Vermont: A Small State with A Big Brand
Vermont: the “Small State with the Big Brand.” Indeed, the Vermont brand fares well in the marketplace; the state is perceived as attractive, simple, authentic, and pristine (1). Additionally, many residents of the 14th state take pride in shopping locally and in supporting Vermont start-ups, which in turn contributes to elevating Vermont brands from grass-roots to the national stage.
In this session, join four Vermont entrepreneurs as they share how their companies were founded, how their brands developed locally, and how they are now generating national sales and recognition.
Meet the presenters and their made-in-Vermont brands:
Sam von Trapp, Vice President at Trapp Family Lodge, is grandson to the legendary Maria von Trapp, made famous by The Sound of Music. He was born and raised in Stowe, Vermont, where he still resides with his growing family. The idea to open the von Trapp Brewing Bierhall Restaurant was born from the desire to create a gathering place for friends to enjoy “a little of Austria, a lot of Vermont,” or in other words, to make lager in the Austrian tradition of his family’s homeland. Today, the brewery is a huge success, and a perfect addition to the family business.
Untapped co-founder Roger Brown, counts alpine ski racing as his athletic background, but more recently, it is Untapped, a company he co-created with friends and cousins that is making him most famous in Vermont. Untapped was founded in the Spring of 2014 from a simple idea: to use pure maple syrup to fuel your bike ride. Today, Untapped is gaining national acclaim; the 100-percent pure Vermont maple syrup athletic super-fuel is quickly becoming most-favored by athletes compared to other chemically engineered gels, as well as becoming ubiquitous around Vermont as a natural snack product.
In 2008, Corinne Prevot created the first Skida hats as a cross-country ski racer at Burke Mountain Academy for teammates and friends. The product was incredibly well-received, and the demand snowballed beyond the ski racing community and saw the company continue to grow across North America. Today, with a Middlebury College degree in hand, Corinne’s Vermont-based head wear and accessories company offers both a made-in-Vermont, ski-inspired collection, as well as a line of luxurious cashmere knitwear from Nepal. Recently, Skida launched Skida Plus One, a donation program that provides hats to patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Hosting the Audi 2016 Women’s World Cup at Killington was significant to Vermont, and most specifically to the residents of Killington, in more ways than one could have imagined. The community felt the “vibe,” business levels hit an all-time high, and residents took great pride in the swell that occurred around the first WC to be presented in Eastern North America in over 25 years. Thirty thousand people flocked to Killington from all over the Northeast and Quebec to witness the action. Recently, Killington was selected to host the WC again in 2017 and 2018. Rob Megnin, Killington’s Director of Marketing, Sales, and Reservations, will share his story, discuss the highlights, and weigh in on the anticipated future impacts the event is expected to have on the Vermont resort and its partners.
David Bradbury will facilitate this made-in-Vermont session. David is President of Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET), an independent, nonprofit technology business organization offering business mentoring, venture capital, three co-working facilities, and substantive networking to the region’s entrepreneurs, investors, and next-generation employers. David earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and an M.B.A from Babson College, the world’s top ranked entrepreneurship program. When not grabbing coffee with entrepreneurs or reading technology journals, David is snowboarding and mountain biking with his wife Emily and two sons in Stowe, Vermont.
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