Local people, businesses, and organizations are hard at work to make Connecticut a thriving place to live, play, and start and grow businesses.
The Bristol Bazaar Creates a New Community Experience
Carolyn and Eric Verikas have been working with the City of Bristol to open The Bristol Bazaar, a community space for local artisans and makers to showcase their products.
IDH UNWIND Continues
Mark your calendar. The IDH UNWIND series you’ve come to know and look forward to has a new home in Hartford this fall and winter.
The Hartford “Harts” Local Small Businesses
“When you’re an employee in a company the size of The Hartford, you’re looking for meaning in what you do. The efforts we make are authentic; they come from a real place of our employees wanting to support small businesses,” says Steve Jones, Chief Marketing Officer, Small Commercial at The Hartford.
14 Greater Hartford Entrepreneurs Begin reSET Retail Incubator Program
reSET in partnership with Breakfast Lunch & Dinner has announced the start of its fall Retail Incubator program with 14 businesses participating.
WORK_SPACE Supports Community, Artists, and Entrepreneurs
Find out why coworking, meeting, and gallery space WORK_SPACE has become a destination on Main Street in Manchester for startups, professionals, and artists.
Utilizing Local Resources
Local entrepreneurs, small business owners, startups, innovators, makers, and creators, here’s a PSA: You don’t have to go it alone. From free business advisors to incubators and accelerators, we’re fortunate that our community is filled with plenty of resources to help you build, scale, and grow your business.
Creating a Community of Literate, Workforce Ready Adults
“What started as a small group of volunteers helping a few dozen people in basic literacy has grown significantly over the last five decades. We now offer many different services to many more people throughout the Greater Hartford area,” explains Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford Executive Director Stephen Morris.
Hart Lift Adds Vibrancy to Hartford’s Pratt Street
“Bringing 10 new businesses to Pratt Street adds vibrancy to our city and contributes to our region’s economic success,” said Hartford Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julio Concepción.
The 224 EcoSpace Is An Innovative Space for Creative Entrepreneurs
“We always tell people, ‘Your prosperity is our prosperity.’ One of our goals is to let people see that you can come here and build your side hustle the way you want to build it,” explains Rev. Lydell Brown, Interim CEO at The 224 EcoSpace.
Junior League Highlights Local Entrepreneurs, Makes Community Impact
Junior League of Hartford Show House co-chair Molly Towne shares about how the event creates opportunities for local entrepreneurs and innovators.
KNOX Encourages Community Growth
“We’re providing urban farmers with access to community space and learning experiences that can help them start businesses they can use to support themselves, whether that’s a side hustle or a full-time job,” explains KNOX Executive Director Patrick Doyle.
Rev. Dr. Shelley Best Helps Create Opportunities Through the Arts
“We’re looking at ways to help young people get involved, because innovation and entrepreneurship come from the gift of creativity. And if we don’t cultivate our young people, we’re not cultivating innovation,” explains Greater Hartford Arts Council CEO Reverend Dr. Shelley Best.
Hart Lift Uplifts Hartford
“The City of Hartford is going to look very different in the next 12 to 8 months,” noted Hartford Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julio Concepción
UK and CT Sign New InsurTech Corridor Partnership in the “Insurance Capital of the World”
“Connecticut’s government and organizations are committed to job growth, innovation, and furthering the [InsurTech] industry,” noted Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais.
reSET Announces 2022 Impact Accelerator Cohort
“Connecticut is a great place to start a business, and we have an opportunity here to really stand out as a place that prioritizes sustainability and social impact,” noted reSET Executive Director Sarah Bodley.
Berkins Family Fund Gives Back To Entrepreneurs of Color and Organizations Supporting People of Color
At the recent Hartford Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting for Berkins on Main, Berkins Blend Co-Owners Andréa Hawkins and Doug Barber announced plans to give back to the community through a new fund set up with the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
Connecticut Girl Scouts Launches Entrepreneurial Cookie Sales
“Having the opportunity to run their very own cookie business gives them essential tools to achieve their dreams today and in the future,” said Girl Scouts of Connecticut Chief Executive Officer Diana Mahoney.
CTNext Builds Mentor Network
CTNext is accepting applications for its 2022 Mentor Network Company Cohort. The deadline for applications is Friday, February 25, 2022.
Creating Luxury Living Experiences in Hartford, CT
“We’re excited about this new investment in Hartford. It’s Axela’s first foray into our capital city,” says Axela Group Property Manager Andrew Chapman about Millennium Luxury Living, the company’s latest property in downtown Hartford.
RiseUP Group Uses Mural Making to Uplift CT Communities
Matt Conway, Founder and Executive Director of The RiseUP Group, the parent organization behind CT Murals, shares about his work with the organization and the impact the murals are making throughout Connecticut.
BL&D Helps Initiate Retail Opportunities for Small Businesses
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin has described Breakfast Lunch & Dinner (BL&D) as “some of the most creative and committed folks in the city.”
Key Private Bank Supports Small Businesses Through Important Transitions
"Many small business owners don’t really know the ins and outs of mergers, acquisitions, investment banking, how you value a company, and what kinds of trust structures you can put in place. Key Private Bank brings in that knowledge and helps to orchestrate the entire planning process," explains Key Private Bank Sales Leader Elissa Eddie.
reSET Retail Business Incubator
Applications are open for the reSET Retail Business Incubator, which will run September through October 2021.
CT Governor’s Innovation Fellowship Goes Statewide
“The Fellowship provides young professionals 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,” said CTNext Executive Director Glendowlyn Thames.
Elevating, Enhancing, and Uniting Hartford’s Artists of Color
“We want to empower local artists, encourage collaborations, build a regional artists of color economy—and put Hartford on the map as a vibrant community that produces and exports cultural arts,” explains 224 EcoSpace Director Dr. Rev. Shelley D. Best.
Ignite Hartford Grant Promotes Student Entrepreneurship
Ignite Hartford is a new program the University of Connecticut is leading in partnership with Trinity College and Goodwin University to develop a series of educational workshops and pitch nights for student entrepreneurs.
The VBOC Provides Resources to Veteran-Owned Businesses
“One thing I learned in the military is that veterans understand strategy and tactics. It’s a matter of taking what they’ve learned in the military and transposing those skills over to the civilian world,” says Veterans Business Outreach Center volunteer Rich Laria.
AT&T Aspire Accelerator Accepting Applications for EdTech Startups
Applications for the 2021 AT&T Aspire Accelerator are being accepted now through February 16.
ShopBlackCT.com Creates Visibility and Provides Support for Black-Owned Businesses
“Our goal is to have every Black-owned business that exists in Connecticut represented on the site—whether they’ve been in business for years or they’re just starting out,” says ShopBlackCT.com Founder and Co-Contributor Sarah Thompson, who is also Senior Director for Marketing Communications at The Village for Families & Children.
Entrepreneurial Startups Descend on Hartford
reSET has accepted 16 Connecticut-based startups into its 2021 Impact Accelerator.
The Goodwin University ENet Program Proves Successful and Continues with Second Cohort
“We’ve seen a lot students come out of the ENet program thinking: I can do this. I am doing this. I will do this,” emphasizes Dr. Matthew Connell, Program Director of the Business Administration Program at Goodwin University and ENet Project Director.
InsurTech Fellows Program Launches Next Cohort
“Every year I’m impressed by the outstanding group of fellows selected into this program,” says Chereace Marcellin, a Program Specialist for the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CCEI) at the University of Connecticut.
MakerspaceCT Launches Education Program to Prepare Local Residents for In-Demand Careers in 3D Additive Manufacturing
“Our vision and mission is to use making as a vehicle to lift up individuals and communities and to positively impact lives by enabling access, innovation, and education,” explains MakerspaceCT Executive Director Devra Sisitsky.
Camp Girl Boss Provides Entrepreneurship Opportunities for CT Middle School Girls
Members of Connecticut’s entrepreneurial ecosystem can help inspire the next generation of female changemakers in Danbury, Hartford, Groton, and New Haven by supporting teams of middle school girl bosses in the seven-week virtual entrepreneurship program and national business plan competition.
The Goodwin University ENet Program Provides Entrepreneurship Opportunities for The Reentry Population
“ENet provides individuals with the skills to start their own business and become financially independent,” explains Project Director Matthew Connell, who is Program Director of the Business Administration Program at Goodwin University.
CT Main Street Center Supports Small Businesses
"We’ve been looking to share practical information and innovative ideas," says CMSC Marketing & Development Director Christine Schilke.
CREC Teacher Residency Program Creates Job Opportunities
“CREC is on the forefront of taking new approaches to teacher preparation and the need for minority recruitment, which is long overdue,” says Glastonbury-East Hartford Magnet School Principal Kristi Hummel.
CRT’s YouthBuild Job-Training Program Helps Prepare Hartford-Area Workforce
“The YouthBuild program offers a unique opportunity for young men and women to get hands-on training in construction and other highly desirable job skills that will fully prepare them to enter the modern workforce ready to succeed,” said CRT’s President and CEO Lena Rodriguez.
Hands On Hartford Celebrates 50 Years—And Keeps Giving
"Celebrating our 50th year has meant reflecting on how far we’ve come and honoring and celebrating five decades of service to the low-income community," says Hands On Hartford Executive Director Barbara Shaw.
Connecticut Science Center STEM Careers Initiative
Connecticut Science Center President and Chief Executive Officer Matt Fleury spoke with MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price about the new STEM Career Connections initiative launched by the Science Center this week.
KNOX Beautifies Hartford, Strengthens Communities
“We want to make sure Hartford is a city people are excited to come to—it’s green, it’s beautiful, it’s healthy,” says KNOX Executive Director Patrick Doyle.
Small Business Week 2019 Impacts Greater Hartford Community
Small Business Week recognizes the important contributions of small businesses, entrepreneurs, and small business advocates throughout the country.
Hartford InsurTech Hub Creates Economic Opportunities in Hartford
“Innovation is accelerating and our program partners understand the importance of integrating many innovation methods into their business models and staying connected,” said Dawn LeBlanc, Managing Director for Hartford InsurTech Hub.
New Owner Takes Over, Plans Expansion at West Hartford Coworking
West Hartford resident Annisa Teich and her mother Annette Farese of Bradenton, FL, purchased West Hartford Coworking through their family-run investment firm, Bromleigh Ventures, LLC.
Social Enterprise Creates Work Opportunities, Supports Community
Founded in 2012, the RiseUP Group provides young adults from urban communities in Connecticut with tools and guidance to help them become business and community leaders.
Social Impact Company Provides Community Space in Hartford
Social impact brand development and design firm CO:LAB is committed to supporting the community in Hartford. The company recently moved from its Parkville location to the Hartford Public Library’s Goodwin Branch, which closed in 2018.
Nassau Re Launches InsurTech Incubator in Hartford
“Our goal is to help accelerate Hartford’s transformation as a center for InsurTech innovation by fostering new companies that will continue to attract a new generation of talent to the city and state,” noted Nassau Financial Group Chief Executive Officer Phil Gass.
Miracle League of Connecticut
Miracle League of Connecticut Executive Director Mike Michaud spoke with MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price about how a mission to make baseball accessible to children with special needs evolved into an organization that provides many opportunities for Connecticut children with physical and cognitive challenges.
Innovation Places Hartford/East Hartford
In June 2017, the communities of Hartford and East Hartford were selected as one of four Innovation Places in Connecticut.
Connecticut Innovations to Invest Up to $3.9 Million in Upward Labs
Connecticut Innovations will invest $3.9 million over two years in Upward Labs, a Hartford-area program focused on developing and nurturing early-stage companies developing pilot programs in the smart building and aged care market segments.
Startup Genome Features Hartford in National Early-Stage Ecosystems Report
Check out the 2018 report about Hartford’s the early-stage startup ecosystem in Hartford produced by Startup Genome with support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Middletown Entrepreneurs Work Space (MEWS+)
The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce opened the Middletown Entrepreneurs Work Space (MEWS+) in Middletown, CT. The co-working initiative is designed for startups, small businesses, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and the Wesleyan University community.
Hartford Local Chion Wolf Enhances the Community with Activities
Chion Wolf’s recognition in the Hartford area has grown with her contributions to local entertainment including The Mouth-Off, Asking For A Friend, and her latest endeavor, Pedal to the Medal.
224 EcoSpace Encourage Arts, Entrepreneurs, and Community in Hartford
224 EcoSpace Director and Chief Curator Rev. Dr. Shelley D. Best provided background about the space and talked about its mission and evolution.
Future Leaders of West Hartford – Young Professionals Group
“We want to be able to inspire the next generation and ensure that our group is sustainable long-term. And we want to tie in the relevance of what the Chamber community and the FLOW community offer young professionals as they get into the workforce and they become more active parts of society,” says FLOW President Kristen Gorski.
Local Accounting Firm Supports CT’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Independent accounting firm Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina provides many services to startups and entrepreneurs throughout Connecticut in all stages of growth.
The Connecticut YOUTH Forum
The Connecticut Forum also supports the community through the Connecticut YOUTH Forum, a community outreach program that “provides teenagers with an opportunity to grow as leaders and communicators,” explains Ruth Cullen, Director, Advancement & Communications at the Connecticut Forum.
Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities
Michael Zacchea, a combat-wounded medically retired Marine Lieutenant colonel who started the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) explained how the program is helping veterans become entrepreneurs, start their own businesses and re-integration into civilian life.
Introducing Innovation Destination Hartford
Since its launch, IDH has worked hard to achieve its mission: To showcase the entrepreneur landscape in Greater Hartford and help connect entrepreneurs to resources. Read one of our core founder’s thoughts from 2015.