Connecticut Innovations Announces Nine TechStart Teams
This morning, Connecticut Innovations (CI) announced the first cohort of its “TechStart” program, starting their 10 week program this Monday. Included in the cohort are two teams who got their start at Connecticut Startup Weekends, one of whom is led by 14-year old CEO Keshav Patel.
The teams, who will receive $25,000 in debt funding as well as mentoring and assistance, come from a variety of industries (mobile health, consumer web applications, for example), experience levels (recent graduates, current students, and more experienced entrepreneurs), and areas of Connecticut. The diversity of this cohort is a positive sign for CI’s expansion of the program later in the year; the program’s funding for this year provides for an expansion based on the results from this first group.
What is TechStart? Earlier this year, Connecticut Innovations announced that they were launching a new accelerator program to support startup companies in Connecticut. This program, now known as TechStart, funds and supports teams for a 10 week period, “to allow startups to pursue the viability of a technology concept or business and determine whether additional funding might be obtained to launch a business.”
The application process was competitive – the nine were selected from 33 total applications. The teams selected are:
Applivate (New Haven)
MeritBooster (New Haven)
My Luck Club (New Canaan)
Red Ox Technologies (New Haven)
Scaled Liquid Systems (New Haven)
Seldera (New Haven)
If you feel you’ve missed the boat, don’t worry. Our understanding is that CI will repeat and expand this program based on experience. Entrepreneurs who missed this TechStart cycle will have another bite at the apple in the future.
And while this is only the first phase of the program, it has significance in a number of ways (beyond helping these nine teams accelerate their ventures). The State’s efforts to improve its “entrepreneurial ecosystem,” not to mention the federal-level Startup America Partnership, are only really starting to kick into gear now – this announcement will likely serve to sustain the momentum achieved in the last year or so (for example, the announcement of Startup Connecticut and two Startup Weekend events held).
In addition, players like MassChallenge have recently begun to look at Connecticut, more programs and efforts will soon follow suit. Building infrastructure and momentum internally is going to be crucial in allowing Connecticut to move beyond being classified as a “rest-stop” between New York and Boston.
The Whiteboard team extends its congratulations to the first-ever TechStart teams. We’re looking forward to hearing more about their accomplishments in the near future.