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Posts Tagged ‘NH High Tech Council’

A Quick Check of the High Tech Sector Scene in New Hampshire

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

NHEconomy.com’s Lorna Colquhoun and Matt Cookson, NH High Tech Council

New Hampshire’s high tech sector is a key industry in the state and places like Manchester, Portsmouth, Lebanon and Nashua are gaining attention of entrepreneurs and others seeking a place to find talent, lower costs and a business-friendly climate.

Matt Cookson, executive director of the New Hampshire High Technology Council, was the guest on our monthly New Hampshire Business Matters radio show, hosted by WTPL-FM.

New Hampshire Business Matters with Matt Cookson, NH High Tech Council.

Tune in and catch up on the state’s exciting, evolving high tech scene.

Tech This Out! TechWomen Ambassador Week Kicks off Nov.14

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Ninth grade girls in Berlin last year got to see rime ice from the top of Mount Washington during last year’s TechWomen Ambassador Week.

Science, technology, engineering and math mix with ninth grade girls across the state later this month during TechWomen Ambassador Week.

Now in its second year, schools across New Hampshire host special sessions for ninth grade girls to discuss STEM careers with women working in those fields.

GET INVOLVED! The TechWomen committee seeks volunteers in STEM, bio/medical and advanced manufacturing to volunteer as mentors and workshop leaders with students.

The two-hour sessions, taking place in Lebanon, Nashua, Plaistow, Rochester, Manchester, Derry and Berlin during the week of Nov. 14, are the center of the newly-launched TechWomen Ambassador initiative, born out of the New Hampshire High Tech Council’s TechWomen|TechGirls committee.

“The theme of our event is STEMspiration – inspiring girls to explore STEM careers,” said Carol Miller, director of broadband technology at the NH Division of Economic Development and chairman of the TechWomen Ambassador committee. “We are looking for strong role models to show these 9th grade girls that they can aspire to a technical career while balancing their personal lives. We know that making an impact now will ensure that New Hampshire women can pass the baton to generations of STEMinspired girls in the future.”

TechWomen|TechGirls is a forum focused on building a strong community of women enthusiastic about technology and supporting efforts for young women to explore STEM careers. Launched in early 2015, the committee has become an integral part of the council’s outreach and engagement activities; and TechWomen Ambassador Week organizers hope to borrow the group’s vast expertise to help inspire young women.

“In its second year, the Ambassador Week program continues to amaze and engage,” said Michelline Dufort, director of business relations for the New Hampshire High Tech Council. “The TechWomen|TechGirls committee is delivering a product that the industry has a huge appetite for – connecting female technologists across the state with 9th grade girls. The program is inspiring and is quickly becoming a cornerstone of the industry’s STEM pipeline-filling efforts.”

Meetings will begin with a 30-minute opening talk where students will hear from professionals in many different tech fields, followed by roundtable discussions with other students and mentors designed to encourage aspirations of STEM related career goals and discuss the path to realize them.

Learn more about the TechWomen|TechGirls initiative or volunteer for TechWomen Ambassador Week by visiting nhhtc.org or contact Miller at 603-271-2341 or carol.miller@dred.nh.gov for more information.

5 Questions with Matt Cookson, New Hampshire High Tech Council

Friday, April 17th, 2015

High technology. It’s not just a business sector in and of itself. It’s a critical element of every successful industry, integrated deeply into the work of companies and the lives of their employees.

New Hampshire has a strong and growing tech pedigree, and to learn more about it, we interviewed Matt Cookson, executive director of the New Hampshire High Tech Council. The council is a member-driven organization with a focus on advancing innovation throughout the Granite State and Cookson himself has been actively engaged in many boards and organizations in New Hampshire in his 25-year career.


Matt Cookson ~ NH High Tech Council

You’re in your fifth year as executive director for the New Hampshire High Tech Council. How has the industry evolved since then?

I took over as ED in 2010 and like other sectors it was a challenging time economically. Fast forward to today, and we are seeing solid job and sector growth, great movement in advanced manufacturing, software development, apps, cyber-security and other areas.

I’d say there is much greater recognition that the tech sector is absolutely key when it comes to driving economic development. Serving, supporting, and growing this sector will lead to job creation, enhanced state revenues, and stronger communities. Look at the difference in Manchester, for example, as well as the expansion of incubators across the state, including areas such as Plymouth.

Technically speaking, almost every industry is high-tech in one way or another. How has that affected the NHHTC’s mission and outreach over the years?

It’s true – hospitals are tech, real estate is tech, automotive is tech. It has affected us in terms of workforce development, knowing that tech training is key, be it at the four-year level for computer science, at the two-year level through the partnerships our community colleges have formed with advanced manufacturing companies, such as Safran or Hypertherm, and at the training level as well.

From a membership standpoint, we have always attracted members from the service sector as well, so our outreach has been consistent. Last, from an outreach perspective, we have become much more proactive and while we have a strong membership base in the Route 3 and Route 93 corridors, we plan to do more in the Seacoast in the near future in terms of creating a stronger presence in that tech-heavy region.

Where are the best opportunities in the traditional high-tech space for businesses in New Hampshire- or for those considering a relocation to New Hampshire?

Geographically, we have strong hubs in greater Manchester, Nashua and Portsmouth. In a recent report, Nashua led the pack with the highest number of advertised tech jobs in the state. We will continue to see relocations that hug the border because companies like to draw from Massachusetts. We also hear from our members along the highway corridors that having rail in the region is attractive to those in the tech industry.

Quality of life is a huge selling point for companies moving to the Granite State. What are tech companies finding here that they can’t get in Boston, Silicon Valley, or other traditional tech hubs?

There continue to be three primary selling points:

– The quality of life piece with an emphasis on having the mountains, the ocean, and Boston within easy drives

– The fact that employees will likely be better off in New Hampshire than other major tech hubs because they will not be paying an income or sales tax

– The overall cost of living is substantially less than a Silicon Valley-type of environment

What are the NHHTC’s top priorities for improving the state’s high-tech industry over the next one to two years?

Supporting start-up companies through visibility, networking and competitions; reducing taxes and regulations on business to encourage growth and investment; highlighting best practices and innovation to spur new partnerships; and working with the educational sector to provide data on what industries and skill sets are most needed for today’s and tomorrow’s workforce.

New Hampshire Companies, Manufacturers Answer the Call to Combat Terrorism

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Nathaniel Nelson, our international trade officer, reports on the Combating Terrorism & High Tech Networking Summit held earlier this week. – Ed.

When it comes to combating terrorism, you may not think New Hampshire can contribute much to the arsenal of prevention.

Think again.

When it comes to the security of our nation and defense of the global community, scores of New Hampshire businesses are at the forefront of the fight, with innovative equipment, software, components and technology that help keep us safe.

Our companies and manufacturers present an array of sea, air and land capabilities – like antennae, sensors, unmanned vehicles, software and security systems. Innovation is in our nature and time and again, these businesses have been global leaders in innovative technologies and products that are a vital to the U.S. defense industry.


US Sen. Kelly Ayotte with members of the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium

Earlier this week, about 75 people, representing some of these companies came out to the Combating Terrorism & High Tech Networking Summit at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. Sponsored by U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the New Hampshire High-Tech Council and the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Consortium, the summit provided Granite State businesses the opportunity to introduce their capabilities to representatives from the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the independent, not-for-profit organization In-Q-Tel.

For a few short hours, it was a showcase of aerospace and defense capabilities and why New Hampshire is earning a reputation as a hub of innovation.

By the end of the summit, our businesses established partnerships that will help build and strengthen the local economy. More than that, these relationships

Nathaniel Nelson  International Trade Officer Office of International Commerce

Nathaniel Nelson  International Trade Officer Office of International Commerce

will contribute to making the world a safer place. Ayotte noted that the mission of combating terrorism and protecting the U.S. is not just a job of the government; it’s a call New Hampshire businesses have answered.

What is the value of these summits? This interest and enthusiasm catches, and holds, the eye of federal agencies who may not otherwise know about the capabilities industry can provide.

Additionally, local businesses learn about the current and emerging requirements needed to keep communities and countries safe.




Tech Check

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Our friends at the New Hampshire High Technology Council check in with a look at how our high tech sector measures up as we begin 2015. -Ed.

Our tech companies are optimistic regarding near term growth, with 58 percent expecting improvement for the sector over the next six months and 71 percent expecting individual company growth. Yet we are bearish on the global economy, with only 28 percent expecting growth. Where do they expect to see this growth? The top four areas are investments in new business and product lines, technology expenditures, marketing and advertising, and staff training and professional development. Which sectors expect to see the most growth? There were four that stood out – software and application development, advanced manufacturing, energy technology/cleantech, and cybersecurity.

A check on tech in NH

A check on tech in NH

When asked what could inhibit growth, the top concern for New Hampshire companies was access to credit/capital, with 48 percent of respondents expressing concern as compared to 23 percent nationally. The biggest change from the 2013 results was this concern around accessing capital, which was at 33 percent and grew to 48 percent in just one year. Other concerns included downward trends in pricing, unexpected shocks to their market, lack of confidence in the market, and talent shortage.

Much has been made over the concern for skilled workers. Drilling down in this area and getting specific information on what skills our companies need today and foresee needing in the near term is a high priority for the NHHTC. In this survey, 78 percent of respondents have a moderate or significant shortage of skilled workers, a number this is consistent with the Northeast and the country as a whole. The good news is that 55 percent of respondents plan to hire for new positions in the next year while only 10 percent plan to reduce staff. Both numbers improved significantly over 2013 but the hiring statistic does lag behind the national average of 63 percent.

When it comes to public policy, the top five areas for public policy action in NH are as follows: better access to capital; access to state level funding for innovation; support STEM education in higher education; and concern about taxes and regulation. On the taxation/regulation issue 33 percent believe that corporate tax rates are generally too high on businesses as compared to 26 percent nationally.

For those thinking of starting a business in the region, the Northeast ranked the highest at 48 percent in terms of being a top tier location for tech startups, however New Hampshire was only viewed as a top tier location by 17 percent of respondents while 57 percent gave it a mid tier ranking. Two factors rose to the top in terms of what does make New Hampshire attractive – the quality of life at 80 percent and the entrepreneurship/innovation ecosystem at 60 percent, both well above national averages.

The NHHTC will be using this data and other information to craft a set of legislative initiatives and an annual report card on our tech sector. We will also be looking to collaborate with other business groups such as the new Live Free and Start initiative, the BIA and chambers of commerce to find common ground and support legislation that can advance our sector. Our goal is to make sure we are doing everything possible to promote and grow our tech sector, reduce barriers to growth, and find better ways to access capital and the human resources needed to support our economy in 2015 and beyond. Happy New Year.

Matt Cookson
NHHTC Executive Director

Paul Mailhot
NHHTC Chairman of the Board of Directors

Talking About the Tech Tax (NH Businesses Should Listen)

Monday, October 7th, 2013

The Tech Tax has been the talk south of the New Hampshire border for the past two months and although it appears that Massachusetts law makers are working on a repeal of the tax, Granite State businesses may want to keep an ear to the ground about another looming tax that could have an impact.

Our friends at the New Hampshire High Technology Council takes it from here …

New tax legislation adopted by Massachusetts this past summer will impact many technology and services companies in New Hampshire and across the country. While a sales and use tax to computer design and software modification services, dubbed the ‘tech tax,’ was repealed in late September, another, less noticed, law changing how the income tax applies to service businesses will have far reaching impacts on New Hampshire companies.


Kathryn Michaelis and Chris Way of the NH Division of Economic Development talked about the tech tax on WTPL last month.

The New Hampshire High Tech Council is sponsoring a special breakfast seminar this Wednesday to focus on the new income tax law.  The event is co-sponsored by the law firm Rath, Young and Pignatelli, P.C., and the presentation will be led by tax attorneys Bill Ardinger, Chris Sullivan and Kathy Michaelis.

This educational seminar will run from 8 until 9:15 am in the Pandora Building at the University of New Hampshire’s Manchester campus. It is free for Council members and $10 for non-members. Individuals can register at nhhtc.org.

“We are relieved that the ‘tech tax’ on services being provided in Massachusetts has been repealed. However, the second tax is more onerous as it could impact any New Hampshire tech-related business providing services across the border directly or virtually,” said Matt Cookson, executive director of the Council.

According to an analysis prepared by Rath, Young and Pignatelli, the new income tax change, known as “market based sourcing,” will affect thousands of New Hampshire businesses providing services to Massachusetts customers. Potentially impacted businesses include financial services, accounting, architectural and law firms, software and technology firms, construction and engineering firms, and other consulting or service-based industries.

The income tax change takes effect Jan. 1.  The Massachusetts Department of Revenue is drafting rules in the next few months regarding how the new law will be implemented and enforced.

 Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development






Celebrating Manufacturing in the Granite State

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Manufacturing Day is coming up on Friday and while it may not be a greeting card holiday, it is a celebration and observance of a sector that is vital to just about everything in our lives.

Take a moment and look at what’s within your arm’s reach. The computer on which you are reading this; computer accessories – a card reader, a keyboard; a telephone, landline and/or cell phone; a coffee cup; one of those little stress gizmos.

All these items, seen and unseen, were manufactured. The need for these components creates jobs. The payroll from these jobs supports other local businesses and the tax base helps to better our schools and communities.

So Manufacturing Day is a reason to celebrate. Here in New Hampshire, it will kick off Manufacturing Week beginning Monday and this will be an opportunity to showcase the industry.

Consider this: In 2012, about 66,000 people were employed in manufacturing, earning an average of $1,220 a week. Consider that average weekly wage for other workers was $938.

There is a great demand for workers, not only here in New Hampshire, but around the country. As part of Manufacturing Week, more than 60 manufacturers, community colleges and technical centers are making arrangements with local schools to welcome students and show them what 21st century manufacturing is like.


Manufacturing Day ~ Oct. 4
Manufacturing Week ~ Oct. 7 -11

There are exciting opportunities right here in the Granite State and, especially if you are the parent of a high school student exploring what to do after graduation, we hope you will connect with one of these open houses.

Manufacturing Week culminates on Oct. 10 with the 11th annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit, taking place at the Radisson Hotel/Center of New Hampshire in Manchester.

The theme is Manufacturing Matters and workshops will cover value stream mapping and modeling; positioning for growth and an introduction of the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium. Harry Moser, president of the Reshoring Initiative, will speak about manufacturing jobs returning to the US.

The Division of Economic Development is pleased join the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the New Hampshire High Technology Council in presenting this event.

Please take a moment and register today to join us.

Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development


Airport Video is the Ticket to Possibility in New Hampshire

Friday, September 13th, 2013

The next time you’re at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, check out a video there in the lobby, which represents a nice collaboration of organizations who are high on New Hampshire for all that it offers in terms of business, lifestyle and possibility.

Earlier this week, our friends at the New Hampshire High Tech Council unveiled the exhibit at the airport, which features clips from Stay Work Play New Hampshire and the University of New Hampshire. The video runs in a loop, greeting travelers on their way out of the terminal.



It’s the first snapshot of the Granite State, a video landscape of our economy, tech sector, commitment to research and quality of life.

The tech council’s board of directors, understanding that the airport is a prime opportunity to grab the attention of visitors to the state, worked on the collaboration to make the video possible.

“We knew that a unique format like a video with key messaging about our state would catch people’s attention and demonstrate the value proposition the state offers to launch, relocate and grow a business,” said Matt Cookson, executive director of the council. “The airport staff was extremely supportive of this effort to create a welcoming message to the millions of people that fly in and out on Manchester every year.”

Jeffrey Rose, commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, was quick to sign on.

“With our focus on recruiting new businesses to the state and ensuring that their workforce needs are met we are open to finding innovative ways to reach new audiences,” he said.  “We consider ourselves champions of the economic opportunities within New Hampshire and this video is a creative way to highlight some of the state’s advantages.”

For its contribution to the video, Stay Work Play NH answers the question What makes New Hampshire a great place to live and work?

(The answer, of course, is our quality of life statistics — as one of the lowest poverty rates in the nation and number one rankings in child and family well-being and the most livable state.)

UNH highlights its support of the high tech sector in the state through research and programs such as the Emerging Technology Center, the Flow Physics Facility and the Technology Transfer Center.

The display is located on the first floor of the airport to the right of the main entrance. The effort was underwritten by Dyn, Fairpoint Communications, Image 4 Productions and Nanocomp Technologies.


Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

Division of Economic Development



SBA Young Entrepreneur Series (YES) Coming to UNH on March 12th

Friday, February 24th, 2012

A great free event’s coming up, put on by our friends at the SBA in collaboration with the NH Small Business Development Center, the NH High Tech Council, and Stay Work Play New Hampshire. Check out the invite below, and register at this link. Registration is required, it’s free, and you’ve gotta do it by Monday, March 12.

From their release: “Please join U.S. SBA Acting Regional Administrator Bob Nelson and NH District Director Greta Johansson in a dialogue with young entrepreneurs and local experts. A distinguished panel of young business leaders will share their personal stories, business tips and lessons learned during an interactive session.”

Got questions? Please contact Scott Wynne with the SBA at (603) 225-1404, or email scott.wynne@sba.gov.

SBA Young Entrepreneur Series (YES)

Presenters, Panelists & Sky Dive Pitch Company Lined Up for Entrepreneur Forum

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

After weeks of preparation, two groups of highly skilled panelists in the alternative energy and retail business sectors have been named to critique the presentations of Revolution Energy and NextChoice.  These two companies were recently selected to present their products to the panels and live audience to gain feedback and insight on marketability and finance strategies at the NH High Tech Council’s Entrepreneur Forum on Wednesday, May 18, 2011.  
high-tech-council-logoRevolution Energy is a leading provider of alternative energy in the State of New Hampshire and recent recipient of a grant through the Green Launching Pad program. NextChoice™ offers flexible, intelligent, automated smart self-service solutions for the restaurant, grocery, casino and stadium sectors to drastically reduce customer wait time in lines and to improve the customer experience. 
The event will be held at the FIRST headquarters located at 200 Bedford Street, Manchester, New Hampshire from 5:20pm until 8:30 pm. The cost for the event is only $25 for NHHTC members, $30 for non-members, and only $10 for students.  Individuals can register at NHHTC.org.
The Forum includes a cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres and networking opportunities, as well as a “sky dive pitch” from PoKos Communications.  PoKos creates and delivers Social Messaging™, a new text, broadcast and brand marketing software platform for smart phones. Social Messaging enables users to make new connections and enrich their lives, while providing companies and agencies with the first mobile brand marketing solution to reach and engage in continuous conversations with targeted groups. PoKos is based in Portsmouth, NH.
The Revolution Energy Paneilists Include:

M. Curtis Whittaker has been a shareholder of Rath, Young, and Pignatelli since 1991.  Curt heads the firm’s Energy Practice Group, and is a member of the Corporate/Business Law Group.   

John Harper is the founder and manager of Birch Tree Capital, which offers demonstrated financing expertise for renewable power generation projects. Since 1990, John Harper has been a developer, lender, and equity advisor in arranging, extending, and advising in financing of several gigawatts of power projects. 

Tony Grappone is a partner in the Boston. office of Novogradac & Company LLP where he specializes in providing accounting, tax and consulting services to developers, syndicators and investors of projects that qualify for a variety of tax credit programs.

NextChoise Panelists are:
Eduardo Alvarez is an MIT Sloan graduate who has conducted product development research with the MIT media lab and IDEO. He is co-author of MIT best-seller “Design-Inspired Innovation” published in 2006 by World Scientific. He is founder and president of VIGIX.

Randy Dow has over 30 years of Information Systems experience with well over 20 years in strategic and management roles.  Randy is currently a co-founder and Managing Partner for BDP Technology Solutions LLC based out of Concord, NH, a systems consulting and Integration Company. 

Tim Sweeney serves as Business Development Manager for Telequip Corporation, Salem, NH. Telequip is a subsidiary of Crane Payment Solutions a division of Crane, Co (NYSE:CR). Telequip and its sister companies NRI, Cash Code and Money Controls provide both stand-alone and OEM cash handling products.  

About Revolution Energy:  Revolution Energy (RE) is a leading provider of alternative energy in the State of New Hampshire.  Located in Dover, RE was founded in 2008 with one mission – to make alternative energy affordable.  The model is simple: RE installs renewable energy/retrofits existing energy systems and then sells the power generated back to the business in which the site is located. After the completion of the power purchase agreement (PPA), the business can take ownership of the system, and the system continues to generate significant cost savings, as power is no longer purchased from Revolution.  Mike Behrman and Clay Mitchell, co-founders of the company, will make the presentation.  rev-en.com

About NextChoice: NextChoice™ offers flexible, intelligent, automated smart self-service solutions for the restaurant, grocery, casino and stadium sectors.  Designed for easy, flexible and fast integration into busy, large-scale enterprises, NextChoice offers complete, centrally managed, self-service solutions that are scalable and offer high availability with minimal maintenance.  Because NextChoice solutions are designed around an open architecture, they work seamlessly with legacy platforms and point-of-sale (POS) systems, and accommodate new technologies easily and quickly, while providing rapid return on investment.  Founded in 2003, the company is privately-owned and located in Dover.  Dick Andersen, the company president, will make the presentation.  nextchoice.com

The NHHTC holds three Entrepreneur Forums per year where attendees discover how to present a plan to potential investors or gain valuable feedback on specific topics. These events are designed to attract attendees that include entrepreneurs who are developing a business idea or have an interest in the subject matter of the presenters, members of the financial and investment community, and students. 

Each of the presenting companies is given 15 minutes to present its business plan and receive feedback from a panel of experts and the audience. Typically, panelists include at least one investor (angel, venture capitalist, corporate investor, or financial institution) appropriate for the stage of the company and the amount of capital sought. Other panelists are chosen for their familiarity with the industry, technology, market place or strategic issues being addressed.

The panel acts as venture advisors for an evening and provides feedback and potential solutions to challenges faced by entrepreneurial companies based on their own professional experiences and expertise. These business challenges are those encountered by most entrepreneurial companies – including financial, marketing and sales, technology, operations, management, growth, diversification, and more.

To learn more about the event, go to NHHTC.org or call 603.935-8951.  Attendance is limited given space constraints.