Vermont Business Roundtable President Lisa Ventriss and Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies President David Bradbury have announced a new collaborative effort to strengthen the entrepreneurial vigor among next-generation Vermont business leaders. This announcement coincides with the kick-off of the Roundtable’s new Emergent Leaders Group, which is scheduled for April 7.

“In addition to our on-going policy work, the Roundtable’s board of directors wants to dedicate itself in an applied fashion to strengthening the state’s economic base by leveraging its own member expertise,” Ventriss said. “The basis of this program will be CEO to CEO mentoring, and it targets the innovation economy.”

The Vermont Business Roundtable has been in business since 1987. Its 100 CEOs of Vermont’s top private and non-profit sector employers are dedicated to making Vermont the best place in America to do business, be educated, and live life, through collaboration, research and analysis, and communication and advocacy. VCET was created in June 2005 by Sen. Patrick Leahy and the Vermont Technology Council to serve as a leading-edge technology incubator serving all of Vermont. It is affiliated with the University of Vermont and has strategic relationships with Norwich University, the Vermont State Colleges and Middlebury College.

“VCET operates under a mandate to accelerate next generation job creation for this generation of Vermonters,” Bradbury explained. “We think these next generation innovators will benefit greatly from the entrepreneurial counsel and business-savvy of the CEO generation that has already arrived.”

The first Emergent Leaders Group event will be co-hosted by Roundtable directors Edward F. “Ted” Adler, founder and president of Union Street Media in Burlington, and Brad Robertson, publisher of the Burlington Free Press. William H. “Bill” Schubart, retired CEO of Resolutions, Inc., and former Roundtable board chair, a respected voice in the Vermont business community, will speak about why he joined the Vermont Business Roundtable as a 30-something CEO and how other young business leaders can benefit by sharing experiences with more senior peers. The “invitation only” April 7 event begins at 5 p.m. and will be held at the Ethan Allen Club in Burlington.

A non-profit, public benefit corporation, VCET offers selected early-stage businesses a menu of services such as furnished office and laboratory space, substantive business consultation, shared office equipment, entrepreneur workshops, MBA Fellows, professional mentors and capital assistance. Bradbury says VCET has already incubated 16 next technology employers and helped launch nearly 100 next generation jobs. Member firm sectors include software, medical devices, advanced manufacturing, energy and high performance computing, among others. Clients have been located in Chittenden, Washington, Lamoille and Addison counties and from parent firms in Quebec and the United Kingdom.