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Vermont Community Foundation and LaunchVT Partner to Boost Local Economies

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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 or call Sarah Waring, Vice President of Grants and Community Investments, at 802-388-3355 x283.