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Tune In: Three Podcasts Highlight New Hampshire’s Startup/Entrepreneur Scenes

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016



Alpha Loft ~ Manchester

New Hampshire’s startup and entrepreneurial communities are getting some attention of late. Just a couple of weeks ago, this article highlighted the Granite State as having the ‘most beautiful’ tech scenes in the country.

This week, the Global Startup Movement features New Hampshire in not one, not two, but three  podcasts. In the first, Mark Kaplan, CEO of Alpha Loft in Manchester, talks about the state’s startup ecosystem, followed by an interview with Mike Decelle, recently appointed as dean at the University of New Hampshire’s Manchester campus, who talks about entrepreneurship and the opportunities afforded here in the state. Kyle York of Dyn rounds out the trifecta with a look at the emergence of the Silicon millyard.

All are worth a listen as you slide back into the post-Labor Day work week.

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
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



Ballantyne Named NH Made Executive Director

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

We at the No Bull Business Blog have the philosophy of “buy local and buy often.” With that in mind, we want to issue our congratulations to Trish Ballantyne for being named the new Executive Director of NH Made, an organization that truly demonstrates the power of local small business ownership. Here’s the official release:

Ballantyne Named NH Made Executive Director

New Hampshire Made announced today that Trish Ballantyne has been named Executive Director of the organization. Ballantyne brings 25 years of nonprofit fundraising, marketing, event planning and leadership to NH Made. Previously with NH Public Television, Ballantyne looks forward to leading NH Made towards continued success and growth. Ballantyne, a UNH graduate, is a recipient of several prestigious PBS Awards for Excellence.

nh-made1“Trish brings a range of nonprofit management and business development skills to the organization,” NH Board Chair, Link Moser said. “Trish knows New Hampshire and will do a great job supporting the organization’s mission of strengthening New Hampshire’s economy by increasing the awareness and demand for NH made products and supporting programs local businesses need to grow.”

Ballantyne succeeds the late Laurie Ferguson who recently passed away following a courageous battle with cancer. In her seven year tenure with the organization, Ferguson earned a number of prestigious state and regional awards including the 2007 New Hampshire Business Review Business Excellence Award and the 2010 Outstanding Women in Business Award.

Ask CJ: Focus Your Marketing Plan on Your Customers

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Q: I am looking at increasing our marketing efforts and need some guidance on where I should invest our marketing dollars. Should I focus on social media?”

A: Marketing is such an important part of the success of a businesses, and it is a topic that is quite expansive. I will try to be brief, but at least touch upon the key elements of a marketing plan that you should be thinking about.

For in-depth free assistance, I would recommend that you spend some time visiting the NH Small Business Development Center at www.nhsbdc.org. It has some great online classes that cover this topic. Your local SCORE counselor, www.scorehelp.org, can also be of assistance.

NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Services Specialist Christine Davis

NH Business Resource Center Seacoast Business Services Specialist Christine Davis

There are many ways a business can market itself from traditional print media, to radio, to television, to the increasingly popular social media. There is no one formula that will work for everyone. Just as your business is unique, so should be your marketing plan.

There are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself to help guide your decisions: First, what is my budget? As much as it would be great to have a commercial during the Super Bowl or “American Idol,” you may not have the funds for it. Second, who is your target market? If you can pinpoint your customers and understand what they want, you can begin to create advertising that will resonate with them.

I recently attended an event with the Center for Family Business at the University of New Hampshire. The guest speaker runs a successful gardening center and spent some time talking about his marketing strategy. First he talked about knowing who they were, in other words, branding. What type of product does the company sell? High-quality garden products. Who is the target customer? Women. His next task was to figure out what women want. (Yes, I did laugh out loud when he said that. Good luck, my friend. We don’t even know what we want).

Once these questions were answered, there was another aspect of the company’s marketing plan that I want to share. Are you looking for new customers or are you trying to recapture customers that have drifted for one reason or another? That can affect where you place those well-crafted messages. They didn’t need to persuade gardeners to garden, so instead of placing ads in a gardening magazine, the company’s advertising materials are being placed in other print media that is predominantly read by women, the target market. Again, the answer for you will vary depending on your business, but the questions are pretty universal.

When it comes to content, invest the time to create something memorable. We are inundated with all sorts of media, so an advertisement with impact is critically important. I am amazed when I watch yet another TV commercial that lacks creativity or content. Who is getting paid to write this stuff? I have to admit that there is a TV commercial for toilet paper that I can’t forget as much as I try. One of the lines in the commercial is, “It’s time to get serious about what happens in the bathroom.” As much as that tactic initially horrified me, I must admit that I haven’t forgotten the ad, and I certainly can’t say that about the vast majority of commercials I see on television. You have a very short window of opportunity to make an impression, so don’t waste it.

Like every aspect of your business the marketing plan requires just that, a plan. Throwing out generic ads in every direction at every individual isn’t a good plan. Focusing all of your energy on social media just because the guy next to you is doing it isn’t a good plan, either. A good marketing plan revolves around your customers. Who are they, where are they and what do they want? Answer those questions first and craft a message that speaks to them. Deliver that message frequently via the media that they use. Everyone needs to market their business, and today we have so many options and price points that I just don’t believe someone can say that they can’t afford it. If you lack the big corporate budget, you just need to tap into your creativity. At the very least, get out in your community and get involved. Grassroots networking is still a great way to get your name out there.

Christine J. Davis works for the N.H. Division of Economic Development as a resource specialist serving businesses in Rockingham and Strafford counties. Her role is to provide the support needed for businesses so that they may remain viable and growing entities in the community. She lives in Exeter with her two daughters. She likes to spend time outdoors to discover new places and activities in the community with her girls. She can be reached at Christine.davis@dred.state.nh.us.

#NHTelecom Summit a Great Success

Friday, May 13th, 2011

This post was provided by State Broadband Director Carol Miller who was one of the driving forces behind the Telecom Summit – great job by all associated with this event!

The 2011 NH Telecommunication Summit on May 11 at the Radisson in Manchester NH was an exciting gathering of service providers, technology companies, state agencies, regional planning commissions, municipalities and business.  Sponsored by NH Business Review, the NH Division of Economic Development, the New Hampshire Telecommunications Association, Head Networks and G4 Communications.

telecom-summitRoy Duddy, Interim Director, Division of Economic Development welcomed a crowd of close to 150 participants. He thanked everyone for their support and interest in the discussion surrounding expansion of broadband to unserved and underserved communities in the State of NH.

Carol Miller, Director of Broadband Technologies at the Division assumed the role of master of ceremonies keeping attendees on track for the keynote, breakout sessions, and a service provider panel as Industry Leaders share their insight.

“This represents the first time in several years that providers, municipalities, and businesses have gathered to share information and resources about telecommunications,” she said.

The keynote was delivered by Scott Valcourt, UNH on the Network NH Now, and other initiatives that build upon the federally funded assets in construction that will build middle mile fiber to all 10 counties of NH.  The Public Safety Microwave Project encompasses a planned upgrade of state agency facilities to a multi-user platform to free up space on state owned mountain tops for wireless broadband providers.  The New Hampshire Fastroads LLC will bring that fiber to the customer premise in two last mile projects in Rindge and Enfield.   In addition, Valcourt talked about the impact to economic development and the way it will change and enhance telemedicine, education, and job growth opportunities for the people of NH.

Breakout sessions included “Wireless/Cellular Technology Today” by AT&T’s Brian Krause,  “Where’s My Broadband?”  by Michael Blair of the NH Mapping and Planning Program at UNH, “Telecom 101 for Businesses and Municipalities” by Cisco’s Paul Gasparro and “Who Needs Broadband?” hosted by Carol Miller, Director of Broadband Technologies for the State of NH.

The Service Provider Panel was moderated by Matt Cookson, Executive Director of NH High Tech Council.  The Panelists were Brad Scofield, Regional Director of Product Management for Comcast, Jeremy Katz, CEO of segTEL, Gunnar Berg, CEO of Cyperpine Wireless and Bill Meehan Director of Segment Marketing of FairPoint Communications.

Each  panelist described their company products and footprint.  They answered questions about expansion to rural areas, and business incentives to enhance investments in infrastructure.

Allen Voivod of Epiphanies Inc., provided the social media blitz for the Summit thanks to the generous sponsorship of G4 Communications.  Video from the event can be seen online at the following location: http://www.youtube.com/NHEconomy, and photos can be seen at http://on.fb.me/2011TelecomSummit. Read the event’s comments on Twitter by following the hashtag #NHTelecom.

Science Cafe New Hampshire Set to Launch

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

In the interest of giving you the latest news about all of the things that make for a vibrant, growing and interesting New Hampshire, here’s a neat press release that I just ran across:

“Science Café New Hampshire” Launches with May 24 Forum in Concord on Climate Change

New Hampshire is joining a national grassroots movement aimed at bringing more science into public discussion of scientific topics, with the launch of Science Café New Hampshire. The first café is set for May 24 at 7:00 p.m. at The Barley House (downstairs) in Concord; the topic will be “Climate Change in New Hampshire?”

iconmicroscopeThe free monthly gatherings at The Barley House in Concord involve loosely organized discussions among several invited scientists and the general public, with snacks, drinks and plenty of back-and-forth available throughout the evening. It is modeled after dozens of similar gatherings run around the country and the world by universities, colleges and professional groups, but this one has even more of a grassroots beginning.

Science Café New Hampshire was created by Sarah Eck of Hopkinton, a Ph.D. in biochemistry, and Dan Marcek of Brookline, a veteran of the computer industry. They felt a shortage of opportunities for the general public to learn about, and talk about, the science and engineering of controversial topics that will affect life in New Hampshire, whether it be climate change or digital privacy or the future of food.

“Science comes in many forms today and New Hampshire needs exposure to all of them. Science Cafe New Hampshire will help bridge the gap, connecting science and scientists with the general public in a conversation about issues we are facing. Preparing New Hampshire for 21st century means we all must work a little harder to be informed by the facts, not the rhetoric.

“Public dialogue is a big part of the answer,” said Dan Marcek.

“The informal atmosphere of our science café will allow local experts to share their research and knowledge with non-scientists and provide a comfortable environment for comments and questions to be raised and considered by all present. Additionally, we hope that the issues raised at Science Café New Hampshire will spark an ongoing discussion that extends into homes and communities,” said Sarah Eck.

The first café, set for May 24 at 7:00 p.m. at The Barley House (downstairs) in Concord, will follow the general format. Its topic is “Climate Change in New Hampshire?” Three panelists will be present: state climatologist Mary Stampone of UNH, who’s particularly knowledgeable about computer modeling of climate; UNH Professor Lawrence Hamilton, whose research includes the Arctic, Human-environment interactions, and statistics and data analysis; and Rhett Lamb, planner for the City of Keene.

They will give short introductions about their expertise, and then the evening will be opened for comments and questions from anybody who shows up.

The format isn’t a “sage from a stage” lecture hall, but discussions among people who want to understand the realities of climate change so they can make more well informed decisions.

The café will be moderated by Dave Brooks, a science writer for the Nashua Telegraph, whose weekly Granite Geek column and daily Granite Geek blog have touched on many of these topics, with a lighter tone, for years.

“I’m there mainly to make sure nothing horrible happens, like somebody trying to discuss politics,” said Brooks. “And if things get too slow, I’ll tell my joke about the 3.14159 mathematicians who walk into a bar.”

A second Science Café New Hampshire is being planned for June, on the topic of the future of food, with more monthly Science Cafes taking place in the fall after a summer hiatus.

To learn more about the discussion, http://www.sciencecafenh.org/.

For more information, contact Dan Marcek at 603-801-6943, marcek@gmail.com or Sarah Eck 603-728-8243, sarahmeck@gmail.com.

“Green Scene” to Debut Today

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

The New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, Public Service of New Hampshire and the “New Hampshire Today Show With Jack Heath” on WTPL 107.7 FM are making a scene and companies throughout the Granite State couldn’t be happier.

green-recycle-img1Today, the aforementioned partners will be debuting a new radio segment called the “Green Scene.” To be aired at 3:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of every month, the “Green Scene” will be dedicated to New Hampshire companies and initiatives geared toward energy efficiency, sustainability and responsible energy practices.

On today’s inaugural segment, “New Hampshire Today Show” host Jack Heath will be joined by Dennis Randall, owner and CEO of Portsmouth-based EARTHTEC, an apparel manufacturer that utilizes recycables to create outerwear. EARTHTEC has created jackets for the NH Fisher Cats staff, winter hats for a UNH men’s hockey giveaway and soft shell jackets for the Portsmouth Police Department among many other customers. For more details about their great work, visit www.earth-tec.com.

Special thanks to Public Service of New Hampshire for their sponsorship of the segment and to Jack Heath and the WTPL staff for the opportunity to share some great stories via the airwaves. Please be sure to listen to today’s segment and all that follow!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

It Makes Perfect Business Sense to “Get Wild”

Friday, February 26th, 2010

How many times in a business situation do you think that it pays to “get wild?”

Well, I’m here to tell you that next Friday, the entire state of New Hampshire will go “Wild for Innovation” as we partner with Public Service of New Hampshire and the University of New Hampshire to host a daylong celebration of some of the finest innovative initiatives in the nation.

Our good friend Allen Voivod of Epiphanies, Inc. just wrote a great blog about our upcoming event – here’s what he had to say:

Networking, Innovating and Getting Wild About Business

Here’s one thing that 2009 taught us – everything you think you know about business can change very rapidly, and cause even the most stable of companies to get nervous, get shaky, and in some unfortunate circumstances, go under.

innovations22Here’s something else we know – out of recessions come some of the most powerful, profitable, game-changing companies. General Electric, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, CNN, Federal Express, Burger King, and dozens of other giants started out in what some would consider the worst of economic circumstances.

One of the keys to their survival through thick and thin is their ability to innovate – to constantly search for ways to improve the way they do business, internally and externally. This is the overriding theme behind “Wild for Innovation,” billed as “a unique opportunity for New Hampshire businesspeople to converge with some of the brightest at UNH for a day of learning, sharing, celebration.”

It’s happening Friday, March 5th, at UNH in Durham, starting at 12pm and continuing through 5:45pm, after which there’s going to be a tailgate-style networking dinner. (You can stay and watch UNH’s hockey team take on Boston College at 7:30pm and make a night of it, too.)

I’ll be honest: I wasn’t planning on going originally, even though one of our clients is involved in putting on this event. But I’ve since changed my mind, and the reason why is because of what I learned from studying up on trade shows a couple of years ago:

If you want to stand out in your field, look at what’s happening in different industries to get fresh ideas, find out what’s working (and what isn’t), and bring some of that into your own presence as appropriate.

Same thing goes for innovation – if you want to get in the innovation mindset, surround yourself with open-minded business professionals who are thinking in that direction. Surround yourself with people who are actually innovating for a living. Get fresh input from different fields that you can take back and put to work in your own business.

You’re going to get that (and a lot more) from Wild for Innovation Day. It’s an event unlike others I’ve seen put on here in NH in the past, tickets are limited for it, and half are gone already, so don’t wait until the last minute – jump on it today.

To learn more, visit: http://wildforinnovation.eventbrite.com/.

NH Business Community Invited to Get “Wild for Innovation”

Monday, February 1st, 2010

What is it that all successful teams have in common? Find out on March 5th, 2010 when the UNH Wildcats, the Whittemore School of Business, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and Public Service of New Hampshire host a unique afternoon workshop at UNH aimed at building teams, developing effective leaders and stimulating innovation.

innovations2The “Wild for Innovation” workshop has been developed specifically for New Hampshire business leaders and their teams. Participants will attend classes on innovation and leadership effectiveness from Whittemore professors, experience the innovations in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, and work directly with UNH athletics coaches on team building. There will be a special look at UNH’s Green LaunchPad as well as a discussion on leader effectiveness. The event will culminate with a BBQ tailgate party, a team picture and reserved seats to see the nationally ranked Wildcat hockey team in action against the Boston College Eagles.

“This is a unique opportunity for New Hampshire businesses to spend an afternoon focusing on techniques for building a winning team,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “Innovation is a team sport and we know that great teams don’t just happen. It takes practice, focus and commitment to be successful year after year.”

With an eye toward developing leaders for tomorrow, the workshop sessions will address opportunities for every type of New Hampshire business, from the service sector to the emerging areas of renewable energy and nanotechnology.

“Wild for Innovation day could be a seminal moment for the business leaders of the next decade,” according to Pat McDermott, the Economic and Community Development Manager at Public Service of NH, the lead sponsor of the event. “In the next ten years, start-up companies and corporate stalwarts will all face the same challenges, and those with the best leaders and strongest teams will be most likely to succeed.”

The Wild for Innovation workshop will be held at UNH in Durham on March 5, 2010. The event is limited to 100 participants. Companies are encouraged to register their teams online as early as possible by visiting http://wildforinnovation.eventbrite.com/

NH, Brazilian State in Accord on Sustainability

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Congratulations to our International Trade Resource Center for their masterful job in hosting the Brazilian trade contingent yesterday. Despite the inclement weather, the ITRC team was able to fashion a great day for our guests. Here’s a Nashua Telegraph story about the visit:

NH, Brazilian state in accord on sustainability

Gov. John Lynch signed an agreement Wednesday with a Brazilian governor to share new sustainable technologies.

Lynch welcomed Carlos Henrique Amorim, governor of Tocantins, Brazil, and a group of Brazilian officials to the Statehouse to collaborate on the “Sister States” deal.

“We plan to work together,” Lynch said. “They obviously have many assets and resources in their state that we have in our state. We can collaborate, which ultimately would mean job creation.”

According to New Hampshire’s International Trade Resource Center, Brazil is the state’s 16th strongest business partner, out of 215 nations. The 20-year-old state of Tocantins in central Brazil has a vast range of natural resources and a relatively relaxed set of business regulations. TV aficionados may recognize Tocantins as the shooting locale for the 18th edition of CBS’s “Survivor.”

Governor Carlos Henrique Gaguim, of Tocantins, with Gov. John Lynch. Photo by Eduardo de Oliveira

Governor Carlos Henrique Gaguim, of Tocantins, with Gov. John Lynch. Photo by Eduardo de Oliveira

The deal means Tocantins and New Hampshire will share work on sustainability and serve as a ground to put into practice several environmental projects envisioned by Milford resident Craig Cassarino.
“As everybody gets an understanding of what Tocantins is, we will figure out how we can take the hard work of New Hampshire people and transfer it as projects that can create jobs here, too,” said Cassarino, an environmental businessman who works at Leonardo Technologies Inc. in Bedford.

Cassarino said one of the projects is assisting the mayor of Pedro Afonso, Jose Julio Eduardo Chagas, with development of an integrated waste management plant in the city. Cassarino will provide Chagas with American technology to help Pedro Afonso, a city with about 10,000 habitants close to the Amazon jungle, grow in a self-sustainable fashion. For Chagas, improving waste management is a high priority.

“Transferring recycling technology is fundamental because trash collecting is a serious municipal problem not only in our city but all over the state,” Chagas said.

The mayor also highlighted the academic arm of the Sister States partnership, as his own city is introducing a new elementary school course on environmental education.

“The world is breathing the environmental debates. When we add an environmental course to the curricula, we’re helping to educate a more conscious citizen,” he said.

The Tocantins committee will meet with University of Massachusetts officials this morning to talk about an “EcoTourism” course UNH is creating, which will include visits to Tocantins by American students.

“Today, the ecotourism is a major source of job creation, and partnering it with academia will help us develop a more responsible resident, who will also watch for the self-sustainable growth of their state,” said Julio Cesar Rezende, owner of Origene, a 100,000-acre farm in Brazil that, under his leadership, developed a self-sustainable model.

For Rezende, New Hampshire and Tocantins are complimentary states. For instance, Origene already utilizes solar panels and local biomass to power the farm’s machinery, which are some of the reasons why Cassarino picked the farm to be the breathing ground for many of his projects.

“We can minimize men’s impact on nature, while stimulating the use of new technologies. On the biotechnology field, Tocantins has a lot to offer New Hampshire, and the economic gains will be plenty for both sides,” Rezende said.

The Tocantins committee also toured the Statehouse, and first lady Roseane Rodrigues Pereira Amorim was surprised to learn New Hampshire has 400 state representatives and each makes $100 a year.

“Just that!” Amorim exclaimed.

In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Carlos Henrique Amorim said it was “in New Hampshire that everything started in the United States.”

“We can feel that the New Hampshire people love their own soil, and their slogan ‘Live free or Die’ would fit to our state. Because all we want is to offer the chance of prosperity to all the people who picked Tocantins as their home,” he said.