Burlington's Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

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This page documents an attempt to understand Burlington's Entrepreneurship Ecosystem primarily through engagement, rather than through data analysis or other means.

As a part of the Kauffman project, students explored Ecosystem: Burlington VT by searching the web. They found most of the major entrepreneurship related things, including:



5th March 2019, Call with Dean Sharma. Sanjay cancelled. Spoke with Eric Monsen. He is the sole entrepreneurship faculty member.

12th March 2019. Spoke with Sanjay Sharma. This led to a meeting with Chuck Schnitzlein on the 19th March and Barb Arel on the 5th April.

12th April 2019. Presented to the UVM Entrepreneurship Forum, organized by Dan Harvey (Dan.Harvey@uvm.edu) who works for the OVPR under Richard Galbraith.

21st May 2019. Spent the day in meetings including:

  • Cairn Cross, FreshTracks Capital
  • Dave Bradbury, VCET
  • Madeline Brumberg, Vermont Innovation Commons
  • Chris Thompson, Generator, who introduced me to Michael Metz (his chairman).
  • John Burton, Vermont Futures Project -- mentioned former Governor Howard Dean but couldn't refer me.

10th June 2019: Michael Metz. Enjoyed it so much that I went back with Lauren and did it all again on June 18th. Michael introduced me to Chelsea Lewis (VCF).

12th July 2019: Chelsea Lewis of Vermont Community Foundation.

Cairn Cross

Cairn gave me the following leads:

  • Chris Woods, presumably of BALE - Building A Local Economy
  • Catamount Innovation Fund -- It was a UVM student fund but the domain has expired[1]. It was started in 2017 by student Al Marchese[2].
  • Kylie King, Champlain College. Entrep. prof ~2yrs.
  • Ken Meritt, Angel in VT. Also VT Network? and VC Venture Fair?
  • LaunchVT - Emily and Nick (founders). Lee at Freshtracks is Chairman.
  • Brian Degan - He's the managing partner at Fieldstone Capital Partners (see https://vermontbiz.com/company/fieldstone-capital-partners-llc) but doesn't have a website and isn't in SDC or crunchbase
  • VEDA -- Michael Schirling is on the board. He's based in Burlington and "was appointed Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development by Governor Phil Scott in December. Immediately prior to serving as Secretary, Schirling served as Executive Director of BTV Ignite". Michael Snyder "of Stowe was appointed Commissioner of Vermont Forests, Parks, and Recreation by Gov. Peter Shumlin in December 2010" is also on the board.
  • CEI Community Ventures (out of Maine) also bid to run VCET $5m fund
  • Vermont Worx - Bob Zulkoski and Frank Koster
  • Will Price: $35m second fund in Bozeman Montana. Has a brother in Burlington. Got NVCA board excited about small regionals.
  • UVM's Agricultural and Life Science Departments, CDAE: Community Development Applied Economics
  • Venture Well, which was formerly the National Collegiate Inventors Alliance. Note that Jerry Engel from Haas is a board member emeritus.

Dave Bradbury

Dave mentioned the following people:

  • Jim Crook? and 1 more are active investors in VCET
  • Ron Pearlman? is a local billionaire

Note that Ken Merritt is on the investment selection committee.

Other threads

The following aren't strictly meetings about entrepreneurship in Burlington/VT but are lead generating:

  • David Siegel