CTNext Awards $1.3 Million to Seven Higher Education Initiatives

First round awardees create programs designed to spur collaboration, partnership and knowledge sharing among Connecticut’s institutions of higher learning

Rocky Hill, Conn. – July 16, 2018 – CTNext, Connecticut’s go-to resource for entrepreneurial support, today announced it awarded seven recipients with grants from the Higher Education Initiative.

In total, CTNext will award up to $1.3 million as part of the first round of grant distributions. The programs, which were approved by the CTNext Board of Directors, are designed to foster collaboration among institutions of higher education and strengthen institutional capacity as it relates to innovation and entrepreneurship.

“We are pleased to mark another milestone in our mission to foster entrepreneurship and innovation across Connecticut,” said Glendowlyn Thames, executive director of CTNext. “The grant recipient’s programs are well positioned to bring greater collaboration and partnership among our state’s higher educational institutions.”

The Higher Education Initiative programs with which CTNext has finalized grant agreements include:

  • Connecticut Consortium for Entrepreneurship Educators: Developing a systematic and ongoing set of activities that enable college students to create and validate their entrepreneurial ideas, culminating in a summer startup camp, with the goal of increasing the number of Connecticut students launching businesses or being able to contribute to the high growth innovate industries in the state.
  • University of Bridgeport: Creating a consortium of small, medium and large institutions to develop an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional network for improving innovation and entrepreneurship collaboration amongst partner institutions to accelerate the growth of new business and technical ventures in Connecticut.
  • Partnership for Innovation and Education (“P.I.E.”): A seven-institution partnership, led by UConn, whose goal is to foster education and innovation in bioscience and retain STEM graduates in Connecticut by engaging students in mentored bioscience research experiences in academia or industry, and promoting learning and engagement in bioscience innovation at student, faculty and institutional levels.
  • University of Connecticut Technology Commercialization Services: Leveraging current innovation infrastructures at UConn to create a multi-institution partnership between Central Connecticut State University, Southern Connecticut State University, the University of Bridgeport, and the CT Intercollegiate Partnership for Technology Transfer (CIPTT), that will share knowledge, commercialize inventions, promote entrepreneurship, support startups, and retain entrepreneurial minded and STEM graduates in Connecticut.
  • University of Saint Joseph: Creating a 10-week interdisciplinary Integrated Solutions Laboratory Experience (ISLE) that will bring students together for a collaborative learning experience focused on targeted product development and entrepreneurship.
  • Business Council of Fairfield County: Piloting a Summer Faculty Applied Practitioner Fellowship program where 6-8 higher education faculty members will embed with local employers for 6-8 weeks to work on joint initiatives, build long-term relationships, and spark innovation with the intent to grow into an annual summer program.
  • University of New Haven: Working in partnership with UConn and The District  to develop entrepreneurial talent in Connecticut through a combination of formal curriculum to introduce entrepreneurial concepts, practical experience in applying concepts that are learned, and engagement in activities that develop entrepreneurial skills.

For more information about CTNext’s Higher Education Initiative, please visit

About CTNext
CTNext is Connecticut’s go-to resource for entrepreneurial support. The goal of the program is to build a more robust community of entrepreneurs and to accelerate startup growth by providing access to talent, space, industry expertise, services, skill development and capital to foster innovation and create jobs for people in Connecticut. CTNext launched in 2012 and has more than 2,500 members in its network.

Media Contact:
Lauren Carmody
Director of Marketing and Communications


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