The Vermont Tech Jam career and tech expo, returned to Burlington on Saturday, October 23. The weather was perfect, and so was the timing. Dozens of employers came to Hula with open jobs to fill.

Roughly 1,000 mask-wearing Jammers wandered through the former oven factory to talk tech including job seekers, college students, entrepreneurs, FIRST robotics coaches and teachers — including Karen McCalla, the recently announced Vermont Teacher of the Year. Exhibitor space sold out; so did the afternoon session.

The Tech Jam concluded with a keynote presentation featuring Beta Technologies founder and CEO Kyle Clark and Beta’s first customer, Martine Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics. They spoke to a standing-room-only crowd about their unique partnership, and where they see Beta going over the next few years. Look for a video of their conversation with Seven Days staff writer Chelsea Edgar on this site in the coming weeks.

Thank you to our hosts at Hula, to our community partners and to the exhibitors for making this one of the best Tech Jams ever. Looking forward to Jamming again in 2022!

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION

Flying High With Martine Rothblatt and Kyle Clark

Vermont startup Beta Technologies has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to fund its drive to pioneer electric aviation. On Saturday, October 23, 2021, Seven Days staff writer Chelsea Edgar interviewed Beta founder and CEO Kyle Clark and its first customer, Martine Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics, during a special keynote presentation at the end of the Vermont Tech Jam at Hula in Burlington.

Based at Burlington International Airport, Beta Technologies is trying to do something that’s never been done before: manufacture a fleet of battery-powered aircraft capable of transporting people and cargo, and design the battery-charging infrastructure to support it.

Hundreds of companies around the world are racing to build battery-powered planes; air travel is a significant source of the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change. Beta is one of the leaders of the pack. It has already received orders for planes from customers including UPS.

Vermont native Kyle Clark founded Beta in 2017. He’s a pilot, engineer and former hockey pro who had a vision for an electric aircraft that could take off and land like a helicopter, then fly like a fixed-wing plane. One of the company’s other competitive advantages? Martine Rothblatt, Beta’s first customer, who now serves as one of the company’s directors.

Rothblatt has been blazing trails for decades. A regulatory attorney, she cofounded Sirius Satellite Radio and helped develop the technology that made it possible. In 2013, she was the highest-paid female CEO in the U.S., earning $38 million. She’s also a pioneer in the field of digitizing human consciousness. The ambassador for her efforts in that realm, Vermont-based Terasem Movement Foundation, is a robot, Bina48, created using the downloaded memories of her wife, Bina.

In the 1990s, one of the couple’s daughters was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension, a fatal disease. In an effort to save her daughter’s life, Rothblatt researched possible treatments and started a biotech firm, United Therapeutics, to pursue them. Today the company sells five FDA-approved medicines that treat the disease; her daughter now works for the company.Still, the only cure for the disease is a lung transplant, and there’s a severe shortage of available organs. So United Therapeutics plans to manufacture them. To deliver the organs to recipients in time, the company needs a special kind of aircraft. That’s where Beta comes in.

Who’s Hiring?

Learn all about the companies who exhibited at the 2021 Tech Jam in the official program. Want more info about Vermont tech companies, check out the Seven Days Tech Issue.

Cover of Seven Days and Tech Jam
Program
Tech Issue

Couldn’t Jam This Year?

Seven Days staff talked with representatives from the following companies and streamed the conversations via the Seven Days Facebook page.

Watch three short videos to learn more about the talent these local companies are recruiting: 

Martine Rothblatt and Kyle Clark

I love Tech Jam!

I’ve attended as a job seeker and as an exhibitor on behalf of my employer, VEIC.

At my first Tech Jam, I was considering a career change into data analytics. The event gave me a chance to chat with recruiters and professionals in the field. Everyone I met was more than happy to offer advice and encouraged me to apply for jobs once I felt ready. I still remember having some great conversations with people from two companies that I hadn’t even been aware of previously: Greensea and MicroStrain (now Parker LORD). A couple years after my first visit to a Tech Jam — and after taking much of the free advice I got there — I found a position with VEIC that has been more satisfying than I could have expected.

In the years since, I’ve attended on behalf of VEIC. The Tech Jam is a great way to connect with people from all different fields — it’s surprising how often people in very different industries are facing analogous problems in data analytics. This event is a rare opportunity to meet people from a wide range of local companies all under the same roof. I look forward to it every year.

Mike Fink
VEIC energy data analyst

Jammers Unite!

Jammers Unite!

Job Seekers

Looking for work? Speak with recruiters from dozens of local tech companies looking to expand their teams. Update that résumé and start researching the companies you want to connect with. It’s time to get back in the ring.

Techies

After a year of remote work, step away from the computer and chat with humans IRL. It’s rare to find so many like-minded individuals under one roof, so come connect with them and learn what they’ve been up to. You could come away with an awesome new idea or some help for that next big project.

Teachers & Parents

Plumber, doctor, artist and chef are all great career choices, but what about inventor, scientist and engineer? Bring your students to Tech Jam to show them future career paths they may not have known existed — especially in Vermont.

College Students

Looking for a job? Internship? Get that résumé up to date because dozens of local companies working in tech will be at the Jam and are ready to meet you. So go iron that button-down shirt and practice — you’ve got this!

Hula
Beta Technologies
Vermont Information Processing
C2
Marvell
OnLogic
Mascoma Bank
Data Innovations
Global Foundries
Norwich University
Vermont Technology Council
Coldwell Banker Hickok & Boardman
BioTek, a part of Agilent
Seven Days
Vermont Technology Alliance
Vermont Business Magazine
WCAX
Spaceman

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