When the website launched in September 2015, its goal was to “emphasize the tremendous assets that we have here in the Hartford region for entrepreneurs who are in business today and looking to grow their companies and entrepreneurs who are looking to start an initiative,” explained Oz Griebel, President and CEO of the MetroHartford Alliance.
In the eight months since the website has launched, it has done just that, serving as a dynamic tool to market the Greater Hartford region as a great place to start and grow a business.
“It’s amazing how far IDH has come in just a short amount of time. And it’s been a pleasure pitching in along the way,” says serial entrepreneur Eric Knight, who is Founder and President of Remarkable Technologies, Inc. and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at reSET. “As we all know, startups move at warp speed. We entrepreneurs have to know what services and resources are available at all times so we can best leverage them for our endeavors.”
USEFUL RESOURCES & TOOLS FOR CONNECTICUT STARTUPS
The idea to launch the IDH website stemmed from several focus groups that indicated a need to better aggregate and access resources for local entrepreneurs. Based on this feedback, the MetroHartford Alliance employed a local information technology developer to build out an interactive tool enabling entrepreneurs to connect to resources.
From meetups and networking events to legal help and funding, entrepreneurs can use the website to browse resources to help startups. The website can also be used to book an appointment with a local Entrepreneur-in-Residence when face-to-face contact is more appropriate.
The IDH website also provides a place for Connecticut entrepreneurs to profile their startup. Startups use the website to list their current needs, which become searchable by a community of mentors, investors, attorneys, and local experts willing to provide free or fee-based services.
SHOWCASING ENTREPRENEURIAL SUCCESS IN CONNECTICUT
The IDH website is refreshed with new stories nearly daily. To date, the website has posted more than 200 stories since its launch.
In an effort to showcase the Greater Hartford region’s entrepreneur landscape, the website includes featured Connecticut startups, initiatives, Connecticut legends of innovation, awards and recognitions, major events, profiles of Connecticut innovators, higher education initiatives, book reviews, entrepreneur restaurateurs and brewers, and a blog. The website will soon include a new feature called IDH International Connection.
In addition, the IDH website hosts a rotating carousel; a statewide entrepreneur calendar; podcasts with local entrepreneurs; news feeds from Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Wired; and a connection to a regional and statewide lifestyle website.
SOCIAL MEDIA & WEBSITE ENGAGEMENT
IDH has a growing presence on Facebook and Twitter, with daily posts that are frequently shared or retweeted. The IDH Facebook page has received 442 likes to date. The Twitter page has more than 150 followers.
According to a Google Analytics report, since its launch in September 2015, the website has been visited by 10,222 visitors (by March 22, 2016) generating 21,542 page views. A key note of accomplishment from these statistics is that New York and Boston—two of the country’s largest innovation centers—are top city origins of visitation, ranking #3 and #6 respectively.
The IDH Facebook page has also had exceptional success in its reach. Since the beginning of 2016, the page has engaged as many as 4,000 people on a single day, while averaging 933 people per day. The highest page reach on a single day was 22,556 (averaging 11,158 per day).
PROVIDING VALUE TO CONNECTICUT’S ENTREPRENEURIAL ECOSYSTEM
“IDH helps everyone keep a pulse on the things that matter,” says Knight. “It is particularly valuable to me as I mentor and coach Connecticut entrepreneurs. In short: IDH is the Doppler radar for all things entrepreneurial in our region.”
Follow the continued success of Innovation Destination Hartford: