Five million dollars in state funding has been awarded to more than 20 organizations that will promote start-up businesses in Connecticut through the state's entrepreneurial ecosystem. CT Next was launched a year ago to try to create a climate that would support entrepreneurs and foster successful startup businesses. But the first year got off to a slow start, and there was disagreement about who should take the lead in developing the ecosystem.
Now Connecticut Innovations, the state's technology investment agency, has stepped in to take a more active role. It just announced the winners of the second year's round of funding.
Among the successful bids are co-working spaces, such as the B:Hive in Bridgeport. Co-founder Luke Scott said, "We're both big believers in empowering entrepreneurs here in the city and in the surrounding area, and we're also big fans of working together in creative spaces."
The space was created only in March of this year, and Scott said getting backing from CT Next is a huge vote of confidence. "We couldn't be more thrilled. We see it as a really wonderful, supportive gesture. We are confident of our ability to over-deliver, and have some fun in the process."
Also funded are at least some of the more established organizations that made up the innovation hubs last year: Hartford's reSET , The Grid and The Grove in New Haven, and Stamford's Innovation Center. But CI said the emphasis this year is on broadening the resources available to entrepreneurs, and picking efforts that will become self-sustaining in the future.