Food and drink entrepreneurs and arts and culture organizations are key players in Connecticut’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Helping Sustain Historic Keney Park
"I enjoy the work I do because I feel our parks are our saving grace. They’re how we can turn our cities around and make them into destinations," says Keney Park Sustainability Project Founder/Executive Director Herb Virgo.
Riverfront Recapture: A Regional Asset
"We’re thrilled that our Riverfront Park system is more popular than ever before," says Michael Zaleski, President & CEO Riverfront Recapture, Inc.
Hartford’s Own Sea Tea Improv
“We’re proud to be part of a growing, healthy, exciting, artistic community in Hartford,” says Sea Tea Improv Co-Founding Member and Managing Director Julia Pistell.
CLARO Celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride
“We welcome all types of people from every race, gender, and orientation,” says CLARO Marketing Director Jalmar DeDios.
Parkville Market Is Open for Business
"Every business, large or small, is finding a way to forge ahead and, for us, not opening was not an option," says Director of Operations Chelsea Mouta.
Hartford Restaurant Embraces Opportunity During Challenging Times
“We’re in a situation we can’t control and how you come out of it is going to define your business,” says Place 2 Be Owner Gina Luari.
Rebel Dog Coffee Founders Share Entrepreneurial Experience
Rebel Dog Coffee co-owners Peter Lemnotis and Harrison Poltorak and Digital and Community Manager Kaitlin Higgins share about the business’ growth since its 2017 launch.
Hartford-Based Eatery and Catering Company Stella’s and Mazie’s
Stella’s and Mazie’s has been cooking and serving African-American, West African, and Caribbean food to takeout or enjoy at Stella’s Eatery on Capital Avenue or for catered events through Mazie’s Catering since the two chefs decided to go into business together in 2016.
Hartford Community Theater Explores Social Justice
ActUp Theater is intentionally located in the inner-city of Hartford, CT, where many have limited or no access to quality arts. One of our driving forces is Hartford is where we call home.
Hartford Has The Wadsworth
“We’re becoming a more visitor-focused organization than we’ve ever been in our history. That, in itself, is innovation. And, despite what people sometimes say, Connecticut has always been a place of innovation,” says Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art Director and CEO Tom Loughman.
Hartford’s Charter Oak Cultural Center
Find out how Charter Oak Cultural Center makes arts and culture accessible to everyone in Greater Hartford—and beyond. Read our interview with director Rabbi Donna Berman.
Serial Entrepreneurs Open Pokeworks Location in West Hartford
Find out how and why serial entrepreneurs and lifelong friends Sonny Chen and Max Condren decided to open Pokeworks – West Hartford.
CT Coffee Shop Creates and Supports Local Community
For Silk City Coffee, serving the community creating a community space and giving back by supporting local programs.
With Dozens of Choices, CT is a Destination for Beer Lovers
Connecticut startup breweries are all the buzz right now. Innovation Destination Hartford has had the pleasure of touring several throughout the Greater Hartford area.
Hartford Has Winterfest
“Winterfest brings together people from all different ages and all different backgrounds who are just having a fun time in downtown Hartford in the middle of winter in a beautiful, historic park,” says iQuilt Executive Director Jackie Mandyck.
Serial Entrepreneur Creates a Food Presence in Hartford
Find out more about serial entrepreneur Cary Wheaton, who is Founder and Owner’s Representative at Firebox Restaurant and Executive Director of Forge City Works.
CT Business Owners Reinvent Café to Provide Jobs for People with Disabilities
BeanZ Co-Founder Kim Morrison talks about her entrepreneurial evolution and the importance of creating inclusive work environments.
Urban Lodge Brewing Co. Shares Startup Experience
Urban Lodge Brewing Co. Co-Owners Michael Gerrity and Ryan Fagan became friends and brothers-in-law when they married sisters. The two took a brewing class together about five years ago, which is when the idea to open a local brewery began.
Hartford Creatives Are Building a Music and Dance Space for the Hartford Arts Community
Parkville Sounds Founder Stephen Cusano and Hartford Dance Collective Artistic Director Jillan Foley are collaborating to create a home for thriving Hartford artists.
Greater Hartford Brewery Supports Local Community and Businesses
Find out how Brewery Legitimus has been working to build its clientele and support local businesses.
Parkville Market Creates Economic Development in Hartford
“This neighborhood is an amazing community that wants to work together and develop Parkville as a destination. People are so happy to work and live here,” says Parkville Market with Director of Operations Chelsea Mouta.
The 10th Annual Hartford Rib Off
Local small business owner Guy Neumann grew a backyard BBQ party into a charitable event that draws thousands of people to Hartford and has raised more than $150,000 since 2009.
CT Founder Shares Updates About Her Healthy Food Startup
Let’s Start From Scratch offers an online order system and provides prepared meals and boutique catering, prepared meals, and cooking classes.
Hartford-Based Craftbird Food Truck Shares Startup Experience
Craftbird Food Truck co-founder Mallary Kohlmeyer shares about her experience starting a small business in Greater Hartford.
Parkville Sounds Provides a Creative Space for Musicians
Parkville Sounds Founder Stephen Cusano shares about his startup, which provides space for Hartford-area musicians and artists as well as touring bands passing through the city.
Hartford-Based Coffee Startup Story and Soil
“There’s an opportunity here. We’re all anticipating the momentum that’s already been happening within the whole food scene in Hartford,” says Story and Soil Founder Michael Acosta.
CT Dance Companies Put Their Spin on Entrepreneurship
Four Connecticut-based creative entrepreneurs share how they turned their dance companies into successful Hartford-area businesses.
Serial Entrepreneur Brings Axe Throwing to Connecticut
“I have a very vivid imagination, so I knew what this place could do and what it could feel like. It’s exceeded every vision I had,” says Montana Nights Axe Throwing founder Merle McKenzie.
Hartford Entrepreneur Puts a Spin on the Local Café Scene
Kyle Mayer has been making efforts to roll out Petrolhead Café, a coffee shop/bar/restaurant concept that is currently seeking social and financial backing so it can launch in Hartford.
Hartford-Based Dance Collective Empowers Creative Women
Find out how Jillian Foley was encouraged to launch The Dance Collective based on a need to provide an innovative platform for dance and create choreographic and leadership opportunities for women.