Code for UV Announces Impact Sprint Designation and Partnership with ValleyNet, Inc.

Code for Upper Valley,,

Code for UV Announces Impact Sprint Designation and Partnership with ValleyNet, Inc.

Bradford, Vermont: Code for Upper Valley (UV) is pleased to announce the inclusion of its RuralNet application as one of 12 projects in the Impact Sprint program of its parent organization, Code for America. The Impact Sprint program seeks to empower volunteer software engineers by providing project management support and encouraging partnership with local organizations. Code for UV is partnering with ValleyNet as part of its mission to provide fiber internet to the home of every resident of the towns it manages on behalf of the East Central Vermont Telecommunications District (“ECFiber”) and Lyme Fiber.

RuralNet was born out of a Community Pitch Night in November 2019 hosted by The Space On Main, Code for UV’s fiscal sponsor. The project was pitched by Edward Childs and Claude Phipps, then board members of the REDI project to provide fiber broadband to residents of Newbury, VT. Newbury joined the ECFiber Communication Union District in May of 2020. RuralNet is a web application that enables crowd-sourced internet speed reports to be displayed in a map format. These are speeds that subscribers actually experience at their service location, which often differ from the speeds announced or advertised by their internet service provider.

Tom Cecere, the CEO of ValleyNet, plans to provide the RuralNet app as a tool for his installers and customers to document and verify delivered broadband speeds. Jennifer Lynn, the project manager for RuralNet, is also exploring ways to partner with Code for America’s National Action Team for broadband access and their efforts to promote the Affordable Connectivity Program. The Code for UV brigade is led by co-captains Craig Mackenzie and Arlene Guest and in addition to Jennifer Lynn, includes a team of talented local developers, including Colby Hemond and Eshin Jolly.

About Code for UV ( Code for UV is a Code for America Brigade, or local chapter, focused on improving the lives of residents of the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire. Code for UV is sponsored by The Space On Main and made up of individuals who are interested in changing the Upper Valley for the better. We work with local government and nonprofits to fix local services, utilize open data to improve citizen knowledge, and work for the betterment of all. There are plenty of opportunities to use your skills. Even if you are not a tech type, we can still have opportunities for you to contribute. Become part of a movement to improve our community!

About Code for America ( Code for America is a non-partisan, non-political nonprofit organization founded in 2009 to address the widening gap between the public and private sectors in their effective use of technology and design. The organization works to improve government services for all, starting with those who need them most. The organization began by enlisting technology and design professionals to work with city governments in the United States in order to build open-source applications and promote openness, participation, and efficiency in government, and now works with state, county, and federal government to spread the principles and practices of “delivery-driven government.” It has grown into a cross-sector network of public sector change agents and a platform for “civic hacking”. The Code for America Brigade Network includes 80+ brigades across the country committed to volunteering in their local communities.

Five Fest

The Space On Main & Chapman’s General Partner on VT State Tourism & Marketing Project


Five Fest Music & Markets in Bradford & Fairlee

The Space On Main & Chapman’s General Partner on VT State Tourism & Marketing Project

Bradford & Fairlee, Vermont: The Space On Main and Chapman’s General announced Five Fest Music & Markets, a new event series coming to Bradford and Fairlee, Vermont this summer. Five Fest is a series that will occur 5:00-9:00pm on the nights of June 25, July 16, and July 23, 2022, timed around the dates of camper drop-off and visiting days for the summer camps of Thetford, Fairlee, West Fairlee, and Newbury, Vermont as well as Piermont and Orford, New Hampshire. The events are backed by a grant from Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development’s Department of Tourism & Marketing and supported by Catamount Arts and Crosscut Creatives.

The effort has included expanding the popular Discovery Map to include businesses in Bradford and Fairlee as well as marketing to people traveling to the region from outside of Vermont. The purpose of the project is to draw people to the region for evenings of fun and entertainment in order to get people to spend more time visiting the amazing businesses that the region has to offer.

Musicians coordinated by Catamount Arts for the festival include: Kotoko Brass, If You Must Know, Chat Hollister Trio, Jesse Taylor, Ward Hayden & The Outliers, and Zach Nugent.

Music and small business popup markets will be featured 5:00-7:00pm in Bradford and 7:00-9:00pm in Fairlee, Vermont on the dates of June 25, July 16, and July 23, 2022. For more information on Five Fest, visit 

About The Space On Main: The Space On Main is a nonprofit community-based coworking, maker, conference, event, and gallery space in the heart of the VT/NH Cohase Region fostering entrepreneurship, collaboration, creativity, and innovation. Find out more at

About Chapman’s General: Local craft beers, wines, produce, coffee, toys, jewelry, woodwork, friends, and community. Serving the Upper Valley for the last 100 years. Chapman’s General is a modern take on a Vermont country store with a curated selection of local art, art supplies, New England food products, and ethically sourced jewelry. Find out more at

2020 Annual Report

By the end of March 2020, The Space On Main (The Space) was expected to reach 10,000 visitors within the first 18 months of being open. By February, The Space had been visited by an average of 536 people per month and over 8,840 people total. Due to Covid-19, The Space was forced to close its doors March through June. It reopened to individual use in June. With 100% loss of income March through June, and 66% loss of income from June until present day, The Space’s future has been uncertain. Because The Space is 100% volunteer run, we have not qualified for State or Federal CARES opportunities. Thanks to generous support from community members in Bradford and beyond, The Space On Main has continued operating and plans to do so as long as possible.

Despite Covid-19 interfering with activities, The Space On Main has continued to provide opportunities to Bradford and area residents in 2020 including:

  • REACT UV Business Accelerator & 10-Week Business Planning Course with the Center for Women & Enterprise led 23 entrepreneurs from business idea to business plan completion;
  • Entrepreneur Stories panel series interviewed 30 local small business owners;
  • Citizens’ Academy interviewed over 50 local leaders in a forum setting for people to learn how to engage in local leadership opportunities;
  • Monthly leadership workshops hosted by Doug Teschner of Growing Leadership, LLC, including how to lead during times of crisis;
  • Code for UV (a Code for America Brigade) has been working diligently on developing technical solutions to local problems including a directory application mapping out local food resources for Little Rivers Health Care and an application to assist with mapping out broadband usage for justifying local need.

The Space On Main provided leadership for Bradford and the surrounding area during Covid-19 in countless ways. Some examples of leadership included: hosting webinars to help people learn remote collaboration tools such as Slack & Zoom; co-hosting a webinar with the University of Washington to teach librarians how to move offerings online; hosting several “just for fun” events to let people connect and play together; hosting a series of literary-focused events highlighting local storytellers, musicians, actors, etc.; supporting Catamount Film & Arts and SOCAPA School of Creative & Performing Arts on their 72 Hour Youth Film Festival via Zoom & YouTube; hosting a volunteer training webinar for Willing Hands & Little Rivers Health Care; providing pro Zoom access to community groups for online meetings such as Bradford Planning Commission, Cohase Chamber of Commerce, Newbury REDI, and Bradford Business Association; providing pro Zoom access and facilitation of community school board outreach events, political candidate forums, and special town meetings; opening a Free Community WiFi network up for people who needed access for work/school, and hosting Free AARP Tax Assistance twice per week.

The Space On Main represented Bradford in meetings with Upper Valley Strong; coordinated regional community organizer calls with Fairlee, West Fairlee, Newbury, Groton, Chelsea, Corinth, Topsham, Ryegate, and Vershire; participated on economic recovery calls with Vital Communities; served on a state-wide advisory team with the Vermont Council on Rural Development to help towns navigate recovery efforts; and attended and led sessions with Town Hall Project & AARP Connected Communities to help with tech tool training to support Mutual Aid efforts across the United States.

As we enter 2021, we continue to support remote workers and local economic/community development efforts. We are busy applying for grants in order to complete our makerspace and to bring full-time business acceleration and incubation services to Bradford. We are continuing to develop our partner network in order to bring additional regional, state, and federal resources to Main Street. If you would like to become a member or get involved, please do not hesitate to reach out to To learn more, visit


New platform brings startups, investors, and mentors together to advance innovation and business growth in Vermont.

Burlington, VT (October 15, 2020) – The Vermont Startup Collective is a new platform that offers entrepreneurs a dedicated virtual space for building community, advancing business ideas, and connecting with other startups, remote workers, small business owners, freelancers, investors, and mentors. Supported by more than 35 Vermont organizations, the platform is free of charge and designed to be accessible and inclusive to all.

“When COVID-19 hit, we feared we would lose our ‘special sauce’— the connections made, opportunities discovered, and problems solved through casual, daily interactions,” said Dave Bradbury, president of the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET). “But in fact, the opposite happened. More than ever, entrepreneurs sought community—for camaraderie, to problem solve, or just for a laugh. The Collective takes all that entrepreneurial energy, focuses it in a trusted digital space, and makes it widely available to everyone who needs it.”

Born from requests by innovators, consultants, and business leaders seeking connection during COVID-19, the mobile/desktop platform surrounds active and aspiring entrepreneurs with constructive guidance from advisors and mentors, thought-provoking conversations with peers, and critical tools and resources to start and scale.

“Innovation in Vermont has always been driven both by creativity and necessity. The pandemic has brought home the ways our businesses can use technology to adapt their operations and how they connect with the broader business ecosystem. Thanks to the work of VCET and its partners, businesses will have access to this powerful tool that brings the essential benefits of Vermont’s startup ecosystem into a digital space,” said U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy.

Soft-launched in September, early signals from users indicate that the fresh, effective approach of The Collective has helped them to connect in new and exciting ways.

“Being an entrepreneur can be isolating in the best of times,” said Stacy Huffstetler, founder and managing director of WidgetBrain. “You’re facing a really unique set of challenges, questions, and opportunities. Building and leveraging a community is a key part of successful entrepreneurship. It’s awesome to have a space dedicated to the shared experience of starting, funding, and running a business with others who are eager to engage.”

Posts on the platform range from a discussion around customer insights to the promotion of an upcoming innovation competition. Users can join groups curated by topic, such as Dismantling Racism, Sustainability, Building a Team, and Capital, and join relevant “circles” including Young Professionals or Female Founders.

“The Collective allows information-sharing and networking beyond the four walls of any individual organization,” said Bradbury. “It invites expertise from anyone and everyone committed to successful entrepreneurism in Vermont and that’s where we start to see a flywheel effect for the innovation ecosystem.”

More than three dozen entrepreneurial support, economic development, and higher education organizations across Vermont have come together to contribute to The Collective. These launch partners include: 12-22 North, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC), Black River Innovation Campus (BRIC), BTV Ignite, Burlington Code Academy, Burlington Community Economic Development Office (CEDO), Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE), Champlain College, Do North Coworking, FreshTracks Capital, The Generator, Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation (GBIC), Hula, Instig8VT, IoT Conduit, LaunchVT, Mercy Connections, The MINT, Reconciled, The Lightning Jar, The Space on Main, The Sustainable Innovation MBA – University of Vermont (SIMBA), UVM Entrepreneurship Club, University of Vermont, Vermont Bioscience Alliance, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, Vermont Business Roundtable, Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET), Vermont Community Foundation, Vermont Council on Rural Development, Vermont EPSCoR, Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC), Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF), Vermont Technology Alliance (VtTA), Vermont Technology Council, and Vermont Womenpreneurs. The Collective is curated and moderated by VCET.

To learn more or to join The Collective, please visit

Press Contact

Sam Roach-Gerber, Vice President
Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies
(e)   (m) 413-519-6251

Bipartisan Candidate Forum

Local candidates for Orange-2 (Bradford, Fairlee, West Fairlee) and Orange-Caledonia (Newbury, Groton, Topsham) joined us for 2 local candidate forums:
5:30-6:30pm Orange-Caledonia: Parsons & Root-Winchester
6:45-7:45pm Orange-2: Copeland-Hanzas & Lang (1:15min into the video)
This event was brought to you by Journal Opinion & The Space On Main. Moderation by Alex Nuti-de Biasi. Technical Facilitation by Monique Priestley.

SOM’s Executive Director Chosen for VBM Rising Stars Class of 2020

VBM recognizes Vermont’s Rising Stars Class of 2020

Outstanding young leaders chosen for contributions to the Vermont economy and their community

Vermont Business Magazine is proud to announce the winners of its Rising Stars recognition award. The list is composed of 40 winners under the age of 40. Award recipients were selected by a panel of judges for their commitment to business growth, professional excellence and involvement in their communities.

“We are thrilled by the response to this initiative to recognize these up-and-coming leaders, this is our eleventh year” said VBM Publisher John Boutin. “We received over 190 outstanding nominations this year. Despite the pandemic, we are very excited that people took the time to nominate these great candidates.

The five judges had a difficult time picking the top 40. These young professionals have chosen to make Vermont home.  For these young professionals it’s not just about business. It’s about them making a difference in their communities,” Boutin said.

Vermont Business Magazine will honor Vermont’s most accomplished young leaders at a Rising Stars virtual event in November. The honorees will also be featured in the November issue of Vermont Business Magazine.

FAST FACTS: Of the 40 honorees, there are 16 men and 24 women. There are 15 from Chittenden County, 2 from Windham County, 5 from Rutland County, 4 from Bennington County, 5 from Washington County, 3 from Caledonia County, 1 from Lamoille County, 1 from Franklin County, 1 from Orleans County, and 3 from Orange County.  The average age of the honorees is 34 years old. The oldest is 39 and the youngest is 27 years old.

Read full article at Vermont Business Magazine.

SOM’s Executive Director Receives Regional Planning Commission Volunteer of the Year Award

(Woodstock, VT)— The Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC) hosted its Annual Meeting joined by Commissioners and guests from across the TRO Region. The event was hosted to celebrate and highlight some of the fantastic work being done by TRORC to enhance the region’s quality of life over the past year.

Monique Priestley of Bradford was awarded TRORC’s Volunteer of the Year Award. Her nominator, Nancy Jones, the Chair of the Bradford Conservation Commission, noted Monique’s tremendous personal investment in time and energy in making a difference in her community and the people that live there.  Jones noted her many accomplishments and awards and how her impact is felt way beyond the Town of Bradford.  Monique is passionate about her community and doing her best to serve it.  TRORC congratulates Monique Priestley!

TRORC also elected officers for the coming year: Jerry Fredrickson, Chair (Barnard); Bill Emmons, Vice-Chair (Pomfret); Nancy Jones, Treasurer (Bradford); David Brandau, Secretary (Royalton); Nancy Malmquist, Member (West Fairlee); and Bill Edgerton, Member (Stockbridge). TRORC Commissioner At-Large members were also elected: Jennifer Colby (Agriculture), and Ken Alton (Business), Beth Long (Housing), Meghan Butts (UVLSRPC), and Meg Emmons (Youth).

TRORC also adopted a budget for the fiscal year that allowed the awarding of eight, $1,000 college scholarships to deserving high school seniors.  This is the fourth year TRORC has been able to invest in the education of our future leaders.

TRORC provides professional planning, mapping, facilitation, grant writing, and project management services for its thirty member towns in east-central Vermont.

For more information, contact Peter Gregory at 457-3188 or via email at Read full article here.

SOM Facilitates School Board Community Engagement

June 23rd: OUUSD Information Meeting

June 16th: How to Read & Understand the OUUSD School Board Budget

June 15th: OUUSD School Board Candidate Forum

Executive Director, Monique Priestley, Featured on US Senator Bernie Sanders’s Piece on Coworking Spaces in Rural Areas



Executive Director & Founder Featured on VCET’s Start Here Podcast

Founder and Executive Director, Monique Priestley, sits down with Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies for an episode of their Start Here podcast (Ep. 41: Monique Priestley / The Space on Main) “Vermont is a better place with @mepriestley. Listen with us and explore how opportunity in rural Vermont is flourishing thanks to trailblazers like Monique.” @spaceonmainvt #vermont #newhampshire #coworking #oppgap