Why does the state of Connecticut have some of the best assets for innovation and technology development in the country of all states, but regularly performs far below the levels of expectation for new firm startups and the growth of jobs in medium sized tech firms, those with 10 to 100 employees?
This fundamental question was the subject the of the CTC’s ground-breaking 2010 study The Connecticut Competitive Agenda Project.
In 2011, CTC President & CEO Matthew Nemerson and Agenda Project manager Casey Pickett turned the Agenda report into a set of policy suggestions and concepts leading to a road-map for Connecticut to begin turning around the “innovation and entrepreneurship gap” in the state. Pickett was then hired by the Department of Economic and Community Development mid-way through last year to become the state’s Director of Innovation.
Ideas from the CTC Agenda helped secure over $125 million in new funding over the next five years for various innovation and job creating concepts at the October 2011 special “Jobs” session of general assembly. About $5 million of the funding has been ear-marked especially for efforts to build a strong network of innovation supporters and connected systems throughout the state to make a strong attempt to compete with Massachusetts and New York City for high potential tech startups and to better assist key medium sized firms already here to grow by investing in innovation and other key strategic assets.
The Tech Council has been working closely with the state to play a role in what will be called the Connecticut Innovation Ecosystem.
We hope to report on exciting news around this two year effort soon.