Leone: CTNext Grant Will Jump-Start Stamford’s Innovation Economy
Recently approved grant will fund planning of Stamford’s “Innovation Places”
Stamford’s plans for embracing the innovation economy will move forward as the result of a grant announced today by Senator Carlo Leone (D-Stamford). The CTNext Program has awarded a $35,000 grant, the full amount that Stamford applied for, to jump-start the development of Stamford’s “Innovation Places.”
These Innovation Places will serve as communities where young entrepreneurs can begin a business in an affordable location with co-working opportunities and nearby assets needed for growth. Locations like these are being created around Connecticut as the result of a comprehensive innovation economy law co-sponsored by Senator Leone.
“Stamford has young, educated residents, a great entrepreneurial community, and local officials eager to generate new growth in the local economy. This grant will allow us to combine all of these important assets into a coordinated effort to stimulate entrepreneurship in these ‘Innovation Places,’” said Senator Leone. “Stamford was the first community in Connecticut to host discussions on how to take advantage of this new innovation economy program. I met with local officials, business leaders and educators throughout the summer to develop a strategy for encouraging new business growth in Stamford. This effort will lead to new startup companies, more jobs, and the kind of economic growth we need.”
Under this new economic development plan, Innovation Places will be concentrated areas where entrepreneurs and innovators have easy access to tech talent, support organizations and research institutions. These dense areas are intended to be highly walkable, transit-connected, and mixed-use in zoning to facilitate interactions among entrepreneurs and innovators across different organizations, and to be conducive to the creation of startup companies. This environment is intended to be attractive not only for entrepreneurs to work in, but also to live in and for recreation, to help the community retain the most in-demand workers.
This $35,000 grant will be used in the development of a strategic planning process to identify local conditions and build a master plan that identifies the resources and assets in each community (like a hospital, a university, a research firm, or a manufacturer) to create exciting new business opportunities. The program was designed to be publicly supported and privately led, with communities leveraging public funding to generate a larger amount of private investment and business growth.