The push and pull of creating solutions for global markets while still staying rooted to a state like Vermont with emerging financial and technological resources is not a new story. It is the (not so) secret side of doing business in a small community, great support and exposure, which often leads you scrambling for the local resources to support your growth.
One of the main features of Seven Days’ technology issue highlighted Draker Laboratories, a privately held Burlington Vermont Company. I was one of the early (and small) investors in the company. This is the (not so) secret side of my career. In and amongst the software on winwinapps’ balance sheet is a (not so) small handful of companies that I have helped fund in a minor and occasionally (not so) minor way.
Draker’s work building monitoring for alternative energy systems is admirable, as is their stated goal to stay Vermont based. It will be interesting to see where they are in a few years. IBM, and Dealer.com notwithstanding, most tech companies seem to need to reach an escape velocity at a certain level of success.
You don’t need to have a tech company to play both sides of this global—local tug of war.
Tonight Steve and I start our second round of the Parenting on Track course. I have watched Vicki’s commitment to her family and Vermont play into the steady but (not so) exponential growth of her company. She has reached so many families and changed so many lives. Yet not at the numbers that she SHOULD have reached.
It shocks me that I can still get myself into a room with her. This woman has “it.” Not only does she have real information, but her presentation style is celebrity worthy. Love her or hate her (and I can tell you it is mostly love) everyone responds to her. The first time I met her for coffee to pitch my marble jar app my husband asked me twice. “Really?” “Vicki is meeting with you really?” Her core audience is more than a third of the worldwide population, her message is vital, her program works, and she is still mixing live classes into her offerings. She should be global by now, not local. Fingers crossed Steve and I will be taking our 3rd class through a webcast only, because Parenting on Track will be the common toolset of families everywhere.
The Vermont brand is strong. Is the Vermont hold just as strong? Can we go global and stay local? Is this the (not so) secret side of business in Vermont?