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Forbes: Burlington a Top 10 Tech Hub

Burlington, VT
Burlington, Vt., ranks third for cities with the most tech-related patents per 1,000 people, thanks, in part, to UVM faculty researchers, who hold 140 patents. (Photo: Sally McCay)

The University of Vermont’s hometown is a one of the top 10 tech hubs in the U.S., according to a list published by Forbes.com. Burlington ranks ninth, behind Austin and ahead of Boston, in the rankings, compiled by the website Nerdwallet.

To create its top ten, Nerdwallet considered three factors: the number of patents per 1,000 residents, financial support for innovation, and the “economies of agglomeration,” which it defines as the benefits that accrue “when companies, like startups, cluster together.”

“Burlington, Vermont, number nine, is often associated more closely with Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream than it is with tech talent,” Forbes writes, “but received the third highest number of tech-related patents per 1,000 people on this list.”

In addition to its patent prowess, Burlington also scored well in the agglomeration subcategory.

UVM’s presence in Burlington played a role in the city’s high ranking. Its faculty researchers hold 140 patents, which contributed to its high per capita patent rank. And the university’s activities across a range of fronts in recent years helped boost the agglomeration score. UVM is a strategic partner in the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies, which clusters start-ups together in its facility on the UVM campus and has spawned a number of local firms.

UVM also partnered with VCET last year to open VCET@BTV, an 11,000 square foot co-working and start-up accelerator space in downtown Burlington. The university also played a role in the launch of  the maker-space, Generator, and BTVIgnite, a National Science Foundation-funded initiative that seeks to leverage Burlington’s gigabit infrastructure as a tool, test-bed and accelerator for economic, educational and community benefit.

Nerdwallet’s feature, published Feb. 15, is titled “America’s Most Innovative Tech Hubs.”  In order, the top tech hubs are San Jose, Boulder, San Francisco, Corvallis, Ore., Seattle, Fort Collins, Colo., Provo, Austin, Burlington and Boston.