Burlington hosts new technology hub for small businesses - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington hosts new technology hub for small businesses

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The Vermont Center for Emerging Technology announced Monday the creation of a new facility to aid startup businesses on a floor of the Fairpoint Building on Main Street in Burlington.

Fairpoint Technologies is funding the project donating the 11,000 square foot space. It's a space that Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said will aid business in their infancy.

"It's a critical part of our ecosystem that helps Vermonters create new ventures in this state and Vermonters know that's what’s going to keep our economy going," said Leahy.

The new facility will serve as a home for the cultivation of new business ideas. It will also satisfy the technology needs of startup companies. The center will provide guidance through mentorship and networking to these young companies.

Gov. Peter Shumlin hopes that such a program for small businesses will help them bring new jobs to Vermont.

"Vermont has the second lowest unemployment rate in America and the reason we have the second lowest unemployment rate in America is because of efforts like this," said Shumlin.

Shumlin said that he hopes mentorships and collaborations with other businesses will create an environment where startup companies can grow rapidly.

New companies must apply and gain acceptance into the program. The Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies is already accepting applications from small businesses.

Congressman Peter Welch, D-Vermont, called the creation of the new technology hub just one part of a larger effort to bring more jobs to the Green Mountain State.

"And what you had here is this long term goal of step by step progress," said Welch.

Shumlin said the creation of this new technology hub is just one part of the process to making Burlington a hub for strong business growth. When the hub is finished it will house up to 100 business startups at a time.

The center will comprise part of one floor of the building and will open later this year. At that point, the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies will work with between 200 and 300 companies per year.

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