Top Angel Investors in Vermont

Last updated: February 24, 2024

In 2006, Vermont was named the Nation’s Smartest State because of its high literacy rate. However, as time passed, we witnessed the startup culture decline in Vermont, with many brands shutting down their businesses.

Moreover, Vermont wasn’t even in the discussion about the best-ranking states for startups until 2020.

But, thanks to angel investors, we have started to witness the rise of the startup culture again. Even though Vermont may not become a rival for Silicon Valley or Austin in terms of growth, the state is still supported by many angel investors and venture capital firms.

Thinking about who these investors might be?

Don’t stress yourself. Here is an article featuring the list of the top 7 angel investors in Vermont, along with their investment interests. 

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    Top 7 Angel Investors in Vermont

    Following is the list of the top-ranked angel investors and venture capital firms in Vermont. 

    Lee Bouyea

    LinkedIn: Lee Bouyea | LinkedIn

    Investor Type: Individual Investor

    Investment Interests: Tech

    Investment Stage: Early and Seed

    Lee Bouyea is the most prominent and well-known angel investor in Vermont. He has founded several companies himself and is the General Partner and Managing Director at Freshtracks Capital.

    Talking about his startup investments, Lee Bouyea has made around 25 personal investments and more than 100 startup investments through his firm. Bouyea has a strong focus on software-related businesses and invests in startups that are at the early and seed stages. He is known to arrange screening contests or pitching events, such as the “Peak Pitch” event.

    The investment range of Lee Bouyea lies between $150,000 to $2M. Three of his investments are:

    Benchmark Space Systems: The company’s proprietary and patented thruster technology is designed to provide propulsion solutions for small satellites. This includes propulsion for CubeSats, which are a type of miniaturized satellite for space research.

    Resonant Link: The company’s wireless charging systems are designed to be fast and easy to use. They use a unique resonant energy transfer technology, which allows for efficient power transfer over distance. 

    Infisense: The company’s IoT platform provides real-time data collection and analysis. This can help businesses optimize operations, increase efficiency, reduce resource use, and save money. 

    Peter Hershberg

    LinkedIn: Peter Hershberg | LinkedIn

    Investor Type: Individual Investor

    Investment Interests: 

    Investment Stage:

    Peter Hershberg is an entrepreneur, company advisor, and active angel investor. He has successfully founded, funded, and exited several start-ups over more than twenty years in online advertising and technology. Hershberg has also co-founded the leading search and social media marketing firm, Reprise Media.

    As for investment interests, Hershberg generally invests in young, emerging companies with a focus on ad-tech or consumer internet. He has funded around 20 startups individually since 2009 and is going to expand his portfolio in 2024.

    Peter Hershberg's investment range is between $25,000 and $75,000 as he invests in early-stage startups. Some of his previously funded startups are:

    Bitly Bitly is a link management platform that shortens 600 million links per month for use in social networking, SMS, and email. The company’s platform allows users to collect, organize, shorten, and share links via websites and browser extensions.

    Chartbeat: Chartbeat is a content intelligence platform for publishers. Chartbeat offers real-time insights, historical benchmarking, optimization, and reporting to increase audience growth, subscriber revenue, and the impact of editorial workflows.

    Yipit: Yipit, doing business as YipitData, operates as a market research firm. The company offers a daily report to users that details summarizes, and analyzes deals pulled from other websites and service providers based on the users’ location and interests.

    T.J. Whalen

    LinkedIn: T.J. Whalen | LinkedIn

    Investor Type: Individual Investor

    Investment Interests: Consumer Products, Retail, and Tech.

    Investment Stage: Seed

    T.J. Whalen is an angel investor as well as a General Partner and Managing Director at FreshTracks Capital. He focuses his efforts on consumer opportunities for the fund. 

    Similarly, T.J. Whalen has over 25 years of experience in consumer product strategy, brand, marketing, and sales leadership. Prior to joining FreshTracks, he was the Chief Strategy Officer for Keurig Green Mountain, a consumer products, coffee, and beverage manufacturer.

    When investing in startups, Whalen focuses on consumer opportunities. He invests in early-stage businesses that generate profitable revenue and have a positive future. Aside from investments, T.J. Whalen also provides guidance to his portfolio companies through different mentorship programs.

    The investment range of T.J. Whalen lies between $100,000 to $600,000. Some of his portfolio companies are:

    Caledonia Spirits: Caledonia Spirits is a craft distillery. The distillery is known for its Barr Hill-brand spirits, including gin, vodka, and an Old Tom gin called Tom Cat. 

    SunCommon: SunCommon is a Vermont-based installer of residential solar power systems. The company offers home solar power, solar canopy, home energy storage, small business solar, commercial solar, community solar, and solar heating and cooling.

    Ogee: Ogee is a commercial-stage beauty company. The brand focuses on providing certified organic, high-performance skincare and makeup products made from sustainable ingredients.

    Will Raap

    Investor Type: Individual Investor

    Investment Interests: Tech

    Investment Stage: Seed

    Will Raap is an angel investor who funds startups in Vermont. He has a preference for investing in the Agriculture, AgTech, Biotechnology, and Life Science sectors. 

    Before I discuss his startup funding, it is worth noting that Will Raap has a long history of creating innovative enterprises. Similarly, Will Raap only funds startups that are working on something unique and can solve problems. 

    During the meetings, Raap prefers startups that have a qualified team and are led by experienced individuals. He focused on three pillars in his business ventures: People, planet, and profit.

    Will Raap's investment range is around $300,000. He has invested in many companies; one of his famous investments is:

    Terra Vera: An agricultural technology company that was founded in 2020. The company’s mission is to rid the world of toxic chemicals that are damaging our environment and contributing to a public health crisis. Terra Vera’s technology is designed to generate cost-effective, microbial-free crops while reducing the widespread use of pesticides.

    Seizan Capital, LLC


    Website: Seizan Capital, LLC

    Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm

    Investment Interests: Tech

    Investment Stage: Seed

    Seizan Capital, LLC was founded by Patrick Reid, Chad Bell, and Adam Martin. The firm is based in Burlington, Vermont, and acts as a venture capital and development agency.

    Discussing their startup funding, Seizan Capital, LLC has a strong interest in tech-related companies. Startup leaders have to fill out and submit online forms. Once selected, the investors at Seizan Capital LLC ask questions to the startup leaders and have a 15-20 Minute Questioning Phase.

    Aside from their investments, Seizan Capital LLC also arranges extra startup events to support system growth. They have a network of experienced mentors who guide new individuals through different startup stages.

    The investment range of Seizan Capital LLC is around $500,000. Although they have invested in a wide range of startups, Seizan Capital LLC does not make their portfolio companies public. 

    FreshTracks Capital


    Website: FreshTracks Capital - Vermont Venture Capital, Venture Fund, Private Equity, Investments

    Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm

    Investment Interests: advanced manufacturing, B2B software, consumer products, digital media, energy, food and beverage, medical technology, and

    Investment Stage: Seed

    FreshTracks Capital was founded in 2000 by Cairn Cross and Charles F. Kireker. The firm is headquartered in Shelburne, Vermont, and has a network of more than 10 investors. 

    FreshTracks Capital primarily focuses on seed and early-stage investments. They specialize in various technology areas, and usual deals for the fund are in the range of 1 - 5 million dollars.

    Some of their portfolio companies are:

    Faraday: A B2B cloud software provider that uses ethical artificial intelligence to help direct-to-consumer companies make predictions using responsible data.

    Mamava: They deliver design solutions for nursing mothers on the go, making the world a friendlier place to pump or breastfeed.

    DealerPolicy (now Polly): Provides auto dealers with a digital platform where customers buy insurance at the same time that they buy their car.

    Ogee: Crafts luxury organic skincare and beauty products powered by Jojoba seed oil and Edelweiss Flower plant stem cells.

    Sancus Ventures


    Website: Sancus Ventures – Sancus (

    Investor Type: Venture Capital Firm

    Investment Interests: AI, Blockchain, Software, Digital Businesses, and Tech. 

    Investment Stage: Seed

    Sancus Ventures is a venture capital firm that was founded by Lake Dai. The firm is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley and also has branches in Vermont. 

    When funding startups, Sancus Ventures focuses on early-stage startups that are related to the AI and Blockchain sectors. The investors have strict criteria of only investing in businesses that can grow 2x within the first year of investment and at least generate 3x ROI. 

    The investment range of Sancus Ventures is between $200,000 to $1M. Some of their portfolio companies are:

    Dinari: Dinari is a decentralized stock trading platform. The company issues 1:1 backed Real World Asset tokens of stocks, ETFs, bonds, REITs, and other assets on the blockchain. 

    Bastion: Bastion is a company that builds a decentralized lending and borrowing protocol that algorithmically sets interest rates based on supply and demand. It enables users to supply assets to earn interest, put assets up for collateral, and borrow assets.

    zCloak Network: zCloak Network is a decentralized platform. The company provides a cryptographic technology-based platform that enables computation and analysis of personal data without sending them to third parties.


    Summing up, even though Vermont has gone through a decline in businesses, investors are still funding startups, and there is again a new chance for new brands to shine.

    Just prepare a good pitch deck, do strong research, and secure investments from the investors. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Is it possible for a startup to survive five years?

    A: Well, it really depends on the business. A study shows that nearly 20% of startups fail in their very first year. About 50% of the startups hardly reach the 5th year.

    But, if you have a great idea, the right approach, and access to sufficient resources, there is no reason why your startup won't survive five years and beyond.

    Q: How Do Angel Investors Help Businesses Grow?

    A: Angel investors play a crucial role in the growth of businesses by providing essential funding during the early stages. Their financial support enables startups to develop products, scale operations, and expand their market reach. Moreover, angel investors bring valuable expertise and networking opportunities, contributing to the overall success and sustainability of the ventures they back.

    Q: What are different startup stages?

    A: Startup stages are the evolution of a business, including ideation, validation, and development. The proper understanding of these stages allows the entrepreneur to measure risk, ROI, and the startup's progress.

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