Author remembers Christmas on the family farm

ST. ALBANS — Ask St. Albans author Ilamae Lund about plans for her birthday next year, or any designs she might have for a fourth book, and she laughs. Hard. “It’s a day at a time for this old kid,” Lund said on Dec. 9, during a book signing at The Eloquent Page, in St. Albans.

Engine Room Coworking opens in WRJ

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Engine Room Coworking, a co-working space in downtown White River Junction, launched last month. It is all about the freelancer, the startup, the independent creative type, the developer — you name the profession, they’re working together under one roof. Engine Room Coworking is a partnership between Tip Top Pottery owner Amy Robb and local redeveloper Mike Davidson. The 6,000-square-foot co-working space is located at the end of the Freight House, formerly known as the Tupelo Music Hall. The space has been restored — the rustic and industrial mix is the perfect backdrop to foster communal networking, like-minded professionalism and community.

Ontario brewery puts art in your hands

Collective Arts Brewing is bringing a unique experience to beer drinkers in Vermont. The brewery features original works from emerging visual artists and musicians on its bottles, cans and coasters. Ordering a brew, like their Stranger Than Fiction Porter, State of Mind Session IPA or Saint of Circumstance Citrus Blonde Ale, puts art right into your hand. Drinkers can scan the artwork on their can or coaster with a free mobile phone app called Blippar to hear music, see videos and view artist bios. Matt Johnston, of Ontario, Canada, where the brewery is located, and Bob Russell, of Stowe, founded the dual-country Collective Arts Brewing on a belief in creativity, expressed both through craft beer and art.

Center for Women & Enterprise opens new resource center

BURLINGTON — The Center for Women & Enterprise, a regional nonprofit economic development organization, has opened its office in the Maltex Building in Burlington’s South End. Gwen Pokalo, program manager of Vermont CWE, said the office will house the Vermont Women’s Business Center, which is federally funded through a Small Business Administration (SBA) grant. The grant funds a center to provide technical assistance to businesses throughout every stage of development. Vermont is the newest office for CWE, which also operates centers in Boston, Central Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. CWE was founded in 1995 in Boston.

Conquer fear, unlock your best ideas

Your mind is a concrete block. Behind it, you’re pretty sure there are ideas — great ones, perhaps — but freeing them, well, good luck. You’re stuck, your brain is stuck, your career is stuck, and you wish you could get out of your own way so you can move ahead. So read “Let Me Out” by Peter Himmelman, and break through the wall.

Crowdfunding campaign begins

CHARLOTTE — Milk Money L3C, an equity crowdfunding portal for Vermonters, recently announced its fourth Invest Local campaign, from Green Mountain Organic Creamery, or GMOC, the home of Kimball Brook Farm organic milk. Vermonters will have the opportunity to learn more about, and invest in, the GMOC campaign via the Milk Money platform. Milk Money offers the opportunity for true “impact investing,” since a dollar invested in a local business generates potential financial return as well as tangible social return on investment. For more details or to participate, visit

VELCO turns 60, holds fundraiser

RUTLAND – Vermont Electric Power Company marks its 60th anniversary on Thursday, October 27, with a fundraiser for the Greater Rutland Makerspace. The event, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Vermont Farmers Food Center, will feature music, food and demonstrations by small-scale manufacturers along with a short presentation on VELCO’s past, present and future. Admission is $20 per person. Proceeds will go to an effort, backed by Rutland Economic Development Corp., to open a maker space on Quality Lane.

SBA visit focused on women-owned businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration wants to promote the startup and growth of women-owned businesses across the country. That’s important to women entrepreneurs, but also their communities and the broader economy, according to Erin Andrew, director of SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership. She added that SBA efforts are having tangible results in Vermont. Andrew visited Vermont in late September to talk with women business owners about what SBA is doing to help female entrepreneurs throughout the state obtain capital. She also met with Gwen Pokalo, the new director of the Vermont Women’s Business Center, which is scheduled to open a new office this month on Pine Street in Burlington.

New series highlights state’s tech industry

BURLINGTON — Vermont’s booming technology sector will get a boost this month from a new weeklong series of events. Burlington’s inaugural Innovation Week, from Oct. 14 to 22, will feature programs highlighting the vibrant energy of the creative technology sector in the Queen City and throughout the state. Innovation Week will be bookended by Hack VT, a 24-hour hackathon during which competitors build apps to assist with state progress, and Vermont Tech Jam, a two-day job fair and tech expo that showcases Vermont employers and products, along with student projects. The Innovation Week schedule between Hack VT and Vermont Tech Jam features several spotlight presentations in numerous areas, from food, beverage and agriculture to energy efficiency, health care and software technology.

SPARK-VT boosts research teams

BURLINGTON — The work of four University of Vermont research teams is moving closer to the marketplace, thanks to a Shark Tank-like competition called SPARK-VT. SPARK-VT helps bridge the divide between research and the marketplace by bringing promising researchers together with business innovators and biotech leaders. Each winning team will receive up to $50,000 in seed funding from the university’s Office of the Vice President for Research. Winning projects range from a tablet-based tool to screen for suicide risk and a robotic device to improve patient handling, to a micro-propulsion system for satellites and a medical device that simplifies a common orthopedic surgery procedure. SPARK-VT was launched in 2013 by the UVM College of Medicine’s Department of Medicine and expanded to the full university in 2014.