Tag: Connecticut

The Most Valuable Type of Capital

CTI_Headshot-circle-mask-mattMatthew McCooe
Chief Executive Officer

The most important ingredient in any successful startup is an experienced and effective management team. Since our state has taken a beating in the business press of late, I thought it was an appropriate time to remind our readers—you—about one of the critical factors that sets Connecticut apart, namely our extraordinary management talent. Let’s take a closer look at a few lists that I believe more accurately rank our state and represent our greatest asset: our supremely talented human capital. Keep in mind that we’re recognized nationwide for a variety of traits that set our talent apart. Continue reading

Team and Team Again

In the venture capital world there are plenty of theories as to how to evaluate an investment opportunity. At CI, our Deal Team is charged with weeding through many potential investments and focusing on those that make the most sense for CI and the state of Connecticut. I find that a company’s management team is where I focus the most attention. 

One thing I look for on a management team is experience. While past success in entrepreneurship is not an indication of future success, it is certainly in the “plus” column. However, other less favorable experiences are also valuable. Some might argue that we learn much more from our failures, mistakes, and tribulations than we do from our successes.  

I also look for the team’s proper motivation and alignment with investors. Too often I see founders trying to retain so much equity in their babies that deals fall apart. Sometimes, when new money is needed, founders aren’t aligned properly with the others around the table. Managers should understand that 50%, 40%, even 10% of something is worth more than 100% of nothing. Ideas that don’t make it to the masses are just that: ideas. In the end, management teams that align themselves with their investors, and investors that properly motivate their managers, are best positioned for success.  

Kevin Crowley
Managing Director, Investments

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Careers for Engineers

Let’s Keep Our Talent Pool in Connecticut!

Since 2004, large and small technology firms have come to the CT SBIR Office for support.  In the course of doing business, we hear rumblings from companies that have job positions open but cannot fill them.  We also speak with talented people who have been laid off but cannot find jobs.  We have been matching them for years – informally.  Now that the numbers are growing, we have formalized the process.

What are we learning? 
Despite the down economy, many of the small to mid-sized companies are hiring!  As the program implies, companies are looking for engineers, chemists, scientists, and IT professionals.  But that’s not all. Technology companies are looking for business developers, project managers, fund raisers, marketing and PR people, and legal teams as well. They seek to fill full-time, part-time, temporary, advisory/mentoring, and volunteer positions.  All situations are included – because they are needed.

How does the process work?
We match people with jobs.  We launched “Careers for Engineers” as a simple e-blast system to accomplish several matchmaking goals:
1. Keep the talent pool in Connecticut
2. Fill the gaps that traditional systems do not address – but are needed
3. Describe real jobs that are available now
4. Showcase the job seekers
5. Provide a wide array of jobs

What else have we learned?
Often, the people responding to the jobs available are new to our database.  “People tell people,” who tell people. It makes sense, doesn’t it?  Effective job searching requires networking.  Our process is rather informal and friendly.  Job seekers can contact the companies; the companies can contact the job seekers.  If the match does not seem to be appropriate today, it may be appropriate tomorrow.  That’s networking!

Tell a friend
Know any engineers, chemists, scientists, business developers, project managers etc. who would like to work at a technology company?  Ask them to contact us!  Let’s keep our talent pool in Connecticut!  For more information you can read the governor’s press release, visit: www.ctsbir.com, or contact Merrie London: 860-257-2894, merrie.london@ctinnovations.com.

Merrie London
Manager, SBIR
CT SBIR Office

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Connecticut Secures Solid Scores in Technology and Science

GOOD NEWS!!!  Two recent national reports have given Connecticut solid marks in technology and science, confirming that Connecticut is a contender in the national technology and science arena.  The reports were issued by the Milken Institute, an independent economic think tank located in Santa Monica, California, and the Battelle Memorial Institute, the world’s largest independent consulting, research and development organization, based in Columbus, Ohio. 

 

The Milken Institute’s State Technology and Science Index compares technology and science assets in each state, factoring in 77 individual indicators across five categories:  Research and Development Inputs, Risk Capital and Entrepreneurial Infrastructure, Human Capital Investment, Technology and Science Work Force, and Technology Concentration and Dynamism.  Connecticut’s overall ranking this year came in at #7, up from a 10th place finish in the previous report in 2004.  We stood out with impressive rankings in a couple of areas.  We ranked 4th in the nation in Human Capital Investment, which measures, among other things, SAT scores, the prevalence of bachelor’s degrees, the concentration of doctoral degree holders, state appropriations for higher education and home computer penetration.  Additionally, within the Research and Development Inputs category, Connecticut achieved a 1st place ranking in the industry research and development funding category and raised its scores across the board – in academic, industry and federal research and development funding.  

 

While Connecticut had a strong showing in this year’s report, the report cautioned that the technology and science arena is extremely competitive… 

 

“States must stay on the cutting edge in order to stay in the game.”

 

“The marketplace has become truly global and hyper-competitive.  In facing this new reality, each state must decide how to capitalize on its unique location, intellectual capital, and regional assets in order to sustain entrepreneurial activity in science and technology, the economic lifeblood of the future.”

 

Battelle’s report, entitled Technology, Talent and Capital: State Bioscience Initiatives 2008, ranks Connecticut 13th in the nation in NIH Funding as well as BioScience Venture Capital Investments.  On a per capita basis our standing in the former category looks even rosier at #5.  We also rank 15th nationally in the number of bioscience and related patents issued, which on a per capita basis translates into a 6th place ranking.  Our performance on a per capita basis was also respectable at #5 in the nation for Academic Bioscience R&D Expenditures and Bioscience Higher Education Degrees and 6th in the nation in Bioscience Occupational Employment.  It was noted that within the bioscience sector, the state has a particularly high concentration of employment in two subsectors:  drugs/pharmaceuticals and medical devices/equipment.     

 

After reading the reports, it is clear that Connecticut possesses many assets that should continue to be cultivated.  We are indeed a strong contender in the national technology economy but still have room for improvement and, in this very competitive environment, must keep pushing forward and raising the bar.

 

 

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