Newsletter June 30, 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:

Tommy Hyde
Documentary/Freelance Filmmakerunnamed

School: Middlebury
Office: VCET@BTV

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

I grew up spending summers in VT and graduated from Middlebury College in February of last year. I was an architecture major at Middlebury, but I got into filmmaking while I was still at school. After graduation, I moved out to Colorado for a year and got into the freelance film business. I moved back to Vermont this February to pursue my documentary, The Underdog, full time. When I was out in Colorado I also got into mountain biking, and I’m excited to dive back into that here in Vermont.

How did you end up here at VCET? What do you enjoy about being in the space and what do you do while you’re here?When I got to Burlington, I immediately connected with Ted Adler, a fellow Middlebury grad who is also a VCET alum, to find out about the entrepreneurship scene in Burlington. He suggested I check out VCET, which I did, and the rest is history. I’m a big fan of the public fridge!

I’m out filming my documentary a couple days a week. The Underdog follows a Middlebury dairy farmer who moonlights as a professional dogsled racer. When I’m not out filming, I’m here at VCET editing and doing administrative stuff. I also do freelance work for Higher Ground and some non-profits. I’m hoping to build my business, so if anyone at VCET needs some work done, I’m your man.

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

Not being on a semester schedule. I have to think about things in the long-term now. There’s not as much of a sense of things being temporary, this documentary will represent two years of filming. It’s also exciting though. I’m doing things for myself and my community now and not just for a grade.


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?

A lot of it comes down to the allure of the big city. Most of my friends have moved on to Boston, NYC, San Francisco, or DC. Everyone wishes they could stay here, but most people don’t think there are any jobs in Vermont. In reality though, I think there are more and more job opportunities, especially in solar work or tech. If these industries continue to grow here and actively seek out graduating seniors from Vermont colleges, more grads would stick around. There’s actually a good Midd community in Burlington, and a much better young professional community here than there was in Colorado. People don’t realize how much of a tech hub Burlington actually is. The city could use more PR about it.


In VCET news, this past week we played host to the New York Times @BTV. The NYT is doing a piece on “Burlington as a smart city,” and stopped by to check out the space and chat with Andy Rossmeissl of Faraday and our own Max Robbins and Peter Silverman of Beacon. We can’t wait to read the article! In addition, VPR also came by VCET@BTV this week to interview us.

Max and Peter, two of our student members @VCET have now successfully placed 5 students through Beacon and are moving to an automated platform to find student jobs. They also run a blog on their website where they interview entrepreneurs and write up local events. If anyone is interested in being included, they would love to chat!

Recommended Reading

Marketing Attribution-Creating a Growth Engine at Salesforce, Zendesk and Slack
Tips for applying marketing attribution to your startup from Slack CMO, Bill Macaitis

Should Your Driverless Car Hit a Pedestrian to Save Your Life?
An interesting take on the ethical dilemmas of advanced technologies like driverless cars from The New York Times

The Real Product Market Fit
“Michael Seibel, Y Combinator Partner, on knowing when you’ve found product market fit and when to keep looking.”

Great Opportunitiesunnamed (1)

Summer inventors day camp for middle school-aged girls at Norwich University. Students must be registered byFriday, July 15th in order to attend the August 1-5th camp. Learn more here.


Interested in working with Canadian tech companies? The Vermont-Quebec Enterprise Initiative is working to establish stronger business ties between Vermont and Quebec. Those with connections or interest in building their network across the border should email and sign-in to the B2B Networking Platform COREX Opportunities.

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