UConn and Innovate Stamford have partnered to provide a platform of new programs that will strengthen Stamford's position as a leader in technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
In 2017, Innovate Stamford formed and was catalyzed with a $2 million grant from CTNext, a state-funded subsidiary of the quasi-public venture capital firm Connecticut Innovations. The grant designates Stamford as an “Innovation Place,” a hub for innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth. This is part of a statewide effort to build a more robust community of entrepreneurs and accelerate startup growth by providing access to talent, space, industry expertise, services, skill development, and capital.
The UConn-Innovate Stamford collaboration leverage's UConn's research infrastructure, expertise, and facilities. There are currently three phases of program development:
- Summer Internships: UConn's Office of the Vice President for Research is administering the UConn-Innovate Stamford Internship Program to help connect talented students and Stamford businesses. As part of a two-month internship, 50 UConn undergrads will work with Stamford companies in a variety of areas, such as marketing, engineering, digital media, and computer science. Student interns receive a $5,000 stipend, as well as free accommodation in the UConn Stamford campus housing.
- Experiential Learning with Accelerators: The second phase of the initiative will involve the establishment of accelerator teams. In this experiential learning program, students will be paired with a Stamford startup company and will delve deeper into the inner workings of such small businesses. The program will run through the academic year, and will involve attending an orientation class, spending 10-hours per week on a project outlined by the startup company, and completing corresponding assignments as a part of the experience. This program will build on the success of Accelerate UConn, an NSF I-Corps site run by the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the School of Business.
- UConn Technology Incubation Program (TIP): The third phase will include an expansion of UConn's programs in customer discovery, technology transfer, venture development, and R&D support. A key objective is to extend UConn's Technology Incubation Program through the creation of a fully-fledged physical incubator in Stamford. This will strengthen Stamford's ability to attract, support, and grow early to mid-stage companies, and will encourage entrepreneurial and corporate engagement, global outreach to new talent, and industry partnerships.
For more information about the UConn-Innovate Stamford collaboration, contact:
Mark Aindow, PhD
Executive Director for Innovation,
External Engagement, and Industry Relations