Vermont Climate Economy Initiative
The Vermont Climate Economy Initiative aims to confront climate change through innovative economic development that will build national reputation, create jobs, and attract youth and entrepreneurism to Vermont.
The Vermont Climate Economy Initiative is being coordinated by the Vermont Council on Rural Development with collaborative support from the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, Efficiency Vermont, Green Mountain Power, and several organizations throughout Vermont committed to rural development. Climate economy enterprises include those working on distributed/renewable energy, green building, sensor technologies, data management, and resource recycling. The resiliency of some working lands businesses, as well as some segments of manufacturing, transportation planning, and community development are also components of the climate economy.
The Vermont Climate Economy Initiative is comprised of several programs and efforts managed by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund and the Vermont Council on Rural Development:
The Vermont Climate Economy Business Network
The Vermont Climate Economy Business Network is building a sense of community, creating opportunities to explore business-to-business collaboration, and providing targeted expertise to develop and grow Vermont businesses whose products and services aim to prepare for, mitigate against, or adapt to the impacts of climate change.
As a convener, host, matchmaker, facilitator, and strategic planner, VSJF brings entrepreneurs together to share ideas, get guidance from technical and financial experts, interact with market leaders and potential customers, explore joint efforts, and generally shape a common agenda for a growing economy that addresses the realities of climate change here in Vermont. Regular meet-ups and other networking and professional development events are designed to build relationships, trust and collaboration among Vermont climate economy sector businesses, and offer ongoing support in an effort to increase the likelihood of success. Our network development approach supports the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s efforts to build on Vermont’s national reputation to attract and retain entrepreneurs committed to addressing climate change while creating the next generation of jobs for Vermonters.
Accel-VT is a business accelerator which provides startup support, business planning, mentorship, and access to capital for climate economy businesses who are interested in establishing a business in Vermont. Accel-VT sparks accelerated business growth in order to support the expanding cluster of entrepreneurs committed to climate economy innovation in Vermont. Startup or seed stage ventures from Vermont and around the U.S. are invited to apply for the climate economy business accelerator.
Participants are guided through the world-class VIRAL™ accelerator curriculum, developed by Village Capital, designed to test assumptions, expose and remediate business vulnerabilities, prepare for significant investment, and provide a platform for rapid scale. Industry expertise, a network of established climate economy enterprises, and access to growth capital are available to all Accel-VT participants.