News Releases

October 11, 2018

Second Annual Innovation Spaces Conference to Provide Expertise, Support for Vermont Entrepreneurs

Governor Phil Scott today announced the second annual Innovation Spaces Conference, focused on creating a community among founders, users and supporters of innovation spaces in Vermont.

The free conference, which will be held on Thursday, October 25 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, Vermont, is designed to support the success of innovation spaces – the collective term for a communal and efficient shared workplace that includes coworking and maker spaces, incubators and accelerators, a new kind of business model that is spreading throughout the country and has a growing presence in Vermont.

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) is hosting the conference for the second time. Last year's inaugural conference at Castleton University drew a crowd of more than 100 and was well received by coworking space advocates, those hoping to open spaces and organizations and businesses that support entrepreneurs and innovation.

This year, in addition to offering a session on how to open a coworking space, attendees will hear a presentation about innovation seed funding opportunities. The presentation, America's Largest Seed Fund, the Federal SBIR/STTR Program: What Small Business Owners Need to Know, will be presented by Jeralyn Haraldsen, PhD of the University of Vermont and a panel of entrepreneurs who used Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) funding.

In another interactive session, ACCD will host a discussion as part of its work for a report to the Legislature, which will incorporate ideas for the future of innovation, maker and coworking spaces in Vermont. Interested individuals, organizations and communities are invited to participate in this discussion.

"Innovation spaces are an important way for Vermont to encourage business growth from within, as we work to grow our economy and create more opportunities for Vermonters," said Scott. "This is an economic development tool my Administration is committed to leveraging, and I’m looking forward to seeing what ideas come out of this conference."

The conference is the only of its kind in Vermont, and will appeal to owners, users, and supporters of innovation spaces, as well as community members considering opening a space in their town.

WHAT: Second Annual Innovation Spaces Conference

WHEN: Thursday, October 25, 2018, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: Vermont Technical College, Judd Hall, Randolph, VT (directions: https://goo.gl/maps/VNs5EAppZZ82)

Program schedule:

9 - 10 a.m.

America’s Largest Seed Fund, the Federal SBIR/STTR Program: What Small Business Owners Need to Know

Facilitator: Jeralyn Haraldsen, PhD, Grant Proposal Manager, University of Vermont

10 - 11 a.m.

Starting a Coworking Space in Your Business or Your Community

11 - 11:30 a.m.

Building Capacity in Vermont for Innovation Spaces-How the State Can Help

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Interactive Discussions on State Support of Innovation Spaces

12:30 p.m.

Lunch to go

The Innovation Spaces Conference is a ThinkVermont event, sponsored by ACCD, Vermont Technical College, Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies and Paul Frank & Collins.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/274420363192666/.

To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/second-annual-innovation-spaces-conference-tickets-51079658634.

Media Contact: Elaine Sopchak, Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, 802-505-1795, Elaine.Sopchak@vermont.gov; Rebecca Kelley, Office of the Governor, 802-828-6403, Rebecca.Kelley@vermont.gov

Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: October 11, 2018 14:13:19