Innovation and economic development in Vermont supported by a new source of early-stage tech funding
Vermont Business Magazine The Fund in Hula, a venture capital firm that invests in early stage and early-stage technology startups, has partnered with the Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) to create a new fund, VCF in Hula. This collaboration brings together two entities that share a commitment to advancing the state’s economic and community development. Returns from VCF investments in Hula are reinvested into the specific charitable funds that participate, increasing their future grantmaking capacity to have a greater impact in the community.
The Vermont Community Foundation manages and invests donor-advised funds and other funds for more than 900 Vermonters and Vermont organizations, primarily for charitable purposes. The new VCF at Hula fund was created to provide Community Foundation fundholders with the opportunity to invest charitable assets in growth-stage Vermont businesses.
VCF in Hula will prioritize investing in local startups that have the greatest potential to generate investment returns, create Vermont jobs, advance economic activity, and effect positive change with innovative solutions for their respective industries. VCF in Hula aims to raise $3 million and is open for additional elective participation through December 15, 2023.
Dan Smith, CEO of the Vermont Community Foundation, said, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with the Fund at Hula. This strategy is a key part of our growing commitment to investing in mission in Vermont communities. We know that the long-term vitality of the state relies on the growth of innovative businesses that can foster economic resilience and the growth of good jobs, both critical to closing the opportunity gap. I am convinced that the ripple effect will be felt throughout the region.
Hula’s fund, launched by entrepreneur Russ Scully and CEO Robert Lair, is known for its seed, Series A and venture capital investments in technology companies. The Fund has backed over 20 Vermont-based startups over the past three years, such as BETA Technologies, Benchmark Space Systems, Coremap Medical and many more. The mission of the Vermont Community Foundation is to inspire giving and bring people and resources together to make a difference in Vermont. The Community Foundation and its partners put more than $60 million a year to work in communities across Vermont and beyond.
Hula is a technology-focused coworking space, business incubator, and venture capital firm focused on uplifting Vermont-based startups and entrepreneurs. The Fund at Hula supports innovative founders and disruptive technologies through mentorship, connectivity and access to capital. The fund primarily makes seed, Series A and early-stage venture capital investments in technology companies covering sectors such as green technology, medical technology, artificial intelligence, software as a service and battery technology. The Fund has supported more than 20 Vermont-based companies over the past three years. With increased venture capital activity in the Northeast, the Fund is now investing more broadly in northern New England.
The Community Foundation was established in 1986 as an enduring source of philanthropic support for Vermont communities. A family of more than 900 funds, foundations and support organizations, they make it easy for people who care in Vermont to find and fund the causes they love. The Community Foundation and its partners put more than $60 million a year to work in communities across Vermont and beyond. The core of the Community Foundation’s work is to close the opportunity gap, the gap that leaves too many Vermonters struggling to get ahead, no matter how hard they work.
BURLINGTON, Vermont (November 1, 2022) – The Community Foundation