Governor’s Innovation Fellowship

A new initiative created to place the most promising graduates of Connecticut colleges and universities in growth positions inside some of the most dynamic and innovative companies in Connecticut.

The goal: Prepare Connecticut’s next generation of business leaders and inspire them to stay and lead in Connecticut.

The Governor’s Innovation Fellowship (GIF) not only offers ambitious, high-achieving young professionals the opportunity to work in challenging positions with top companies; it also places them in a group of Fellows working together to build their community’s innovation ecosystem, participating in shared professional development events and programs, and getting involved with local business and non-profit initiatives. In recognition of their commitment, those who achieve positions as Fellows will receive a $5,000 honorarium.

Connecticut companies participating as Fellowship Partners will have access to some of the highest caliber students in the country – young men and women who have demonstrated professional and academic excellence in Business, Economics, STEM and STEM-adjacent specialties.


Stamford will be home for the first Governor’s Innovation Fellowship pilot program. The city is a major commercial and economic hub with a young, highly educated workforce, home to some the nation’s largest corporations and a vital entrepreneurial community. Its projected growth demands that greater effort be made to develop the leaders who will guide its businesses into the next generation; the GIF will be the centerpiece of the effort to achieve that goal.

Graduates: The First Step to a Career Without Limits

The GIF/Stamford Pilot offers qualifying graduates a chance to build a strong foundation to their careers, and the opportunity to be one of the founding members of a professional community that will grow and contribute to shaping the direction of the state’s – and the nation’s – business future for generations.

For consideration to be named a Governor’s Innovation Fellow, you must:

  • be on-track to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in a STEM-related field from a university or college in Connecticut in the Spring of 2020
  • display exemplary academic achievement, preferably enhanced by meaningful professional experience in a STEM-related field.

How to Apply:

You must submit the application accessed through the link at the bottom of this page by February 14, 2020.

Applicants will provide a copy of their resume along with a personal statement and two letters of recommendation stemming from their prior professional experience.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of Stamford-based business leaders and executives, who will select a pool of candidates. This pool will provide candidates for private-industry positions within Stamford-based companies participating as Fellowship Partners.

These positions can be obtained in one of two ways:

  • Interviews with one of the private companies in the Fellowship.
  • Submission of a job description for a position in Stamford which you have already accepted. This position will be evaluated to determine if it is rigorous enough to meet the goals and criteria of the Fellowship.

Once a position is obtained, the Fellow is required to establish residency in Stamford by June 20th, 2020.

The Benefits of Being a Governor’s Innovation Fellow

Those among the pool of candidates who receive and accept a qualified job offer to live and work full time in Stamford, CT will be named a Governor’s Innovation Fellow. As the cohort begins their careers, Fellows will live and work in the same city together and be part of a group of peers building a community and sharing a program of common professional development experiences. Fellows will gain access to mentorship opportunities within their companies, will be invited to curated professional development events around Stamford, and be given opportunities get involved with business and nonprofit initiatives in Stamford’s innovation ecosystem.

In recognition of their choice to dedicate their time and effort toward making a positive impact on Stamford and the State of Connecticut, StamfordNext, the city’s Innovation Places program, will award Fellows a $5,000 honorarium following their start date and establishment of Stamford residency.


For more information, contact StamfordNext Executive Director Wesley Bemus at



Partner Companies: Tomorrow’s Leaders, Today’s Top Employees

 Companies that sign on as Fellowship Partners, offering high-potential positions to Connecticut’s brightest graduates, will not only be helping their own businesses ensure their future; they’ll be helping shape the economic destiny of Stamford and Connecticut for decades to come.

 Stamford is home to hundreds of innovative, growing companies and that growth depends on their ability to recruit and retain the finest young professional talent. Hiring a Governor’s Innovation Fellow means you will have brought onboard a committed, ambitious, smart and productive individual with unlimited potential – the kind of hire that can transform and improve corporate performance for many years.

At the same time, you’ll contribute to the effort to create a community of professionals committed to improving the quality of life, the innovation ecosystem, and the economic future of their city and their state. By mentoring and supporting Stamford’s cohort of Fellows, you will be laying the groundwork for a stronger professional and civic community.

In the years to come, as the Governor’s Innovation Fellowship continues to expand, alumni Fellows will maintain their network within their companies and within Stamford, building a community of professionals that will grow in number and prestige as the Fellowship increases its reach and influence across Connecticut.

Learn More About Being a Fellowship Partner:

For more information on how your company can become a Governor’s Innovation Fellowship Partner, contact StamfordNext Executive Director Wesley Bemus at (insert phone number), email

Explore the Entrepeneurial Ecosystem

Connecticut is home to a network of resources and supports for entrepreneurs—the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Ecosystem Overview