Presentations from experts in cybersecurity, energy storage, data science and the Internet of Things make this year’s 11th Vermont Tech Jam truly more than just a job fair.

We’ve created three programming tracks for aspiring and veteran tech pros. On Friday and Saturday, get career tips, business tricks and a whole lot of tech from local and global experts, including reps from Facebook and Tesla. Attend all the sessions, just a few, or even jump the tracks — but don’t forget to register (when applicable).

Everyone is invited to attend the Tech Jam awards ceremony Friday at 4:30 p.m., and the free Tech Jam After Hours party that follows.


Business Track

For entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners

Friday, October 20: These sessions cover areas of interest to decision makers at small businesses. Speakers will discuss emerging opportunities — and threats — in cybersecurity, data science, energy storage, automation and the Internet of Things.

  • #WhatTheHack?! — register here
  • Using Data to Weather the Storm
  • Batteries Required: Tesla Comes to Vermont — register here
  • The Next Disruption: Industry 4.0

Location: Upstairs Room A


Career Track

For professionals who want to take it to the next level

Friday, October 20: This series starts off with Coffee + Confidence, a session designed specifically for women, who are traditionally underrepresented in high-paying STEM fields. The other two
panel discussions focus on education and job training, as well
as peer support through the network of local user groups.

  • Coffee + Confidence — register here
  • Career Shift: Local Options for Continuing Education
  • User Groups (aka Free and Fun Professional Development)

Location: Upstairs Room B


Only in Vermont!

For anyone interested in our state’s unique tech scene

Saturday, October 21: Panelists discuss ways in which local tech companies are leveraging some of Vermont’s unique assets.

  • What’s Next for Cannabiz and Tech in Vermont?
  • What Does It Mean To Be a Socially Responsible Tech Company?
  • How Does Outdoor Rec Intersect With Tech?
  • How Do We Grow FIRST Robotics in Vermont?

Location: Upstairs Room A

Friday Program Details

Exhibitor floor open

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Tech Jam exhibitors include recruiters from some of Vermont’s fastest-growing and most innovative companies, admissions staff from local colleges, representatives from training programs and governmental agencies.

Vintage Tech Showcase

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

commodore64-300ReSOURCE exhibits a collection of early home computers from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s including a TRS-80 and a Commodore PET, as well as operational models of the Apple IIe, Macintosh SE FDHD, IBM PC XT 5160 and Commodore 64.

Location: ReSOURCE booth, Expo floor

#WhatTheHack?!

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Business Track 10 a.m. – noon

Security breaches and privacy mishaps can have catastrophic consequences, especially for small businesses. In this two-hour session, organized by the Vermont Attorney General’s Office, experts share tips and resources for implementing privacy and security best practices to protect small businesses. Attorney General TJ Donovan moderates a discussion about meeting customers’ privacy expectations and securing customer information. Presenters include:

Location: Upstairs Room A

Space is limited.

Coffee and Confidence

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Career Track 10 – 11:30 a.m.

This workshop is open to women and nonbinary individuals of all ages. Participants will get tools and takeaways to help them pursue the tech field, interview for that next job, find a career that fits and negotiate salaries. Following a brief panel discussion, moderated by Lindsey Lathrop of Change the Story VT, attendees may choose to join two mini sessions. Panelists include:

Location: Upstairs Room B

Space is limited.

Career Shift: Local Options for Continuing Education

Career Track noon – 1 p.m.

Ready to change careers? Want to pick up additional certification? Representatives from Vermont colleges and training programs offer some local continuing ed options. Discussion moderated by Michelle Brown, of Seven Days Jobs. Institutions represented include:

Location: Upstairs Room B

Using Data to Weather the Storm

Business Track 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Harvey, Irma, Jose, Maria — the 2017 hurricane season has been a very busy time at Weather Analytics. This New Hampshire-based company collects and analyzes the best-available weather data to help clients prepare for storm-related challenges and opportunities. In this talk, organized by the Burlington Data Scientists group, Chief Technology Officer Tom Cecere explains how Weather Analytics handles hurricanes, gives an overview of the data science field — who uses data and who uses improved, analyzed, predictive data — and offers tips on how business owners and CEOs can find and hire data scientists to tackle industry-specific problems.

Note: Pizza will be provided for lunch at this session.

Location: Upstairs Room A

User Groups (aka Free and Fun Professional Development)

Career Track 1:15 – 2 p.m.

You don’t always have to go to school to pick up new tricks of the trade — local user groups offer lots of learning and networking opportunities. The price of admission is cheap, and sometimes free. Some groups have sponsors that pay for pizza. A panel of user group organizers explains why these professional development opportunities are so valuable. Discussion moderated by Jennifer Graham of C2. Panelists include:

Location: Upstairs Room B

Batteries Required: Tesla Comes to Vermont

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Business Track 2 – 3 p.m.

Two years ago, Green Mountain Power announced an unusual partnership with electric carmaker Tesla. Vermont’s largest utility became the first in the country to help its customers install Tesla’s new Powerwall home battery, which stores energy produced on site, rather than drawing from the grid. This helps reduce the load during peak times and makes Vermont’s energy grid stronger, cleaner and more cost-effective. In this session, Josh Castonguay and Betsy Bloomer of GMP share the latest developments in the utility’s Tesla Powerwall program. And Chip Palombini from South Burlington-based Dynapower explains how his company started manufacturing inverters for batteries produced by Tesla, Samsung and LG. He’ll discuss the field’s explosive growth over the past few years and its future prospects.

Location: Upstairs Room A

Space is limited.

The Next Disruption: Industry 4.0

Business Track 3:15-4:15 p.m.

As automation becomes more sophisticated, companies from fulfillment centers to advanced manufacturers will need to adjust to what is being called the Fourth Industrial Revolution: robotics working with computers, devices, and algorithms to achieve higher productivity. This new system — the Internet of Things — has major implications for the workforce. In this session, organized by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, experts on cybersecurity, manufacturing, workforce and IoT will discuss the impact of this new industrial paradigm, and what implications it holds for Vermont businesses. The discussion will be moderated by IBM Fellow, John Cohn. Panelists include:

Location: Upstairs Room A

Tech Jam Awards Presentation

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4:30 – 5 p.m.

The Vermont Technology Alliance, BTV Ignite and Seven Days present the winners of the Vermont Tech Jam awards.

Location: Upstairs Room A

Tech Jam After Hours

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5 – 7 p.m.

Come party IRL with fellow jammers, grab a bite to eat, enjoy a craft brew, try virtual reality experiences and listen to live music at the Tech Jam After Hours party. You’ve been busy innovating, creating and educating — so why not take a night off to sit back, relax and appreciate each other. This event is open to the public, and we encourage you to bring your entire team.

Location: Expo floor

Saturday Program Details

Exhibitor floor open

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Tech Jam exhibitors include recruiters from some of Vermont’s fastest-growing and most innovative companies, admissions staff from local colleges, representatives from training programs and governmental agencies.

Vintage Tech Showcase

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

commodore64-300ReSOURCE exhibits a collection of early home computers from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s including a TRS-80 and a Commodore PET, as well as operational models of the Apple IIe, Macintosh SE FDHD, IBM PC XT 5160 and Commodore 64.

Location: ReSOURCE booth, Expo floor

Feminist Hackerspace

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Women and nonbinary individuals are welcome at the first-ever Feminist Hackerspace at the Vermont Tech Jam. Stop by to ask questions and meet volunteers from free tech professional development groups that exist just to support you. Got a group you want to represent? Bring stickers, flyers, and hang for a bit to connect with other like-minded folks. Got an idea for something you want to build? Bring your laptop to hack on some projects. Want to sponsor, volunteer or support these groups? You can find out how to do that here, too.

Location: Adjacent to the Girl Develop It booth, Expo floor


Only in Vermont!

What’s Next for Cannabiz and Tech in Vermont?

Only in Vermont! 11-11:45 a.m.

As Vermont debates legalizing marijuana, activists, scientists and entrepreneurs are exploring the local opportunities that a regulated cannabis industry would create. In this conversation, moderated by Seven Days staff writer Ken Picard, panelists discuss what’s legal — and what’s possible. Panelists include:

Location: Upstairs Room A

What Does It Mean To Be a Socially Responsible Tech Company?

Only in Vermont! Noon-12:45 p.m.

Russ Elek from Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility moderates this discussion, which touches on a range of issues, from seeking diversity in hiring, to buying local; from employee benefits to UX design. Panelists include:

Location: Upstairs Room A

How Does Outdoor Rec Intersect With Tech in Vermont?

Only in Vermont! 1-1:45 p.m.

Outdoor recreation is a big driver of the Vermont economy. It’s no coincidence that internationally known outdoor sports brands are headquartered in the Green Mountain State. But these companies need more than access to wilderness to thrive — many of them rely on high-tech manufacturing processes and e-commerce systems to sell their products. For others, tech products are the deliverables themselves.

In this panel discussion, moderated by Commerce and Community Development Secretary Michael Schirling, panelists will discuss the technological aspect of their outdoor rec businesses, explain the benefits and challenges of doing business in Vermont and reveal how to get hired at one of these super-cool companies. Panelists include:

  • John Kitonis, Chief Technology Officer, Inntopia
  • Justin Worthley, Vice President of Human Resources, Burton Snowboards
  • Doug Cadmus, IT Director Ecommerce, Orvis

Location: Upstairs Room A

How Do We Grow FIRST Robotics in Vermont?

Only in Vermont! 2-2:45 p.m.

The international organization FIRST — For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology — operates several levels of youth robotics competitions. Over the past few years, participation among Vermont students has skyrocketed. There are now more than 60 FIRST robotics teams statewide. In this session, veteran team leaders explain how to start a team, how to access new grants, and how communities and businesses can support this unique and valuable learning experience.

Location: Upstairs Room A