The Whiteboard is hitting the road to bring Connecticut’s diverse startup communities to our readers.
Startups may be old hat in Silicon Valley, Boston, New York and elsewhere, but Connecticut is very different in its maturation, needs, and culture. The Whiteboard Startup Roadshow is exploring our diverse startup communities and acting as a gateway for others across the state to get better connected. From the robust area of New Haven to the up-and-coming Danbury, we are learning what it’s like to be an entrepreneur in our state, and how we can ensure more entrepreneurs are attracted to starting something up (and staying) in Connecticut.
Since April 2014, we have been visiting a different area of Connecticut each month, profiling top and up-and-coming entrepreneurs and startups, revealing the uniqueness of the place, and exploring how entrepreneurship is changing its local economy and landscape. At the end of each month, we host an event that reflects the region we’re highlighting and brings our entrepreneurial community together.
Here are some highlights to look forward to:
APRIL: Stamford Region: We partnered with the Stamford Tech Meetup and Stamford Innovation Center and others to highlight tech, media, financial, food, and other startups in Stamford and surrounding towns, as well as get in on the Startup Weekend Stamford fun in mid-April.
MAY: Hartford Region: We coordinated with reSET, MakeHartford, and Axis901 (in Manchester) to explore Hartford and the surrounding area. May was an especially big month as Axis901 celebrated its one year anniversary and reSET graduated their first social enterprise cohort and celebrated the approval of B:Corp legislation.
JUNE: New Haven: New Haven is a hub of startup activity. For our event in June, we partnered with the city’s Arts & Ideas Festival and the Economic Development Corporation of New Haven, to profile a diverse array of startups at a Startup Showcase who are making this city a major destination for entrepreneurs.
JULY: Bridgeport-Fairfield: There are a reported 400 startups in this area, among the Bridgeport Trade & Tech Center, Bridgeport Innovation Center, FAME, and the University of Bridgeport. For our event, we partnered with B:Hive Bridegport to shine a light on the amazing progress Bridgeport’s entrepreneurial scene has made in recent years. Stealing a cue from our event in New Haven, we profiled 18 entrepreneurs in a “Startup Showcase,” and the result was an energizing good time, with lots of connections made for our entrepreneurs!
AUGUST: New London & Shoreline: With the Connecticut biotechnology and pharmaceutical business leadership group, CURE (Connecticut United for Research Excellence), building a bioscience incubator in partnership with Pfizer, Avery Point’s (SECT) Tech Center also supporting bioscience and technology startups, and a high volume of industry and manufacturing, this area is positioned to be a future hub for STEM startups.
Save the date – Thursday, 9/4, 5:30-8pm, in Groton, CT: “How to Build A Robust STEM Startup Community in Southeastern Connecticut.” In collaboration with CURE, SECTER, and The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT. Follow us at @whiteboardblog or contact Suzi Craig (suzi[at]indie[dash]soft[dot]com) for more details.
SEPTEMBER: Storrs-Windham: From incubators to partnerships with UTC and others, UConn Storrs is a hub of activity for a myriad of innovation startups. Windham’s history, arts and social entrepreneurship adds to the mix for this not-so-quiet corner of the state.
OCTOBER: Danbury-Waterbury: The Danbury Hacker Space is launching this year, and it’s just the beginning of activity for their entrepreneurs. As one of Connecticut’s many factory towns, Waterbury is looking to leverage its buildings to help launch small businesses.
NOVEMBER: Middletown-Meriden: As a connection point between the shore and Hartford, this area has pockets of innovation that you wouldn’t suspect. We hear rumblings of a startup culture and look forward to unearthing what’s here.
DECEMBER: Torrington: Litchfield County is known for its organic farming and getaways. Yet, Torrington’s Warner Theater and energetic young politicians are fighting hard to be heard. We look forward to bringing these hidden gems to you.
Our goal is to deliver a treasure trove of stories to our community about each area, uncover compelling reasons and challenges for starting a business here, and drive discussions about new possibilities for 2015.