Connecticut’s Innovation Ecosystem is a community of entrepreneurs and the resource network that enables them to thrive.
Connecticut has embraced a new, dynamic era of inspired entrepreneurialism and innovation. In the past decade, we’ve seen a surge in new business launches, billions of dollars in investment from outside the state, and impressive growth in technology-driven industries like bioscience/pharma, IT, insurtech, digital media, manufacturing, green energy and more – industries that create high-quality jobs and a stronger, innovation-driven 21st century economy.
The catalyst driving that evolution has been Connecticut’s “innovation ecosystem” – the community of entrepreneurs, and the expanding network of resources, programs, and institutions that have come together to support our burgeoning startup culture.
So, what is an ecosystem?
New and early-stage companies need resources and assistance to survive the challenges they face, including:
Space. Businesses need a home to manufacture their product, develop a workforce, conduct tests, meet with clients and service providers. Whether that home is an office, a lab, a restaurant or shop, or simply a place to put your laptop and coffee, space is an essential asset. And frequently, an expensive one.
Capital. Few entrepreneurs launch a business on their own money. Very early on, business founders realize that finding funding can make or break your company in its earliest stages.
Expertise. No one starts a business knowing all the answers. Few scientists have studied operations management or accounting; few software developers understand marketing or HR management in any depth. Entrepreneurs rely heavily on mentorship and guidance to teach them how to grow and manage their company’s evolution.
Talent. Competing for highly skilled talent is tough for any employer, but especially for a young company in the first stages of expansion.
Partnership and Community. The collision of people with ideas frequently provides the spark that leads to new partnerships, new products, and new companies. The ecosystem must provide ongoing vehicles for these interpersonal and intellectual collisions for an innovative culture to grow.