BRIDGEPORT - A new initiative to spur the development of high-tech start-ups, fostering additional economic development and stimulating job creation in Bridgeport and Fairfield County, was announced by Gov. M. Jodi Rell April 27. The "CTech IncUBator" is a partnership between Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII), the state's quasi-public technology investment arm, and the University of Bridgeport (UB). To be based at UB, the CTech IncUBator will be Fairfield County's first and only university-based incubator for high-tech start-ups.
"Small businesses account for eight out of ten of our state's new jobs every year," said Rell. "In these economic times, it is more important than ever to cultivate entrepreneurial, start-up businesses - our primary engine of job creation. There is strong evidence showing businesses that participate in incubators like CTech tend to do better over the long haul, so we expect this initiative to go a long way toward ensuring the success of the next generation of high-tech leaders in our state.
CTech IncUBator offices will be located on the UB campus at 250 Myrtle Avenue in Bridgeport and are scheduled to be ready for occupancy by early summer.
Fledgling enterprises will benefit from the resources provided by the center, Rell said. "That includes access to mentors, UB research facilities and faculty, student interns and pro bono or discounted business advice from partner sponsors," she added.
"It is very appropriate to have a technology incubator on this campus, given the well-known history of the University of Bridgeport in developing high-technology, innovative interdisciplinary-research projects, and cutting-edge products and services," said Tarek Sobh, dean of the UB School of Engineering and vice president for research and graduate studies. "The university is home to the largest graduate engineering school in the state of Connecticut. Its faculty and students are involved in major research endeavors, including the development of the U.S. Army's next generation of unmanned aerial vehicles and sponsored projects in the areas of biomedical engineering, nanotechnology, and wireless computing."
The incubator will initially focus on attracting participants from industry sectors including information technology, digital media, advanced materials and clean tech. Businesses in the STEM classifications (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) classifications will be considered in the near future.
While priority will be given to projects launched by UB students, alumni or faculty as well as companies supported by CII initiatives, the CTech IncUBator also will welcome businesses that are developed independently.
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