entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur Education
1:24 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Bond Commission Snubs Connecticut Innovations

CI has written to its contractors telling them they won't get paid till January.

Connecticut Innovations, the state’s tech investment agency, has run short of money, and says it will delay funding some of its key programs. The issue — it can’t get onto the Bond Commission agenda.

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Made in Connecticut
9:27 am
Fri June 13, 2014

How Connecticut Manufacturing Businesses Have Beat the Odds For 100 Years

Bill Potvin at Hosmer Mountain Soda continues to sell flavors that are uniquely New England.
Sujata Srinivasan WNPR

The odds were never in favor of small businesses. Data from the Small Business Administration shows that only about one-third of all start-ups make it beyond the first ten years. 

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Maker Spaces
7:31 am
Thu May 1, 2014

High-Tech Maker Spaces: Helping Little Startups Make It Big

A member works in the electronics lab at NextFab Studios in Philadelphia. Members pay for access to computers and high-end machines like laser cutters and 3-D printers.
Jon Kalish

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 5:20 pm

Around the country, there are lots of tinkerers working on what they hope will be the next brilliant idea — but who don't have the tools in their garage to build it.

In dozens of cities, those innovators can set up shop in a "maker space" — community workshops where members have access to sophisticated tools and expertise.

Maker spaces have become hotbeds of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. Now, governments, universities and big corporations are taking notice — and beginning to invest in them.

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Affordable Care Act
9:12 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Obamacare Enrollees Emboldened To Leave Jobs, Start Businesses

Mike Smith, of Long Beach, Calif., now pays $200 for his family's health insurance policy, compared with the $3,000 a month he would have had to pay on the individual market last year.
Stephanie O'Neill for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:10 pm

Until recently, Mike Smith, 64, of Long Beach, Calif., worked 11 hours a day, Monday through Friday and then half a day on Saturday. He was a district manager for a national auto parts chain.

He dreamed of retiring early, but it wasn't an option for him because he and his wife relied on the health insurance tied to his job.

"At our age, with some pre-existing medical conditions, it would have been very costly to buy insurance on the open market — about $3,000 a month," he says.

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Startup Culture
9:54 am
Tue April 29, 2014

How a Stamford Startup Is Disrupting the Online Ad Market

Bill Lederer and Ted Yang in the Stamford office of MediaCrossing.
Harriet Jones WNPR

Do you ever wonder how the banner ad that pops up on your favorite website gets there, and who chooses what you’ll see?

At the moment, the buying and selling of digital ads is largely controlled by big legacy agencies. But there’s a tiny upstart company in Stamford that wants to disrupt the growing market.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu December 26, 2013

What Do You Mean, Coding?

Code education is being pushed by politicians, CEOs and basketball stars alike.
Credit Ben Simo / Creative Commons

Our schools teach a variety of foreign languages: Spanish, French, even Latin. But should we be focusing on the language of computer programming? Even NBA star Chris Bosh is asking everyone from young kids to the homeless to learn to code. Why aren’t we teaching it more? It seems like President Obama needs an army of coders to fix the glitchy HealthCare.gov website.

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Entrepreneurship
9:06 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Small Firms May Soon Turn To Crowdfunding To Sell Shares

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 1:28 pm

Crowdfunding is popular among musicians, filmmakers and artists looking for a way to finance their next project.

Now the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering rules that, for the first time, would allow small companies to solicit investments over the Internet and sell shares to the general public.

For some small firms, these new rules come as welcome news.

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Technology
9:47 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Can Connecticut Retain Its Star Tech Companies?

Credit Harland Quarrington / Creative Commons

Connecticut has its share of tech giants, like Priceline.com and TicketNetwork. But it's increasingly up against stiff competition from other states to grow and retain technology companies. 

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Code or be Coded
1:59 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Bill Clinton, Mark Zuckerberg and Snoop Dogg Agree: Learn to Code

More and more sites are popping up that teach people how to code.
Ben Simo Creative Commons

It may not be enough anymore to just be tech-literate. There is a mainstream push to teach people, both kids and adults alike, to be code-literate. On an episode of Where We Live, there was a discussion with people who code, making the case for more code education.

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Supporting Entrepreneurs
8:54 am
Tue November 5, 2013

State's Entrepreneur Ecosystem Awards Second Round of Funding

The B:Hive co-working space in Bridgeport.
Credit B:Hive

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.

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Where We Live
10:04 am
Mon November 4, 2013

What Do You Mean, Coding?

Code education is being pushed by politicians, CEOs and basketball stars alike.
Credit Ben Simo / Creative Commons

Our schools teach a variety of foreign languages: Spanish, French, even Latin. But should we be focusing on the language of computer programming? Even NBA star Chris Bosh is asking everyone from young kids to the homeless to learn to code. Why aren’t we teaching it more? It seems like President Obama needs an army of coders to fix the glitchy HealthCare.gov website.

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Supporting Entrepreneurs
11:32 am
Thu October 31, 2013

New Business Incubator at Fairfield University is a Place to Network

The incubator aims to help future entrepreneurs, such as, from left to right: Jamie Ramerini and Daphne Dixon, both of Fairfield, who are working on home automation; and Nicole Juliano Peranick of Stamford, founder of Conscious Decisions.
Fairfield University

Businesses need somewhere to start out in life, and incubators are an increasingly popular solution. The new business incubator at Fairfield University aims to foster links with the community.

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Technology
2:37 am
Tue October 15, 2013

A Company's Tweets Can Help Make It Creditworthy

Courtesy of Kabbage

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 1:25 pm

For many online and other small businesses, getting a loan or a big cash advance is tough. Banks and other traditional lenders are often leery of those without years of financial statements and solid credit scores.

But some lenders and other financial services companies are beginning to assess credit risk differently — using criteria you might not expect.

Jeffrey Grossman is an acupuncturist in Bellingham, Wash. He's also a small businessman. He creates media marketing materials for other acupuncturists hoping to expand their practice.

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International Hartford
1:52 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Hartford Boosts Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Park Street in Hartford.
Credit Tucker Ives / WNPR

People who immigrate to the United States are twice as likely as native born Americans to start their own businesses. A new organization in Hartford says that entrepreneurial spirit needs to be fostered to help the city's economy.

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Technology
11:45 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Startups in Connecticut Develop Software Talent Pipeline

Derek Koch of Independent Software in New Haven.
Credit The Grid New Haven

The job of software developer is one of the hottest occupations in the world right now, and demand for developers is only expected to accelerate. That poses a dilemma for startup technology companies here in Connecticut. In an incredibly competitive marketplace, how do they find and cultivate the right talent? One program in Connecticut is trying to come up with a solution.

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Technology
3:58 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

How Reddit Emerged From A Rejected (And Very Different) Idea

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 6:36 pm

Reddit calls itself "the front page of the Internet." The social news site and global discussion board has become increasingly popular since it launched in 2005. Topics range from politics and entertainment to animal videos and conspiracy theories. Many public figures have used Reddit to reach out to fans and supporters, and last year, President Obama used the site to answer voter questions live.

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Business
8:11 am
Mon September 9, 2013

New Direction for CTNext

reSET, the co-working space that hosts Hartford's CTNext hub
Credit Harriet Jones

  It’s been just over a year since Connecticut began to create an ecosystem for entrepreneurs. Dubbed CT Next, the system has launched four hubs, hosted many events, signed up hundreds of nascent companies and spent almost five million dollars. But as it goes into its second year it has changed direction and some are left wondering if enough has been achieved.

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Entrepreneurs
10:22 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Starting a Business Out of High School

Sujata Srinivasan

U.S. student loan debt is at $1 trillion and growing. The average college-related debt for a graduate is now $35,000. That has some students questioning the value of a college degree. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan met some entrepreneurs who began their companies fresh out of high school.

 

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Connecticut's New Entrepreneurial System
8:46 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Starting Something at Startup Weekend

Harriet Jones

This Friday, wannabe entrepreneurs will gather at UConn for the second annual Startup Weekend Storrs. It’s a 54 hour marathon which aims to develop and launch new companies into the real world. But does it work? --  and does that matter? WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

 

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Where We Live
10:58 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Connecticut Startup Culture

Chion Wolf

It’s been a little over a year since Governor Dannel Malloy announced Startup Connecticut - an effort to support entrepreneurship in the state. The idea is to create an “innovation ecosystem” to grow the economy. The state is setting up four innovation hubs.  

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Starting a New Company
4:45 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Helping Entrepreneurs To Spread Their Wings

courtesy: FSW Inc.

Starting a new company is a lonely business. It can be particularly difficult if you have nowhere to turn for guidance or support. One program in Bridgeport has aimed to fill that gap for local entrepreneurs for the last 12 years. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

“Good to see you!.......

“Thank all of you for coming. Hope you guys are enjoying your meal….”

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Entrepreneurship
9:40 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Bootstrapping Your Business

Courtesy Tigerplish, Flickr Creative Commons

You’d think most entrepreneurs would follow the Facebook formula for success. Take an idea, bankroll it with venture capital, and float an initial public offering worth billions of dollars. But that’s not what every start-up wants. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports.

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Entrepreneurs
12:59 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Optimism, Ideals Drive Teen Entrepreneurs

Sujata Srinivasan

Most people wait till adulthood to discover their knack for business. But others tap into their entrepreneurial spirit before they even hold a drivers license. In the second of a two part series on young inventors, WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan meets the teen entrepreneurs.

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Business
11:16 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Angels Seek Connecticut Investments

falcon1961, Flickr Creative Commons

Connecticut’s angel investment tax credit appears to be working as new figures show increased funding for start-up companies. Less encouraging, venture capital investments, the next stage of funding required for a company to grow, declined statewide last year. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports. 

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Coming Home Project
3:00 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Business Boot Camp Gives Veterans A New Start

Edward Young, whose automotive transport business is based in Milford, Conn., arrives to pick up a car to be delivered to Pennsylvania from the Valenti auto dealership in Watertown, Conn.
Rick Hartford Hartford Courant

The pullout of American troops in Iraq and those returning from Afghanistan have brought many service members back to their families and into the civilian job market.

While there is a new law that offers incentives to employers who hire them, many veterans across the country are trying to start their own businesses. A rigorous, free program started at Syracuse University is giving them the tools to be their own boss.

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Coming Home Project
10:47 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Business Boot Camp Gives Veterans a New Start

Black Knights Services

A version of this story aired on NPR's "All Things Considered" on February 29, 2012

A few months ago, WNPR reported on a unique training program for veterans at the University of Connecticut. A consortium of business schools run The Entreprenuership Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, which teaches veterans to be their own boss.

As part of our Coming Home project, WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil follows up with an EBV grad who is now a small business-owner.

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Entrepreneurs
11:30 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Stamford Innovation Center Opens For Business

Harriet Jones

The City of Stamford hopes to attract high-tech entrepreneurs with a new initiative to convert its Old Town Hall into a business incubator. 

Stamford’s gracious, marble-lined Old Town Hall occupies some prime real estate in the center of town, but it hasn’t served as a hub for the town since the 1960s. Now it’s bustling once again.

“It’s a center of gravity and it works for the whole community.”

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Local Impact
9:52 am
Tue January 17, 2012

State's Business Loans Mired In Paperwork

Sujata Srinivasan

Last year’s jobs bill set aside $100 million as a loan pool to help small businesses grow and create jobs. It’s dubbed the Small Business Express Package, and applicants were promised a quick turnaround. State officials have been touring the state to explain the program to businesses that might benefit. But as WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports, they have yet to finalize a loan.

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Starting Your Own Business
9:40 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Older Entrepreneurs More Numerous, Successful

Harriet Jones

If you want to start your own business, your age may be a critical factor in your success. But not in the way you might imagine. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Picture an entrepreneur. Are you thinking of a young, intense 20-something, up all night writing computer code? The reality, more often than not, is at the other end of the age spectrum.

“This is my place of business, which is two filing cabinets and a used laptop and a used monitor. Starting a new business you’ve really got to improvise.”

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Where We Live
1:34 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Small Business Breakfast: Young Entrepreneurs

Chion Wolf

We keep hearing that the job prospects for young workers aren't very good. So, what if they start their own businesses? 

Today, we're live from the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford for the last Small Business Breakfast of the year. It's taking place as part of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.

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