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The Connecticut innovation community hosts a forum


Presented by the Connecticut Technology and Innovation Community

The candidates from left to right (or stage Right to stage Left) • C. Duffy Acevedo • Larry DeNardis • Mike Fedele • Tom Foley • Oz Griebel • Tom Marsh • Juan Figueroa Juan Figueroa’s fan page • Mary Glassman • Ned Lamont • Dan Malloy • Rudy Marconi (Note: one active candidate, Mark Boughton did not attend) ____________________________

The full event was captured on video and can be viewed here:


Opening statement and first question by Chris Kalish, director, GE edgelab

1st question answered by Dan Malloy:

1st question answered by Ned Lamont:

1st question answered by Tom Foley:

1st question answered by Lt. Governor Mike Fedele:


ABOUT THE FORUM: Innovation is the magic word in economic development right now around the world. Economies are searching for high quality jobs, all – even China – worry that traditional manufacturing and other sources of good jobs will not be around forever, and they realize that some combination of policies and actions is needed to stay globally competitive.

The groups that have joined together to host today’s candidates forum spend almost every other day of the year working to make and keep Connecticut competitive. We are five of the key non-governmental organizations which together represent the firms, service providers, institutions and individuals who make up most of what is called the “Innovation eco-system.”

This eco-system is what takes raw ideas that percolate in university labs, the R&D centers of medium and larger firms and in the brains of entrepreneurs everywhere and mix them with skilled managers, early stage funding investors, support services and the magic of localized innovation cultures to create both the sustained leadership of the GEs, UTCs, Pitney Bowes as well as the incredible growth of “gazelle” firms such as Open Solutions, Alexion and Higher One

Recent studies show that over the last 10 years in America, all growth – every net new job –came from high growth start-up firms. It is a distressing that Connecticut is one of the only states in the country that has no net new job growth over the past decade. That it also has fewer actual business entities than it did in 2000, shows that if we are to have any hope of rebuilding our economy and tax revenues, we must pay more attention to creating a more successful “innovation eco-system.”

While good fortune and history have smiled on Silicon Valley and Route 128 over the past 25 years, many other states and regions have built their innovation economies over the past decade through good planning and savvy leadership. Often groups and their leaders – similar in form to the hosts of today’s hosts – have played integral and key roles in the development of technology based economies elsewhere.

There are many ways to build and protect and “innovation eco-system” and the key ingredient is to recognize the “major league” level of the competition, preparation, strategies and execution needed. There is little room for politics or false claims when 49 other states and thirty other countries are trying to build the same “fast growth” tech economy that we are.

It is important to look forward and not backward, so the “innovation community” hopes that in the months and years ahead the experience, insights and remarkable diversity of the communities represented by these organizations will be sought out and used for guidance and policy creation by the next Gubernatorial Administration.

Day in and day out, the host organizations work with their members, community, boards and staffs to provide a range of services, events and outcomes that make the technology based economy of Connecticut stronger than it would otherwise be. Still, given the needs of the state, the rise of global competition and the rewards that come from success in growing and sustaining innovation based companies,the innovation community believes that we can and must do better in the years ahead.

We look forward to playing our role and helping the next Governor. _______________________________________


This Gubernatorial forum was produced by:

· The Angel Investor Forum (AIF) has some 60 accredited Connecticut investors who meet monthly to review business plans and meet with entrepreneurs who seek their early stage investments. Angels have become a dominant multi-billion dollar force around the world for start-ups. Though the investments are made individually, by meeting and deciding as a group they are a great example of collective intelligence in action. For information contact Mary Anne Rooke (

·CT Digital Media is a business network of executives in the convergence digital media industry – film production and media companies, content creators and technology providers, investors and entrepreneurs – looking to create new business and investment opportunities. The group fosters innovation and growth in the digital media industry by creating a forum in which CT’s digital media community can network and collaborate to create new business opportunities. For information contact Ephraim Cohen (

· The Connecticut Technology Council is a statewide association of technology oriented companies and institutions, providing leadership in areas of policy advocacy, community building and assistance for growing companies. Speaking for over 2,000 companies that employ some 200,000 employees, the Connecticut Technology Council seeks to provide a strong and urgent voice in support of the creation of a culture of innovation. This includes working to position Connecticut as having a work class culture of innovation and as practices the best forms of technology based economic development. For information contact Mike Scricca (

· Connecticut United for Research Excellence (CURE) is the educational and business support network organization for bioscience in Connecticut, with over 100 members. Its mission is to build networks and critical mass for the industry within the state, to keep Connecticut competitive in bioscience, and to tell the Connecticut bioscience story. CURE’s membership includes major pharmaceutical companies, emerging biotechnology companies, and major research universities. CURE works closely with lawmakers, policy makers, and government officials to ensure that Connecticut remains hospitable to bioscience and an attractive location for new bioscience investment.

· The Connecticut Venture Group (CVG) mission is to stimulate economic growth by encouraging investment in high-growth companies. Through chapters in Hartford, New Haven and Stamford, the organization produces technology-focused seminars and expositions, updates on financing and market trends, university tech transfer conferences, and the annual Crossroads Venture Fair. To deliver focused benefits CVG has established Entrepreneur and Investor Zones. For information contact Mike Roer (

· SIM, through its Central Connecticut Chapter, is an association of senior IT executives, prominent academicians, selected consultants, and other IT thought leaders, who come together to share and enhance their rich intellectual capital for the benefit of its members and their organizations. SIM members champion the alignment of IT and business as a valued partnership; the creation and sharing of best practices; IT management and leadership skills development that enables our members growth at each stage of their career; the replenishment and education of future IT leaders including; working with the IT industry to shape its direction; and policies and legislation that stimulate innovation, economic development, healthy competition and IT job creation. Central CT Chapter of the Society for Information Managers (SIM)

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