VERMONT INNOVATOR NEWS • WEEK OF MAY 20, 2019

Groundbreaking Electric Bike Rebates
from Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power has developed a special rebate program aimed at improving bike mobility for its customers. At participating Vermont bike shops, customers can get a $200 rebate off an electric bike, electric cargo bike or an installed electric-assist conversion kit. In addition, GMP has teamed up with VBike, the state’s e-bike advocacy organization based in Brattleboro, to help its customers with VBike’s free bike consultation program, which is funded by VTrans through Go Vermont, Vermont’s alternative transportation agency. VBike’s consultation program provides free advice on bike design and technology for the specific needs of Vermont residents. It is the only program of its kind in the United States.

Electric assist technology enables a bike rider to go further, climb our hills with ease, feel safer and more comfortable on a bike and with electric cargo bikes, be able to carry the children and groceries. For many this is the “game changer” of bike transportation. Being that Brattleboro is already a hotbed for electric assist bikes, this rebate program will certainly make it easier for local residents to purchase an e-bike and potentially produce a significant increase in the number of local riders.

And the electric bike is the perfect replacement for a gas power car since it has been estimated that an electric bike is at least 40 times more energy efficient than the average gas power car and nearly 10 times more efficient than an electric car. As far as carbon pollution nothing really compares to the ultra-light carbon footprint of the hybrid of human-power and electric-assist with an e-bike. At a time when we are waking up to a planet in crisis, these are important numbers to consider. Also, bicycles, in general, offer a far more socially and community friendly profile than any type of automobile and they promote health and the benefits of time outdoors for the rider. The GMP rebates will help accelerate the adoption of e-bikes and e-cargo bikes regionally, which is also fast becoming a worldwide phenomenon.

Brattleboro’s bike shops stand to benefit greatly from the GMP rebate program as they have already taken a leadership role in bringing the e-bike revolution to our region. Brattleboro Bikes have brought in an extensive line of electric bikes and recently starting selling the exquisite Gazelle line of electric bikes from Holland. They also will convert almost any bike into an e-bike by installing a e-assist conversion kit. Burrow’s Specialized Sports has focused on cargo bikes and converting these highly utilitarian bike with highly sophisticated e-assist conversion kits. They also offer a lower end conversion kit for regular bikes.

Over the past four years VBike has been providing support to Vermonter’s through its free consultations and also helping bike shop with various aspects of the emergence of e-bike technology and design. The non-profit organization also helped to initiate Vermont’s first e-bike rebate program with the Burlington Electric Department in 2018 and back in 2015 helped establish Vermont’s first low-interest loan program for electric bikes through the Vermont State Employees Credit Union (VSECU). VBike also assisted GMP with this new rebate program to understand the different aspects of the electric bike market and how that intersects with Vermont’s bike shops. Contact: Dave Cohen, VBike Director 802-258-7013 or dave@vbikesolutions.org

VERMONT INNOVATOR NEWS • WEEK OF MAY 13, 2019

Community College of Vermont Announces
Seven New Certificate Programs
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Community College of Vermont (CCV) will offer seven new certificate programs beginning in the fall 2019 semester. The new certificate offerings are administrative medical assisting, clinical medical assisting, digital media production, funeral director, graphic design, media communications, and studio art. These join the College’s seven existing certificate programs to provide a comprehensive offering of high-value credentials that prepare students for the workplace or further education. Most certificates can be completed in just one year.

CCV academic dean Deborah Stewart says the new certificates were developed with Vermont’s workforce needs in mind. “CCV’s new certificates are the result of the College’s increased efforts to build flexible and innovative programs that meet the immediate needs of Vermont workers, while also providing them with stackable credentials.”

Certificates at CCV are designed so that students can easily build credits toward an associate degree in a related field. The College offers twelve associate of arts and associate of science degrees. Among them, professional studies, health science, and behavioral science are new or redesigned for fall 2019.

CCV’s fall semester begins September 3rd.
CCV is Vermont’s second largest college, serving over 6,000 students each semester. With 12 locations and extensive online learning options, our students don’t have to travel far from their communities to access our degree and certificate programs, workforce, secondary and continuing education opportunities, and academic and veterans support services.

VERMONT INNOVATOR NEWS • WEEK OF MAY 06, 2019

Vermont Community Foundation and LaunchVT
Partner to Boost Local economies
The Vermont Community Foundation’s newest partnership is with LaunchVT, a recognized leader for its multi-dimensional support of many of the state’s promising start-up businesses. LaunchVT will receive a three-year $120,000 grant to expand its services to entrepreneurs across Vermont.

For seven years, LaunchVT has been helping Vermonters bring their ideas and products to the marketplace through mentorship, formal training, financial resources, direct services and peer-to-peer assistance. Founded in 2012 by the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, LaunchVT’s accelerator program has supported 43 businesses which have created 200 jobs across ten counties. In short, LaunchVT has become an important staging point for someone trying to get an innovative business off the ground.

This partnership is a central piece of the Vermont Community Foundation’s commitment to closing the opportunity gap by fostering economic development and vitality across communities. “Entrepreneurship doesn’t stop at the border of one town,” says Community Foundation Vice President for Grants and Community Investments Sarah Waring. “LaunchVT will be a valuable partner that will encourage innovators to share essential business know how and resources.”

As a result of this grant, LaunchVT’s programs and resources will reach new regions of the state—increasing the opportunities for start-ups to succeed and for growth companies to find the resources to stay local and contribute to the economy. As a key element, LaunchVT is creating a network for Vermont’s entrepreneurs to share trouble-shooting tactics and connect each other with opportunities. LaunchVT will also work with new partners like maker spaces and co-working locations to provide business support programs in their communities.

“We are constantly refining our approach to meet the needs of Vermont’s growing entrepreneurial community,” said LaunchVT Executive Director John Antonucci. “Our strategy of investing human and financial resources in these innovators has contributed to the success of many promising Vermont startups that are creating jobs and making financial investments back into their communities. This partnership will enable us to expand our reach and provide support to an even broader group of entrepreneurs.”

The Community Foundation’s Cornerstone Partnerships are designed to help launch growth-phase statewide organizations whose work is critical to closing the opportunity gap to their next stage of development. The invitation-only partnerships include multi-year grant funding and an opportunity to inform the Foundation’s local grantmaking and community investment strategies.
To learn more about all of the Vermont Community Foundation’s initiatives, visit vermontcf.org or call Sarah Waring, Vice President of Grants and Community Investments, at 802-388-3355 x283.