VCET Reports 80% Increase in Portfolio Company Sales in FY19
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Posted by: Jeff Couture
‘Capital raised’ and ‘salaries paid’ are metrics commonly used to demonstrate growth but, according to the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) president, David Bradbury, it’s ‘revenue earned’ that shows a company is scaling.
Let’s Do the Numbers
Vermont Technology Alliance member VCET’s annual impact report states that the organization’s 54 lifetime “portfolio” companies have cumulatively generated $189 million in sales , $158 million in payroll, and attracted $225 million in capital.
“If the end goal here is a thriving and vibrant ecosystem, an 80% increase in sales among this year’s reporting portfolio companies is evidence that they are starting to really move the needle,” says Bradbury.
The surveyed portfolio companies are one subset of the broader VCET community, which also includes student entrepreneurs and startups. In fiscal year 2019 alone, VCET directly assisted 259 startups and entrepreneurs, bringing the total number served in Vermont to 2,123.
Vermont Scales Here and There
With innovation hubs in Burlington and Middlebury that serve over 220 coworkers, VCET expanded its reach with the launch of #ScaleHere this year, a platform that extends VCET benefits to statewide partner organizations and their local business members. Announced in May 2019, #ScaleHere partnered with DoNorth Coworking in Lyndonville, The Space on Main in Bradford, The Mint in Rutland, Black River Innovation Campus in Springfield, and The Lightning Jar in Bennington to boost innovation and economic development around Vermont.
In addition to connecting a broad network of resources and expert mentoring, #ScaleHere
provides up to $100,000 in benefits to member companies in the form of cloud credits, fee-free payment processing, marketing database services and free day access to WeWork spaces globally.
“Prior to #ScaleHere, we had been spending thousands of dollars of start-up capital on AWS cloud credits while developing our forestry management software ,” says Christine Heinrich, co-founder of Whiteout Solutions in Lyndonville. " When you're a tech start-up, every dollar counts, so you’ve got to take the free technology resources and shrewd business advice whenever you can.”
Building a Community of Entrepreneurs
And for those looking for advice and inspiration outside of one of the state’s innovation hubs, VCET’s Female Founders Series and Start Here podcasts share the stories of Vermont’s active,aspiring and accidental entrepreneurs and business owners. With 40 podcasts released to date featuring guests ranging from Burton Snowboard’s Donna Carpenter to SunCommon co-president Duane Peterson, there are relatable stories and lessons learned for any entrepreneur and business owner.
“The intent of the podcast was to demystify the idea of starting a business, and offer advice to a larger swath of people than those who walk through our doors, and to do it in an entertaining and relatable way,” says Sam Roach-Gerber, VCET director of innovation. “To date, we’ve had over 15,000 listens, which is a strong testament to the relevance of the stories these entrepreneurs have been willing to share.”
Since launching at the University of Vermont in 2005, VCET has earned U.S. and international recognition for its impacts advancing Vermont’s technology ecosystem through the strategic curation of people, places and capital, leading to business growth and investments in the local economy. VCET is supported by a deep bench of mentors, Board members, and strategic partners including the Vermont Technology Council, U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy, the University of Vermont, Middlebury College, Consolidated Communications, Champlain College, the Vermont Agency of Commerce, and Norwich University. Visit: www.VCET.co