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SAM Roach-Gerber

Company: Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET)
Title: Director of Innovation
Age: 29


Favorite Part of Job: My favorite part of being VCET’s Director of Innovation is building community around entrepreneurship. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing how quickly folks become part of the VCET family. I have been able to introduce folks, who otherwise never would have met, and end up working together as business partners, investors, advisors, and more. You just can’t beat it!


Most Inspiring Mentor: My most inspiring mentor is my dad. He works harder than anyone I know, and has taught me the importance of relationship-building and advocating for others. I can (and do) call him night and day for advice.


Tell us something fun about yourself that few people know: In college, I played field hockey against Emma Watson aka Hermione Granger…and yes, I have photographic proof…and yes, I won!


Favorite Vermont Escape: Frendly Gathering, a music festival founded by Jack Mitrani and Danny Davis now held at Sugarbush every June…”there’s no ‘I’ in Frend!”


Person you would like to share a Vermont beverage with: No contest here. Senator Leahy…I have a lot to thank him for!


What is the best career advice you have received: “If you act like you belong, people will think you do. If you believe that your views matter, people will see that they do.”  -Jennifer Palmieri (Obama’s former Communications Director)


What motivated you to live and work in Vermont: I went to college in Boston (Go NU!), and while I loved my experience, I quickly realized that I was not a city girl. I wanted to remain on the east coast with easy access to nature, good beer and good food…sound familiar? Vermont it was.


Career Highlights: I am most proud of the hands-on consulting work I get to do with entrepreneurs every day. It is by far the most impactful work I do. Beyond that, my career highlights include starting the Female Founders Speaker Series (Established December 2016), creating and co-hosting, Start Here: “A podcast sharing the stories of active, aspiring, and accidental entrepreneurs”,  organizing and hosting the Female Founders $25k StartHere Challenge (September 2018), and instructing Middlebury College’s Midd Entrepreneurs J Term Course (January 2018-present).


Community Involvement: I have been extremely lucky that my career often overlaps with some really incredible opportunities for community involvement. I am a member of the LaunchVT Board of Advisors (2017-present), Accel-VT Board of Advisors (August 2018-present), and Co-Host of I-Corps (October 2018). I have also been part of the Changemakers Cohort (2016), an Instructor and Speaker for Changemakers (2017), Event Host for BTV Ignite’s Innovation Week (2016, 2017), a UVM I2V Roundtable Host (2017), a NERIC Roundtable Host (2017), a Speaker at the Innovation Spaces Conference @Castleton (2017), a Judge at Vermont’s FBLA Competition (March 2017), a Mentee for LCRCC’s Professional Mentorship Program (2017), a Volunteer for the Boys and Girls Club Great Futures Lunch (2017 & 2018), a Participant for the Spectrum Sleepout (2018) and a Speaker for LabGirls in Fairfax (February, 2018). 


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