2015-2016 Operational Overview
As we celebrate Innovation Week 2016 and mark 1 year of BTV Ignite operations, below are some of the highlights from the first 12 months:
Setup 501(c)3 business organization including meeting the requirements of the State of Vermont, and IRS..
Conducted a wide-ranging assessment of the greater Burlington technology and innovation ecosystem.
Created a two year operational plan targeting five core areas of operation to continue to “purpose build” a tech ecosystem and economy. Those areas include:
Marketing & Branding
Leveraging gigabit fiber and applications
Creation of a hub of innovation (accelerator)
Obtained a designation from U.S. Ignite as a Smart Gigabit Community, making Burlington one of the founding 15 cities with this designation.
Obtained a designation from the White House declaring Burlington a TechHire City and partnered with Vermont HITEC to deploy boot camp style trainings for coders and others interested in tech-related fields.
Assisted the University of Vermont College of Engineering & Mathematics in obtaining National Science Foundation grant recommendations for Smart Gigabit Community and Global Cities Team Challenge grants.
Made numerous connections between product ideas, entrepreneurs, startups, businesses, and financial backers.
Accelerated the entry of Vermont Works (a $30M social impact investment fund) to the local ecosystem. Principal Robert Zuloski noted “BTV Ignite played a meaningful role in our decision, especially the timing of our commitment to move forward. Your contribution to our decision was based on our confidence in what BTV Ignite was doing, your vision, and the quality of introductions you were making.”
Developed the STEM Connect application - connecting educators in classrooms to experiential learning opportunities.
Created and hosted Innovation Week 2016 - a first-of-it’s-kind multi-day showcase of innovation and technology throughout the Burlington area with 15+ events - bookended by HackVT and TechJam.
Increased the number of core BTV Ignite partners
Produced a video introducing the concept and opportunity of the BTV Ignite initiative and the potential future of the tech ecosystem, leveraging our fiber optic assets.
Began the development of code camps for adults and youth to be deployed (as space allows) in 2017.
Participated in an effort led by the LCRCC focusing on Quebec business and tech firm outreach.
Initiated a partnership with the Young Writer’s Project to conduct Digital Storytelling - illuminating 6 stories of innovation and energy in the Burlington area tech ecosystem through the eyes of young writers and storytellers (to be unveiled during Innovation Week on October 20th, 2016)
Worked with U.S. Ignite on a variety of initiatives including the Smart Gigabit Communities project, continuation of the GENI rack exploration, Mozilla Foundation relationship, and others.
Initiated a pilot project with local engineers and programmers to build an Internet of Things (IoT) testbed for education, research, and startups. The first radios to support the project were installed on 10-18-16.