Connecticut entrepreneurs are finding that the Greater Hartford region is a great place to launch and grow a startup. Here, 12 startups share their reasons why.
“It doesn’t get much better than Connecticut—in some ways. And the startup scene is really big here. I’m just beginning to get involved,” notes Podstories Founder Ali Oshinskie. “I’m just starting out. I’m learning to network and make connections. I met with the producers of the CTStartup Podcast and I’ve been meeting other Connecticut startups through UConn Innovation Quest,” she adds.
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“We are trying to make people really recognize the food and drinks scene in Connecticut. It’s phenomenal,” emphasizes Jeannette Punsoni Dardenne, Co-Founder Eat IN Connecticut.
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“I give a lot of credit to Mayor Bronin and his staff for their commitment to helping entrepreneurs access the tools that are available for those who are looking to start and grow a business in the state’s capital city,” says Brett Broesder, Co-Founder and Vice President of Campaign for Tomorrow’s Jobs. “Overall, Hartford remains a place that has a lot to offer entrepreneurs.”
Learn more: CT Startup Campaign for Tomorrow’s Jobs
“We haven’t taken advantage [of Connecticut startup or entrepreneurial resources] as much as we’d like to—we’re working on it. That’s how we found Innovation Destination Hartford,” admits FourteenG Founder and Chief Information Officer Gary Shick. “One of our goals is to be more ingrained in Hartford, become a part of Hartford, and evolve with Hartford as it’s changing.”
Read our interview: West Hartford Marketing Startup FourteenG
Guilaine Menefee, CEO and President of Menefee Associates Consulting, LLC, says she took advantage of a myriad of startup resources throughout Connecticut, including the University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center and Women’s Business Center. “They have some awesome workshops,” she notes.
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“The entrepreneurial ecosystem is alive and well in Connecticut,” encourages Alex Roman, Founder of Listenable LLC. “I’ve built a new network of people and team that will support the venture and make Listenable successful.”
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“Connecticut has a very educated and socially conscious population. The quality of life is high and resources are plentiful. This is a great place to do business,” says Ten Minute Tai Chi Co-Founder Jeff Steinberg.
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“Having ways for small businesses to support themselves and create building blocks for them to move on is a big piece of the picture of what we’re trying to build,” says Jeff Devereux, Co-Founder of Breakfast Lunch & Dinner. “We’re not only trying to create collective culture, we try to fill gaps in the business world so there are stepping stones,” he adds.
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“I went to school at UConn. I think I stayed because I met so many people here who believe that Connecticut can ‘do it.’ And I believe that too. There are a lot of people at UConn and in Hartford who really care about making Connecticut better,” says Matt Cremins, CEO of Voda, LLC. “People want to make innovation happen in Connecticut and I want to be a part of that. That’s why I’m here.”
Learn more in our interview: Startup Helps Build Connecticut’s Entrepreneurial Community
“We’re excited about all of the positive things that are happening in Hartford right now,” notes BlueBack Advisors Principal Eric Thompson and Vice President Meghan Martinez. “There is an energy here that resonates with us as a company and contributes to our growth and overall success.”
“It made sense to launch [in Connecticut]. We are the Knowledge Corridor in an area heavily saturated with quality schools of K-12 and higher education,” explains Digital Citizenship Summit Co-Founder David Ryan Polgar. “Connecticut is well-positioned because of its focus on education, and being equidistant between Boston and New York City. We can draw the edtech industry from Boston and the thought leadership and major media from New York City.”
Learn more in our interview: CT Startup – The Digital Citizenship Summit
“There are incredible people working very hard to move things forward,” notes Digital Marketing Partner Founder Robert Kwasnicki. “I see a really great future for businesses and families in Connecticut.
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Do you have a Connecticut success story?
Are you a budding startup eager to share your experiences?
Contact Innovation Destination Hartford and tell your story!