Entrepreneurship Track

Session One: Growing Stage 2 Businesses

September 19 | 10:00 am to Noon

Second-stage companies have moved beyond the startup phase and have the intent and capability to grow. With generally 10 to 99 employees and between $1 million and $50 million in annual revenue, these companies are significant job-creators, bring in outside dollars, offer high-quality jobs and contribute to their community. Learn more about second-stage companies from the nation’s leading Stage 2 advocate, the Edward Lowe Foundation, including how to work with them and how to develop the kind of supportive culture they need to flourish.

Speakers: Rich Grogan, Executive Director, Community Capital of Vermont; Paul Bateson, General Manager of External Relations, The Edward Lowe Foundation

Panelists: Adam Hamilton, Co-Founder, Nuttin Ordinary; Amy LaBelle, Founder and Winemaker, LaBelle Winery; Dan Dube, Founder & CEO, Compass Innovative Behavior Strategies; Michael Knapp, CEO, Green River; Nancy Cain, Founder & Co-Owner, Against the Grain Gourmet; Nicole Carrier, Co-Founder & President, Throwback Brewery

Session Two: PitchFork – A Pitch Challenge with a Rural Fit

September 19 | 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

The PitchFork Challenge provides money and momentum for local rural entrepreneurs to apply to be part of a business pitch competition. Over the summer local entrepreneurs are coached to create a compelling pitch and pitch deck describing their business opportunity in pursuit  of a cash award. There are two different tracks and awards; one for a rural startup business (less than three years old) and one to encourage the most important phase, the idea phase, by having soon to be entrepreneurs pitch their business idea with a cash award of $10,000 and $1,000 respectively. Join the excitement as these local rural entrepreneurs pitch their business and receive the “operating manual” on how to run this event in your own community. Winners will be announced at the CONNECT event in the evening.

Judges: Judy Rogers, Founder & Owner, Prime Roast Coffee Co.; Maureen Curtiss, Senior Business Unit Manager, Janos Technology; R.T. Brown, Director of Business Acceleration & Community Capital Development, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation; Roy Wallen, CEO, TendoNova Corporation

Session Three: Crazy Good – The Experienced Economy

September 20 | 9:00 am to 11:00 am

Think your aging population is a problem?  Think again!  This session shows the 50+ cohort as an asset to be embraced. Participate in a vibrant working session that will use exercises from the Experience Incubator® to ignite a dynamic dialog and create a Living Lab at the session. The Experience Incubator® is the first and foremost global program unleashing the potential of 50+ year olds in the workplace to activate entrepreneurial activity by catalyzing experience across generations. Its unique platform increases employee engagement and retention and accelerates innovation, knowledge transfer, productivity and new business startups. Activating intergenerational experience is today’s competitive advantage. We call this “Experieneurship,” and it’s too valuable to ignore and it’s crazy good!

Speaker: Elizabeth Isele, Founder & CEO, Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship

Session Four: Bridgeable Gaps: The Fuel for Rural Change

Colonial Theatre | September 20 | 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Keynote Speaker: Art Markman, Executive Director of IC2 at the University of Texas at Austin

Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Key Partners