Lamont: $1.3 million in state dollars to help launch business incubator in New London
The State Bond Commission is expected to vote next Thursday on a $1.3 million allocation for the creation of the Thames River Innovation Center in New London. The incubator will train entrepreneurs and apprentices in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, with engagement from its 1,400 member businesses.
Venture capitalists eyeing new investment opportunities hope the project will continue to receive state support beyond the initial allocation.
“Incubators are, by definition, just a beginning for a lot of companies, and very often they need follow-on participation,” said Liddy Karter, managing partner with Mizzen Capital. “I hope that this is the beginning of a longer-term commitment from the state to demonstrate that this region has a unique contribution to make.”
Those contributions, Karter pointed out, include developing smaller entities that would feed into the larger ecosystem of companies like Pfizer and Electric Boat.
The chamber is modeling the incubator after several similar ventures, including the Center for Innovation at UMass Dartmouth, the Berkshire Innovation Center, Foundry 66 in Norwich, the District in New Haven, CURE Innovation Commons in Groton and the Westerly Education Center.