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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: Tech

Re: “Reddit Brings a UVM Evolutionary Robotics Class to the World

Glad to read it brother, Keep up ur good work

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Narayan Koirala on 05/28/2016 at 10:14 PM

Re: “Burlington's Designbook Faces Off With Facebook

Hi Kyle/Designbook, I wonder if all businesses with the word "book" in their title were to file a class action suit against Facebok to stop their insane harassment ,if something could be accomplished in the name of justice.
Just a thought. Best of luck, may your # of landing equal your number of takeoffs. Harv Gregoire

Posted by harvgit on 02/19/2016 at 11:33 AM

Re: “Hobbyists, Lawmakers and Privacy Advocates Keep Their Eyes on Drones

Can hobbyist use drones at Bolton as long as they stay away from the people?

Posted by Sampson Bauer on 01/22/2016 at 11:13 AM

Re: “The Rise and Fall of Springfield, Vermont's First 'Tech Hub'

My brother and I grew up visiting our grandparents' farm during the summers of the mid 1970's-1980's and lived there for a time. We recall a heartfelt town we only wished our own could be. Watching it bifurcate then discentigrate from afar has broken a part of our hearts like watching a loved one die a slow death. Sounds dramatic? Not for those of us who lived and knew the character it held. When it popped up in the national news for winning The Simpson's contest for representing their town of Springfield. Let's just say, a mixed bag of emotions went along with that one. We loved it so very much.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Micaela Bensko on 10/26/2015 at 2:07 PM

Re: “Ello, Goodbye? Some Startups Leave Vermont for More Populated Pastures

My personal experience in running a tech startup is that Vermont is a great place to be located! Some ideas, for instance Blu-Bin, with it's in-person retail business model that is probably not easy to prove in Vermont, need to move to demonstrate success. Other businesses may not find interested investors amongst the small pool of options in Vermont, and since investors like to be geographically close to their investments, that's another reason to move.

However, I want to dispel the persistent myth that Vermont is not a good place to grow a tech startup. Even in Montpelier I never lacked for creative, energetic employees. I'm convinced Vermont workers are some of the most skilled, dedicated, and loyal staff that can be found anywhere. Our Internet service was never a problem, I had no trouble traveling the world to market my enterprise health science product, and we all know that Vermont has a business community that supports it's own.

Now if we could just get the State government to do more to support tech startups...

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by John Rosenblum on 08/06/2015 at 10:44 AM

Re: “Ello, Goodbye? Some Startups Leave Vermont for More Populated Pastures

Just like our weather, Vermont can provide a summer-like garden of Eden in the initial phases of a business, but only a handful of businesses may survive the cold winter to come. Vermont will test how strong a commitment a startup really has to live here and be part of the business community. Yes, it takes strength and hard work to survive in Vermont for both farmers and businesses alike, but the rewards go to those that tough it out. I speak to small but very successful Vermont businesses all the time that wouldn’t have it any other way. As it has always been, if you want to make a quick buck…elbo your way around a big city but you’ll live with the consequences. If you want a long-term sustainable community, stay here in Vermont. The question is about how you will feel about your lifestyle and end result when you look back after a lifetime of work. I vote for Vermont as the best place for long-term meaningful success.

Posted by John Burton on 08/05/2015 at 1:15 PM

Re: “Ello, Goodbye? Some Startups Leave Vermont for More Populated Pastures

Responding to the following quote: "Others mentioned the high cost of living as an obstacle, but Pollak pointed out that entrepreneurs often migrate to even more expensive cities." The issue is that in Vermont, pay is not proportional to the cost of living. While the cost of living in other cities may be higher, potential pay is higher. I took a huge pay cut to work in Vermont. It's a tradeoff that I'm not frankly completely sold on. Also, tech talent is very difficult to find in Vermont.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Katelin Brewer-Colie on 08/04/2015 at 2:44 PM

Re: “Ello, Goodbye? Some Startups Leave Vermont for More Populated Pastures

Just search the blow link for job postings matching "burlington"... not a single one. Boston turns up 41. The reason the startups are moving out of vermont is the same reason the engineers (including myself) are moving out of Vermont. There is no work and there is no money. What little work there is doesn't pay well compared to nearby cities. 25k venture funding? How can that be serious? What a joke.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9996333

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Alan Marcero on 08/03/2015 at 11:05 PM

Re: “Ello, Goodbye? Some Startups Leave Vermont for More Populated Pastures

I still don't get it. Why in this day and age when it seems nearly every office is operating virtually to some degree (and bakeries are clogged with laptop users) do these startup companies need to move to where they can walk across the street to talk to people about their business? The adage about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence is somehow true exclusively for them, while most other businesses are working virtually with people on many streets in many cities and even other countries.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Erin Wagg on 08/03/2015 at 4:24 PM

Re: “Ello, Goodbye? Some Startups Leave Vermont for More Populated Pastures

As a startup tech founder in Vermont, I read this article with great interest having navigated the waters of financing and support in our state for our tech startup — divvi. In our experience we have found the resources and people of Vermont to be open and supportive of startups. But what strikes us missing is better collaboration between private, state and local organizations, and their resources, to maximize the dollars and support available to Vermont startups. By focusing our available mechanisms as packages of support, current startups might not only feel better supported by our environment, we'd attract more, and all would have legitimate chance to succeed.

Secondly, perhaps one of the criteria of any state and local funding or competitions be that the start up remain in Vermont for a designated period of time that allows for significant impact on our economy; and if they choose to leave for greener pastures the monies are repaid.

Vermont has a bright future but the window is closing on the unique opportunity we have to leverage the success and national attention brought to us by Dealer.com, GMP partnership with Tesla, GMC, designbook.com, Notabli, Mamava, Yonder, and ello. Let's not miss it.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Richard Morin on 07/31/2015 at 9:29 AM

Re: “Ello, Goodbye? Some Startups Leave Vermont for More Populated Pastures

Hey George, I need 500k to bring UrbanBuddy to the next level. We are based in Brooklyn and Burlington. Will you help make it happen? Drop me a note: anthony@urbanbuddy.com

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Anthony Brogna on 07/31/2015 at 9:04 AM

Re: “Ello, Goodbye? Some Startups Leave Vermont for More Populated Pastures

Great story, and an important aspect of Vermont's history as an incubator state - think as far back as John Deere and Fairbanks, long since departed. It is as important that Vermont be able to "exit" startups as retain them. So kudos to the entrepreneurs for choosing the right road for growth.

And, if you're interested in the startup ecosystem in Vermont, keep an eye out for ways to support activities like LaunchVT, TechJam, and Woodstock Digital Media Festival and make it a point to support startup hubs like VCET, Burlington's Generator Makerspace, and St Johnsbury's Foundry - its where emerging entrepreneurs are cutting their teeth. And check in at Kickstarter regularly to see who's looking for startup cash - its a great portfolio!

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by PabloX on 07/30/2015 at 5:14 PM

Re: “Ello, Goodbye? Some Startups Leave Vermont for More Populated Pastures

Burlington has all of the ingredients to become a vibrant start-up culture, and while I think we're close to hitting a tipping point, we aren't quite there yet. We have innovative, collaborative people, which is why we not only see a diverse range of start-ups successfully getting off the ground here, but we also have other people actively trying to push the momentum of, and tie-in, the existing elements we do have to mature the start-up culture.

We've also had a few successful companies grow from the ground-up here (with some in the process now), leaving us with a mix of professionals experienced in all phases of business and company growth. We have the talent, we have the ideas, we have a collaborative environment and despite being a smaller market with fewer networking and less capital available (this is an easy barrier to overcome, I think) with a little time and an active community, we can reach that vibrancy.

Once more people (especially my generation) start to see that vibrancy, energy and opportunity, we'll close the gap on some of the things Burlington might be lagging to push us over the edge. We have to make sure we're getting them involved, and starting early, during the college years.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jon Torrey on 07/30/2015 at 1:41 PM

Re: “Ello, Goodbye? Some Startups Leave Vermont for More Populated Pastures

Alicia this is fair assessment from the insiders view. I call it the old hat. I find it interesting as I scan other similar areas and what works in what does. A capitalization for startups, I find the thematic investor model with syndication agnostic very interesting. The startup community will evolve and either die, stagnant, or thrive. My hats off to Ello, IrisVR and Blu-Bin. What is the next Green Mtn Roaster, Dealer, 7th Gen? Is the ecosystem and community vibrate enough to foster young talent, ideas, and launch successful startups.

3 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by gschildge on 07/30/2015 at 9:50 AM

Re: “Burlington's Designbook Faces Off With Facebook

These overreaching giants are a scourge to legitimate business. I'd contribute to a fund to fight back!

"Eat More Kale!"

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by sometimeslive on 06/03/2015 at 2:40 PM

Re: “Burlington's Designbook Faces Off With Facebook

Hi Designbook! I am also a small Burlington business facing a challenge from spinning giant Soul Cycle for trying to trademark my company logo - both of our logos incorporate a wheel design. I've spent $10,000 so far and they have forced my hand to change my logo and abandon my trademark application. What is to be done? - Sarah, Owner and Founder of REV Indoor Cycling, www.revindoor.com

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Sarah DeGray on 06/02/2015 at 2:22 PM

Re: “Burlington Adds Cryptocurrency With Bitcoin ATM

You have to wonder who is behind the reporting of PYC to the financial regulators?
someone in VT has to be very anti-bitcoin, because the machine is simply giving a product for cash, it wouldn't be illegal to sell something like tokens at a video arcade, right?
those tokens have value, so does bitcoin. Is this the banks or local politicians being anti-bitcoin?
it sounds like it's personal or business related, if they went so far as to shut it down.

Posted by Brøøks Lamb II on 02/18/2015 at 11:51 AM

Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Solar is Hot in Chilly Vermont

In Italy everything is slow. I live in Sardinia where the sun will accompany you throughout the year. The panels make the most of their performance. I know the functionality of photovoltaics. Also because I have a carpentry workshop. Years ago I tried to accompany me with a company that mounted photovoltaic me without success. Sardinia is a fertile ground to plant the plants. A friendly greeting george.

Posted by Giorgio Pitzalis on 11/15/2014 at 12:48 PM

Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Solar is Hot in Chilly Vermont

Every energy technology pathway presents its own set of problems, and any choice must begin with efforts to reduce demand. Renewables such as solar, wind, and hydro, dramatically reduce the impacts of our energy system compared to continued reliance on nonrenewables of all kinds, including nuclear, especially when considering the life cycle of these alternative technologies. Building a renewable energy system in Vermont in effect brings the impacts of our energy use closer to home. The downside, well, we need to live within our own energy system. The upside, we have much more control in how that system develops. And given a 20-30 year lifespan of solar and wind, we avoid lock-in that you find with nonrenewable technologies. I'm optimistic that Vermont can take this on effectively, but we need to do so with due consideration to human and natural communities. At the same time, we cannot afford to check our pace too much. We'll need to learn as we go, thinking in terms of energy systems, rather than any one element. There is no easy solution, but we have much that we can do right now with existing technology, as demonstrated in this article.

I've also done a preliminary look at the issue of land use required, particularly in relation to biodiversity. While the study is not conclusive, it appears that we have considerable capacity here in Vermont, and would do well to continue to prioritize siting options, for example, as urban in-fill for solar PV. Find the report here: http://sciforum.net/conference/wsf-4/paper/2619

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by MB425 on 11/14/2014 at 9:16 AM

Re: “Here Comes the Sun: Solar is Hot in Chilly Vermont

I am currently looking into the cost of solar based on my needs, there are several factors that play into consideration of going solar that I have yet to determine. My current monthly consumption averages about 400kWH/Month and conversely my bill from Washington Electric is about $75/month on a budget plan. A 20 yr. break even at my current rate would generate $18K in total money spent, that I could put towards the cost of solar infrastructure. That figure does not include any incentives or credits for buying solar, and doesn't include service and maintenance costs associated with being connected to the grid that I pay on a monthly basis. I've contacted Sun Common to further discuss this issue so only time will tell if $olar actually Pays.

I would like to hear from anyone who has a cost analysis of before and after and or what the breakdowns are on a break even to believe that this is more that just a feel good endeavor.

Posted by Shaun Boyce on 11/13/2014 at 12:43 PM

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