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Reports of Unsolicited Packages of Seeds in Vermont

July 28, 2020 | Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) has been notified that several Vermont residents have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages have not yet been identified. Unsolicited seeds could be invasive species, could introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock.

At this time, it is unknown what types of seeds are being delivered. There is concern that if germinated they could wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects or disease could severely damage crops. Taking steps to prevent introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations. The seeds should be mailed directly to the USDA.

Here’s what to do if you receive unsolicited seeds from another country:

  1. DO NOT plant them. If they are in sealed packaging do not open the sealed package;
  2. Complete the reporting form on the USDA’s Website here.
  3. Mail them directly to the USDA:

Stephen Lavallee
222 Holiday Drive, Suite 1
White River Junction, VT 05001

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Vt seed

Vermont Seed Capital Fund

The Vermont Seed Capital Fund, LP is looking for select investment opportunities in early stage, high opportunity, technology based companies in Vermont. Objectives are to impact next generation job and wealth creation in Vermont by providing companies and entrepreneurs access to early stage risk capital. The fund is a revolving, “evergreen” equity fund with $5 million of initial capitalization from the State of Vermont and U.S. Senator Patrick J. Leahy. The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is a strategic partner for this fund.

This is a professionally managed venture capital fund which invests exclusively into Vermont start-ups and growing firms determined as offering high growth potential, financial return commensurate with risk, and public benefit for Vermonters. Portfolio firms also have access to substantive programs, facilities, partners, and value-adding services offered via a strategic relationship with the non-profit VCET organization.

Investment transactions range from $25,000 to $250,000. The fund can act as lead investor or as part of investment syndicate.

Basic Eligibility Criteria: Any Vermont based start-up, emerging growth firm, or team seeking to form a new company, relocate or expand into Vermont is eligible for consideration except if your company:

  • Has last 12 month sales greater than $3 million
  • Has headquarters or principal team location outside of, or not committing substantially to Vermont
  • Is a restaurant, retail store or real estate project

Each company or proposal submitted is considered on an individual investment basis. Venture capital is a highly competitive source of private funding. The Fund targets market based investment returns from high opportunity businesses with exciting market opportunities, innovative technologies and credible founding teams.

The investment process takes considerable time and effort, so be prepared and forewarned. Funding is highly competitive and not all worthy firms will be funded. This is not a grant program. The process includes:Initial Screening: Firms will be reviewed for eligibility, suitability, entrepreneur qualities, and initial assessment. A response declining to pursue, offering alternative funding sources, or seeking follow up information will result.Initial Due Diligence: Firms experience an in-depth review and assessment on their markets, business model, financials & capital path, existing & prospective management team, technology & products, sales & distribution, and comparative advantages, among other areas.

Advanced Due Diligence: Few firms reach this step. Transaction structure, valuation, terms, corporate and legal due diligence and remaining questions are completed. If an investment is considered desirable and fund objectives can be attained, then an Investment Recommendation is prepared for the Investment Committee and any invited domain or subject matter experts.

Investment Decisions: The independent Investment Committee has final determination on the proposed term sheet and investment recommendation. This committee is responsible for the approval of all investments.

Adding Value and Infrastructure: Portfolio firms have unique and advantageous access, if they so select, to facilities, professionals, networks, specialized research assets, and strategic partners associated with the VCET organization. In addition to Board participation, the Fund Manager and VCET team are actively engaged with firms on building teams, accessing critical first customers, strategic partnerships, corporate strategy, networking and training opportunities, mergers and acquisitions, and executive mentoring. All of which lowers burn rates, lowers investment risk, hastens progress towards “value-changing” events, and increases probabilities for market based returns and success as Vermont based employers.

Follow-On Capital and Investment Exit: For most seed stage firms, follow-on funding is necessary to achieve their potential. We offer an exceptional network of local, regional, and national venture firms, corporate investors, angel investors, grant and debt options to fund firm growth and next stage development. Our team will be involved in sourcing follow-on capital and active regarding exit and liquidity opportunities.

Vermont Seed Capital Fund The Vermont Seed Capital Fund, LP is looking for select investment opportunities in early stage, high opportunity, technology based