Communications, and GBIC.

Member Spotlight:

Shannon Mitchell 
GameTheory
School: Champlain College

Office: VCET@BTV

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What are your interests?

I’m originally from Cranston, RI. Luckily we have the lake here in Burlington, so I don’t miss the ocean too much. Before coming to VT for school, I spent a lot of time working in Boston. I just graduated from Champlain College with a degree in management of creative media. Champlain is one of the top ten schools for game design majors, which is why I chose it. I’ve always been interested in making games, and especially gamification, which is the application of games to everyday problems. GameTheory is one of the few companies involved in that, which is why I wanted to remain in Vermont after I graduated. I love the BTV vibe and the fact that it is becoming a tech hub. There are lots of industries converging in VT right now which makes it a perfect location for companies like GameTheory that are involved in gamification.

How did you end up here at VCET? What do you enjoy about being in the space and what do you do for GameTheory?

I came to VCET when I was hired by GameTheory. I’m now GameTheory’s Project Manager, so I oversee all of our projects. My background is in art and design as well as tech, so I help our development team understand the clients’ needs and goals. I help to show our clients how their non-game related goals can be translated into game format. We also do consulting, but I’m not as involved in that side of the business.

The VCET space is so exciting and energetic. It has a really cool vibe. Where else could we grab a bunch of random people to go play laser tag in the middle of the week? It’s a great think tank environment. When I was in school, a lot of people didn’t understand what I was working on, and I was constantly having to explain game design. Here at VCET most everyone understands what I do.

You graduated recently, what have you found is the biggest adjustment now that you’re no longer in school?

I think the biggest adjustment is the mental shift. When you’re a student, the stakes are not particularly high. If you mess up it might impact your grades, but there aren’t really any consequences. Now I have a lot more responsibility and my actions actually have an impact on the world around me. Adapting to the shift in communities has also been a big adjustment. Before I was always surrounded by other students, but now I’m mostly around professionals in my field.

What do you think are the challenges facing recent college graduates here in Vermont? How do you think Vermont can do a better job of retaining young professionals?

The biggest challenge is expense. It’s not cheap to live here, so you have to find a job that pays you enough to be able to stay. A lot of my friends moved home after graduation. It’s important to make sure that there are enough resources for people who are just starting their careers. Having communities like VCET really helps since they provide networks all over VT. I’m a big fan of community events as well. I want to see Burlington be like Boston, where there were always more events than I could possibly attend. I believe that we can create a vibrant community like that here too.

News

Some changes for the month of July! I hope everyone has noticed our snazzy new logo by now. We went through the branding redesign to highlight VCET’s central tenet of People, Places, Capital, and are very excited about our new look! VCET is now also located online at www.vcet.co. Thanks to VCET member Travis Bragg for the incredible work. Check him out at qwerkal.com.

Make sure to check out the recent VPR piece “Across Vermont, Co-Working Spaces Are Helping to Foster Homegrown Small Businesses,” by Steve Zind. The article features VCET members Gretchen Kruesi of Horse Network and Tony Brogna of Bluestone Life, as well as our own Sam Roach-Gerber and David Bradbury on VCET membership and co-working in Vermont.

Recommended Reading

He Cofounded Kayak, Sold It For $2 Billion, And Is Back With Lola, Which Uses Human Travel Agents

Forbes Trep Talks interview with serial entrepreneur Bill M. English, cofounder of Kayak and current founder of Lola

Hint Water’s A Hit: Drink Brand Born In Kitchen Will Do $90M Sales In 2016
A great product often solves an entrepreneur’s own problem, as in the case of Kara Goldin, founder and CEO of Hint Water.

Pokémon Go Brings Augmented Reality to a Mass Audience
No, we have not gone back in time, people really are playing Pokémon again. In case you’ve been living under a rock, this NYT article gives great coverage of the new Pokémon Go craze.

Great Opportunities

Apply now to present your startup at the 2016 New York Venture Summit on July 20th-21st at the Crowne Plaza NYC. “Whether you are an investor seeking access to new early stage deals, or a CEO or Founder of a new venture looking for funding, visibility and growth, New York Venture Summit is one event you won’t want to miss.”

Consider sponsoring the Vermont Technology Alliance. There are lots of benefits to be gained from sponsorship, as outlined by the vtTA. Contact Jeff Couture
Executive Director, jeff@vtta.org or 802-735-0840.

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