(Host) Top state officials gathered at the University of Vermont on Monday to unveil a new business technology center. The Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies, known as VCET, will help start-up companies develop and market high-tech services and products.
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, Governor Jim Douglas and University President Daniel Fogel joined in the announcement. Leahy secured one million dollars in federal funding to establish the business incubator.
VCET’s close ties to UVM will allow start-up companies access to the university’s labs and research facilities. Governor Douglas says the incubator is a boon to the university as well:
(Douglas) “I think more faculty and students will be attracted to UVM because of the business incubator. It will give them the understanding that they will have the greater opportunity to turn their research projects into entrepreneurial opportunities. So I think it’s a win-win for the university and the state.”
(Host) Interim Director Tom Rainey says the incubator’s primary focus is to attract potential companies with viable business plans.
(Rainey) “To some degree, we’ll be serving as a filter to the investment community in that the types of companies that’ll be coming to us, we’ll be working very closely, surrounding them with the right kinds of resources to make them successful. And that of course will raise the comfort level of angel investors and venture capital resources people.”
(Host) Like others at the announcement, Rainey said that the new incubator will be an engine for job growth.
(Rainey) “We’re hoping to align the program with workforce development as well. It’s really a mosaic of events. There are many components to the strategy: it’s the workforce development, access to capital, it’s working closely with the university. Workforce is an important piece of this.”
(Host) The Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies is expected to work with about 12 start-ups during its first year. VCET’s offices on UVM’s Trinity campus will be open in the next couple of weeks.