Connecticut Startup Culture
Do we have a community of supportive entrepreneurs?
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.
The program launched in October, giving cash to new companies seeking to grow, and helping out slightly older companies that just need a boost. This week the state announced “innovation” funding for four companies based in Norwalk, Stamford and Shelton.
But while we try to get a startup community rolling in Connecticut, author Brad Feld - who wrote Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City - cautions that we risk making key mistakes that get in our own way.
Feld is cofounder of tech accelerator TechStars. He’s come up with six typical problems we run up against when we try to appeal to startups. One is having a community that’s suspicious of newcomers. Another: too much reliance on government to lead the pack.
Today we tackle the question: How friendly is Connecticut to startups? What do we need the government to do to help? If you’ve tried to start a business here - how did it go for you?