Efforts to Connect Entrepreneurs Hit the Road Statewide

Some have suggested that the road back for Connecticut’s economy will be built one entrepreneur at a time. If that is the key to an economic rebound, an initiative by New Haven-based company Independent Software is looking to ramp up the process by gathering entrepreneurs in bunches. In fact, New Haven will be the next stop on eight-month Whiteboard Startup Roadshow tour across Connecticut, in the midst of the city’s celebrated International Festival of Arts and Ideas this week. Organizers indicate that cities like New Halogo whiteboardven are “overflowing with impossible ideas and the people who make them happen. We believe connecting to all three -- the place, the thinking, and the people -- can increase the probability of success for others who have impossible ideas.”

On Thursday June 26, from 2-5pm, The Whiteboard is bringing together New Haven area innovators and entrepreneurs for “a little history and to talk about the future.” The “Roadshow” stopped in Hartford last month, with a well-attended program at the reSET co-working space downtown.

Following the Arts and Ideas' "Innovation in the Ninth Square" walking tour of The Grove, SeeClickFix, and MakeHaven, individuals are asked to gather at Luck and Levity for an Open House and Entrepreneur Showcase beginning at 2 PM, followed at 4 PM by perspectives offered by:

  • Margaret Anne Tockarshewsky, New Haven Museum
  • Elon Boms, Launch Capital
  • Jim Gregory, Core Informatics

The Whiteboard - and the The Whiteboard Start-Up Roadshow – is operated by Independent Software, which runs from The Grove co-working space in New Haven, and is supported by CT Next.

Following a kickoff event in New Haven on April 1, the tour moved on to Stamford in April, then to Hartford in May, back to New Haven this week. In eight months’ time, organizers “expect to have a treasure trove of stories from each region and to see a larger, stronger, and more connected startup community state-wide.”  The list of cities to be visited for gatherings of local entrepreneurs is below.  whiteboard_logoheader1

Independent Software works with early-stage entrepreneurs “to develop the products, talent, and community they need to thrive.” The company also provides access to Connecticut’s vast startup community through The Whiteboard, which includes a diverse network of entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters.  The Whiteboard website outlines the Roadshow cities on the calendar:

  • July: Bridgeport-Fairfield: In the context of the city’s own summer arts festival, we’ll shine a light on the amazing progress Bridgeport’s entrepreneurial scene has made in recent years, working closely with the B:Hive, the Business Council of Fairfield County and others.
  • August: New London-Norwich: SECT Tech Center at Avery Point for bioscience startups and a robust arts scene makes the shoreline a unique place to start a business. Along with the New London-Groton area, Norwich is new territory for us so this area will be true exploration.
  • September: Storrs-Windham: From incubators to partnerships with UTC and others, UConn Storrs is a hub of activity for a myriad of innovation startups. Windham’s history, arts and social entrepreneurship adds to the mix for this not-so-quiet corner of the state.
  • October: Danbury-Waterbury: The Danbury Hacker Space is launching this year, and it’s just the beginning of activity for their entrepreneurs. As one of Connecticut’s many factory towns, Waterbury is looking to leverage its buildings to help launch small businesses.
  • November: Middletown-Meriden: As a connection point between the shore and Hartford, this area has pockets of innovation that you wouldn’t suspect. We hear rumblings of a startup culture and look forward to unearthing what’s here.
  • December: Torrington: Litchfield County is known for its organic farming and getaways. Yet, Torrington’s Warner Theater and energetic young politicians are fighting hard to be heard. We look forward to bringing these hidden gems to you.