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Connecticut Innovations Announces Approval of Plan to Deploy $250 Million in New Funding

CI to Expand Programs for Entrepreneurs and Recruit Out-of-State Startups

Connecticut Innovations (CI), the state’s quasi-public authority responsible for technology-based economic development, today announced board approval of a plan to deploy $50 million per year, over five years, consisting of $25 million per year from the state of Connecticut, along with a matching $25 million per year over the same period from CI itself. The plan calls for CI to recruit early-stage, high-potential companies from other states, leverage its knowledge of the technology industry and investment community to attract outside investment to match CI funds, and utilize its expertise to expand existing initiatives and launch new initiatives to invigorate Connecticut’s emerging technology sector, bolstering further CI’s record of success.

$125 million in new funding from the state was included in Governor Malloy’s jobs bill, which was signed into law in October 2011. CI’s plan is to match this state funding for each of the next five years with its existing cash and funding from its investment returns.

“Connecticut Innovations has a proven ability to accurately assess the needs of entrepreneurs, and to respond to those needs with programs that reflect today’s economic challenges and opportunities. CI’s capabilities are essential to the success of the technology sector in Connecticut,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “Adding to their tool kit and providing more funding will allow the organization to accelerate its success in creating jobs and growing Connecticut’s economy.”

Included in the plan is:

  1. $4 million per year for CI’s pre-seed program, which offers loans to support the formation of new Connecticut technology companies.

  2. $22 million per year for seed stage and Series A investments, which help entrepreneurs grow existing businesses, and for follow-on investments in CI portfolio companies.

  3. $6.5 million per year for a newly developed loan program, which provides growth and working capital for technology companies.

  4. $7 million per year for the aggressive recruitment of emerging technology companies nationally and internationally. CI plans to work with the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and other state agencies to design a relocation incentive package, similar to the governor’s “First Five” initiative.

  5. $4 million per year to help Connecticut companies capture more of the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funds each year, as well as increase industry partnerships and the state’s technology talent pipeline. 

  6. $4.8 million per year to establish technology business accelerator hubs, which will provide support services to startups, and to create a corporate technology transfer initiative.*  

“This new funding will allow CI to continue to spur new innovation and startup business in the state as well as step up our recruitment of out-of-state companies to Connecticut,” said Catherine Smith, DECD commissioner and CI chair. “We’re excited about these new initiatives and we’re eager to get the program underway.”

In the past three years alone, CI investments have leveraged $74 million in private capital investments for Connecticut companies. Through the Small Business Research Innovation (SBIR) program, small Connecticut technology firms captured $35-$38 million per year in federal funding in recent years and have generated $20+ million more per year in revenues directly attributed to those awards. CI’s investments add, on average, 1,600 Connecticut jobs per year.

*Revised as of January 12, 2012

About Connecticut Innovations Inc.  Connecticut Innovations (CI) is a quasi-public organization dedicated to driving a vibrant, entrepreneurial, technology-based economy in Connecticut. CI stimulates high-tech growth by investing in early-stage Connecticut technology companies, university/industry research collaborations and technology transfer and collaborating with government, business, nonprofit and academic organizations to advance technology growth and promote public policies consistent with CI’s mission. For more information on CI, please visit        

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