Seven Days has been following this evolving story for years. In our first tech issue — a few days before the very first Tech Jam in January 2008 — Paula Routly profiled Dealer.com back when the South End startup had only 110 employees. Now it employs more than 850, and two years ago, changed ownership for a cool billion dollars.
We also wrote about MyWebGrocer, which had 40 employees then, compared with 264 working in the U.S. today, most of them at HQ in Winooski; more workers are based in Ireland, Canada and Chile.
Both companies are presenting sponsors of the Tech Jam, and each is looking to fill at least 20 jobs. And they're not the only ones with positions available. Novetta, a big-data firm based out of state, is expanding its Burlington office, hoping to add 20 more programmers before the end of the year.
We've showcased startups, too. Seven Days uncovered Greensea, the Richmond-based robotics firm that makes control systems for submersibles, and was also the first to note the growth of the white-hat hackers at Pwnie Express, who build penetration-testing systems.
This year's tech issue trains the spotlight on Daft Labs, a fast-growing Burlington startup that's building applications for companies inside and outside the state. Alicia Freese visited its College Street office, complete with kegerator, in "Up to Code".
Of course, it's impossible to know whether the tech tools we depend on today will stand the test of time. If this issue had appeared 100 years ago, on October 21, 1915, the cover might have depicted Vermont's original tech hub: Springfield. Back then, Precision Valley, as the area was known, was churning out startups left and right. Kirk Kardashian remembers those days in "Once a Tech Town". "Springfield was a white-collar community, populated by engineers and executives, with the highest per-capita income in Vermont," Kardashian writes. That's not the case today.
Tomorrow? Anything's possible.
* The publication date for this issue, October 21, 2015, falls on Back to the Future Day — the day Marty McFly and Emmett "Doc" Brown visit in the 1989 hit movie Back to the Future II. The future is now!
The original print version of this article was headlined "Back to the Future"
Cathy Resmer is a former staff writer and currently an associate publisher at Seven Days, and is one of the organizers of the Vermont Tech Jam. She's also the Copublisher and Executive Editor of Kids VT, Seven Days' free monthly parenting publication.