Registration Open for 3rd Annual Financing the Working Landscape Conference

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Startups, Entrepreneurs, & Investors to Meet for 3rd Annual Financing the Working Landscape Conference November 7 in Middlebury

Service and capital providers, small businesses, startup ventures, and students connected to Vermont’s working landscape will learn from business pitches, expert feedback, and challenge presentations, and enjoy local foods and craft beverages. 

MIDDLEBURY, VT, October 23, 2013 – Small business owners and entrepreneurs associated with Vermont’s working lands will gather with capital and service providers in Addison County on November 7th for the 3rd annual Financing the Working Landscape Conference. The annual business symposium, which is produced by Addison County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC) and Addison County Relocalization Network (ACORN) and features entrepreneur pitches and expert feedback on specific growth challenges, begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Middlebury American Legion.

Attendees can register online at The conference fee is $30 ($20 for students), and includes a local foods lunch prepared by student chefs from the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center.

The post-event networking hour features not only drinks and appetizers from craft beverage makers and local food artisans, but also features product demonstrations. Small business owners with prototypes can receive direct feedback from attendees that may inform decisions about marketing, development, and production of new products.

“We are truly excited to again be bringing people from our investment and services communities together with local innovators to focus on the important issues of financing and growing businesses that are part of Vermont’s working landscape,” said Robin Scheu, executive director of ACEDC. “Attendees learn a lot from the presentations and also from engaging with others throughout the day,” she said.

“The working landscape is a great opportunity to begin to mobilize local capital and revitalize the economy from the ground up,” said Jonathan Corcoran, president of ACORN. He added, “It’s really exciting to see young entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and launch business that are going to create jobs. This conference is about supporting the innovators, the risk-takers who start something that may benefit everyone.”  

A highlight of the conference will again be the Entrepreneur Showcase, which is an opportunity for startups and new ventures to hone their “elevator pitch.” Six local entrepreneurs will make their best 3-minute pitch to a panel of experts from the investment community.

Four local entrepreneurs will participate in this year’s Challenge Presentation; an opportunity to highlight a specific issue they are facing in their businesses. A panel of experts – business owners, investors, and business advisors – will then ask questions and provide constructive feedback for action steps to effectively address the challenge and to move the business forward.  

Additionally, participants can choose one of two workshop tracks: Early Stage or Established Business.

Financing the Working Landscape is made possible with support from these sponsors (alphabetically):

  • Addison Independent
  • Co-operative Insurance
  • Merritt & Merritt & Moulton
  • National Bank of Middlebury
  • People’s United Bank
  • UVM New Farmer Project
  • Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA)
  • Vermont Farm Viability Program (VHCB)
  • Yankee Farm Credit

Additional information is available online at

About Financing the Working Landscape

Launched in 2011, Financing the Working Landscape is a symposium for networking food, agriculture, and forestry businesses with regional capital and service providers. The event aims to educate entrepreneurs and startup businesses connected to Vermont’s working landscape about the stages of business development, capitalization, and about services available from state, regional, and other business assistance organizations. Through presentations, case studies, Entrepreneurs’ Showcase, Entrepreneurs’ Challenge Presentations, panel discussions, and networking sessions, the conference provides opportunities for business leaders to learn about challenges and solutions to growth. Online at  

About Addison County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC)

ACEDC is the resource for navigating opportunities and challenges of doing business in Addison County, Vermont. ACEDC works with businesses in all stages of growth, from pre-venture start-ups to established companies and global corporations, to help them create and retain good paying jobs. Online at

About Addison County Relocalization Network (ACORN)

The Addison County Relocalization Network is a non-profit community network based in Middlebury whose mission is to revitalize our local economy in order to help our communities provide sustainable sources of food, water, energy, employment, and other essential resources, and to promote conservation and a healthy environment. For more information, please visit: