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October 17, 2014

Workshop on Protecting Intellectual Property, Nov. 13 in Springfield

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 7:44 am

Do you have an idea or innovation you’re preparing for the marketplace? Learn how to protect it during a free workshop on Thursday, Nov. 13 at the Howard Dean Education Center in Springfield. The session is from 10 a.m. to noon and will focus on “How to Protect Your Intellectual Property.”

This is the second of two workshops being held in Springfield to help innovators who are creating new technologies and need the know-how to bring their ideas to market. It’s being co-sponsored by the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) and the Springfield Regional Development Corporation.

Scott Holson, VtSBDC’s technology commercialization advisor, will talk about the various forms of intellectual property protection, how to determine if your innovation should be patented, and the steps involved in the process.

“I encourage anyone to come to the intellectual property workshop who is interested in gaining an understanding of trademarks, copyright, trade secrets and patents,” he says.

Following the workshops, Scott is available to provide free one-on-one advising on starting a business or selling an innovation, and creating a plan to make it happen.

The VtSBDC workshops are available thanks to a $95,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration that’s helping Vermont businesses compete on a national level for research and development opportunities.

To register for the workshop or to learn more about the Technology Commercialization Program, visit vtsbdc.org/commercialize or contact Scott Holson at sholson2@vtsbdc.org.

October 7, 2014

Free Workshop for Local Entrepreneurs, Oct. 14 in Springfield

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 9:24 am

On Tuesday, Oct. 14th, the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) and Springfield Regional Development Corporation (SRDC) are hosting a free workshop for regional businesses and entrepreneurs. The session, which will focus on How to Commercialize Your Idea, is being held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Howard Dean Education Center in Springfield.

This is one of two workshops that will be held in Springfield to help innovators who are developing new technologies and would like to learn how to bring their ideas to the marketplace. Scott Holson, VtSBDCs technology commercialization advisor, will talk about the process of bringing an idea to fruition and locating funding through a variety of grant programs.

“I encourage anyone to come to the commercialization workshop who is interested in better understanding the steps to take to reduce or completely eliminate the valley of death often spoken about when starting a new company”, he says.

Following the workshops, Scott is available to provide free one-on-one advising in making grant submissions, applying for research and development funding, and succinctly presenting your business case.

The VtSBDC workshops are available thanks to a $95,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration thats helping Vermont businesses compete on a national level for research and development opportunities.

To register for the workshop or to learn more about the Technology Commercialization Program, visit vtsbdc.org/commercialize <http://vtsbdc.org/commercialize> or contact Scott Holson at sholson2@vtsbdc.org <mailto:sholson2@vtsbdc.org>.

October 1, 2014

Supplying the Fuel For the Engines of the Regional Economy – Our Workforce Challenges

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 10:10 am

(This column by SRDC’s Bob Flint appears in the Fall SRDC Newsletter - http://conta.cc/1vuxip2)

Those of you that know me pretty well know that I’m generally an optimistic person.  I try to maintain a sunny outlook and try to look at the glass as “half-full”.

But even I have my days when that’s not the case.  I was in one of those funks recently, which probably had to do with spending too much time wallowing in the muck that is the world of “brownfields”.

However, spending some time on business visits last week perked me back up and reminded me of what’s really important with our regional economy – helping our existing companies continue to thrive and prosper.

It was refreshing to see how many businesses are doing well at the moment!  Orders are coming in and workflow appears to be very steady.  You can feel the energy in several of the places I stopped at recently.

But I did consistently hear about one major concern that threatens this positive trend – the challenge in finding qualified employees.  We have heard for some time about the occasional difficulty in attracting middle-upper management talent to our region, but there’s a new urgency to those conversations.  What’s even more startling is the need for entry-level workers.

There are a number of resources locally and in the state to help provide training opportunities for the existing workforce, as well as for those looking to find a job.   The Vermont Training Program has recently undergone a makeover and is now positioned to help more employers than ever!  Please contact us to learn more about your company could benefit from a VTP grant.

The real problems, however, are nuanced and complicated.  There are socio-economic challenges that are beyond anything this region has seen before.  SRDC is working with area partners, from the WIB to the RPC and AHS, and many others, to have the necessary conversations and start to build consensus on what tools are needed to address these issues.

The heartening thing is that there are a number of quality employers that serve as the hub of a still-thriving area economy.  We thank all of you for continuing to do business in Vermont and in Southern Windsor County.  And, we appreciate your continued support as we work to develop an even stronger workforce that can be the fuel for the engine of economic development in our area.