New Haven’s Thriving Entrepreneurial Community

Anne Gatling Haynes
CEO, Economic Development Corporation of New Haven

The spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship is alive and well in New Haven’s business community—one powered with an ever-present appreciation for new ideas. New Haven, a vibrant city with the feel of a smaller community, is a great place to see measurable business development in a short period of time. The  growth of leading-edge bio-tech and IT technology businesses at 300 George Street, other downtown locations, and Science Park at Yale have established the city as a great launching pad for small business—financial and resource help from partners like Connecticut Innovations has accelerated that growth. New “business incubator” options secure our ability to grow more businesses along a broad spectrum of industry sectors.

CTech’s expansion in New Haven’s Science Park at Yale, made possible in part by a three-year grant from the Economic Development Corporation of New Haven (EDC), has substantially increased the city’s ability to attract, support and grow small businesses, especially those in the high-tech fields. The new facility offers professional “turnkey” offices, conference rooms, state-of-the-art IT connectivity as well as on-site professional services and support.
 
Another New Haven entrepreneurial success story, the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, cultivates student-led ventures from idea to market. The YEI incubator, founded out of the Office of Cooperative Research at Yale, is the incubator where students have the opportunity to “set up shop” with professional guidance and support. Students interested in the program can also take part in YEI’s Summer Fellowship program, a 10-week startup bootcamp for student entrepreneurs who have an idea for a scalable business venture.

New Haven is also home to many alternative work spaces, from studios to cafés and living rooms—but with its high numbers of freelancers, startups and academic researchers/professionals, we have hit capacity! Along with more traditional incubator spaces, we have other emerging models. For example, The Bourse on Chapel Street is an open urban loft environment designed to promote creative energy. The Grove, on Orange Street, offers shared amenities and provides counseling and other support to freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Finally, Project Storefronts, launched just last month, supports the entrepreneurial spirit within our creative economy. Following the success of “pop-up stores” (temporary retail outlets) in various cities, New Haven has launched Project Storefronts which allows entrepreneurs to test the viability of new arts-related retail by providing access to vacant retail spaces as a pilot. The City’s Department of Cultural Affairs is leading this initiative with funding from the EDC and in partnership with the City of New Haven’s Office of Economic Development and property owner Related Properties. Do your holiday shopping at 71 Orange Street, throughout this month!

Working with our partners, including Connecticut Innovations, the State of Connecticut, the City of New Haven, Yale University and other public/private agencies, EDC will find creative ways to help businesses in their earliest phases, when they need the support the most. New Haven’s thriving economic, cultural and intellectual climate makes the city an exciting place to launch and grow a business these days.  Please see our website (www.edcnewhaven.com) or call us with any questions!

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