Innovation and economic development in Vermont supported by new source of early-stage technology seed funding
The Vermont Business Journal The Fund at Hula, a venture capital firm that invests in startups and early-stage technology companies, has partnered with the Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) to launch a new fund, VCF at Hula. This partnership connects two entities that share a commitment to promoting economic and community development in the state. Investment returns from the VCF on Hula flow back to the specific participating charities, increasing their ability to make future grants to increase community impact.
The Vermont Community Foundation manages and invests gift-advised and other funds for more than 900 Vermonters and Vermont organizations, primarily for the purpose of charitable giving. The new VCF at Hula Fund was created to provide Community Foundation Trustees with an opportunity to invest charitable assets in growth-stage Vermont businesses.
Hula’s VCF will prioritize investments in local startups that have the greatest potential to generate venture returns, create Vermont jobs, grow business activity and make positive changes through innovative solutions for their respective industries. Hula’s VCF aims to raise $3M and is open for additional selective participation through December 15, 2023.
Dan Smith, CEO of the Vermont Community Foundation says, “We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with the Foundation on Hula. This strategy is central to our growing commitment to investing in projects in Vermont communities. We know that the state’s long-term vitality depends on growing innovative businesses that can contribute to economic resilience and the growth of good jobs, both of which are key to closing the opportunity gap. I am convinced that the ripple effect will be felt in the region.”
Hula’s fund, led by entrepreneur Russ Scully and CEO Robert Lair, is known for its Series A and early-stage venture investments in technology companies. The fund has supported over 20 Vermont startups over the past three years, such as BETA Technologies, Benchmark Space Systems, Coremap Medical and many others. The Vermont Community Foundation’s mission is to encourage giving and bring people and resources together to make a difference in Vermont. The Community Foundation and its partners contribute more than $60 million annually to work in Vermont communities and beyond.
Hula is a technology-driven co-working space, business incubator and venture capital firm focused on growing startups and entrepreneurs in Vermont. Hula’s fund supports innovative founders and disruptive technologies through mentorship, connections and access to capital. The fund primarily makes seed, Series A and early-stage venture investments in technology companies spanning sectors including green technology, medical technology, artificial intelligence, software as a service and battery technology. The fund has supported 20+ Vermont businesses over the past three years. With increased venture activity in the Northeast, the fund now invests more broadly throughout Northern New England.
The Community Foundation was established in 1986 as a permanent source of philanthropic support for Vermont communities. A family of more than 900 foundations, foundations and supporting organizations, they make it easy for the people who care about Vermont to find and fund causes they love. The Community Foundation and its partners contribute more than $60 million annually to work in Vermont communities and beyond. At the heart of the Community Foundation’s work is closing the opportunity gap—the gap that leaves too many Vermonters struggling to get ahead, no matter how hard they try.
BURLINGTON, Vt. (November 1, 2022) – The Community Fund