Canadian tech companies court the Queen City

Published: Mar. 13, 2019 at 4:01 PM EDT
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A group of Canadian tech companies looking to expand are touring New England and their first stop Wednesday was in Burlington.

"We not only want to work with you, we want to create and build things together," said Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, who joined local business leaders to help sell Canadian tech executives on expanding in the Green Mountain State.

"I think that Burlington -- and increasingly all of Vermont -- really reflects an innovation ecosystem," said Dennis Moynihan with BTV Ignite.

The trip was put together by Canadian firm Accelerator Creation Enterprise Technologies (ACET). They brought tech entrepreneurs including Sem Drissi and his company Artizyou.

"It's the first platform in North America to protect any copyright using blockchain technology," Drissi explained.

"In a year or two from now, these companies will be ready to expand to the U.S.," said ACET's Pierre Harvey.

After Burlington the group has stops in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts, showcasing options to the businesses that are looking to expand.

Harvey says he thinks that some of these tech companies will come to Vermont because it could be appealing for them to be a big fish in a small pond. "It's always easy to try to go to New York, Chicago, but you can find a lot more good contacts in the smaller states," he said.

But a big question is whether Vermont has enough people to fill these tech jobs? Harvey says yes. "The fields that they are in -- bio-sciences -- link with the University of Vermont. Some companies could choose Vermont.

None of the businesses have committed to moving to Vermont yet, but the hope is that a day of making connections and hearing what the state has to offer could change that.

"We are really glad to be here because the target is to create connections with our friends in Vermont. We believe in the U.S. markets starting in Vermont.