CTNext Seeking Applications for Higher Education Grants

Proposals strengthening innovation capacity and entrepreneurship among state’s higher education institutions can be submitted beginning August 26, 2019

ROCKY HILL, CT (August 26, 2019) – CTNext, Connecticut’s go-to resource for entrepreneurial support, announced it is now seeking applications for its Higher Education Innovation and Entrepreneurship grant program. The program funds initiatives at Connecticut’s higher education institutions to develop innovation capacity building and entrepreneurship among faculty, students, alumni and industry partners.

CTNext has awarded nearly $3 million in grant distributions to higher education programs under this initiative, beginning in January 2018. Initiatives funded to date have spanned a variety of Innovation and entrepreneurship programs. Examples include:

  • UCONN Health’s Partnerships in Innovation and Education (PIE) Program has placed more than 165 students from 15 Connecticut schools and partner institutions in research internships at over 130 laboratory mentors across 10 research institutions.
  • Proof-of-concept technology development programs at the University of Bridgeport, UConn and partner institutions have helped about 200 faculty make progress toward identifying or developing new technologies for commercialization from their research ideas.
  • The Entrepreneurship Foundation provides a forum for college students and Connecticut residents to create and validate their entrepreneurial ideas through business plan and pitch competitions, and an accelerator program that has served over 400 students to date.

“Our Higher Education and Innovation initiatives have fostered a number of key relationships between universities, colleges and other partners that are contributing significantly to the growing entrepreneurial mindset on Connecticut campuses,” said Glendowlyn Thames, Executive Director of CTNext. “We’re confident this program will help continue that expansion and inspire even more creative thinking and partnerships.”

CTNext’s Higher Education and Innovation Initiatives are helping to establish sustainable relationships and lasting partnerships among the state’s higher education institutions. Some create lasting value by increasing student attraction and retention, while others focus on generating stronger alumni connections or expanding higher education’s role as an economic and innovation catalyst. The program offers two types of grants: Seed grants, providing up to $200,000 to pilot a project, or a scale grant of up to $500,000 for proven, expanding initiatives. All grants require a matching funds component.

CTNext will begin accepting Information applications on August 26; the deadline for applications is September 20. For more information about CTNext’s Higher Education Initiatives program, 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 has more than 2,500 members in its network. To learn more, visit

Media Contact: Tom Bradley, (860) 258-7875,

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