Upward Labs says the impact of the two sectors spans generations but no city has taken a lead in these areas yet
Connecticut Innovations (CI), the US state’s strategic venture capital arm, is investing $3.9 million over two years in a global incubator developing and nurturing early-stage companies developing pilot programmes in the smart building and aged care market segments.
Upward Labs will invest in portfolio companies accepted into the programme, as well as provide support in the form of recruitment, infrastructure and other operating expenses during their time in state’s capital city of Hartford.
It is establishing two physical labs in downtown Hartford, where companies will live and work for six consecutive months. During this time, companies will have the opportunity to pilot their product with well-known commercial, residential and senior care programme partners and to work closely with established corporations to test their pilot programmes and prove efficacy.
Upward Labs is intentionally focused on two industries that are exploding in both size and demand for increased efficiencies through innovation and technology. Founder and CEO, Shana Schlossberg, said that aged care and smart buildings are two categories that no city has really taken the lead on.
“Yet their impact spans generations the world over,” she added. In Hartford, we understand the value and the potential of Upward Labs to elicit such transformation – from corporate leaders to the wider Hartford community. There’s no city more qualified to lead the charge in taking these industries to a new level.”
“There is a tremendous opportunity to establish and foster an ecosystem of young innovators and tech-forward thinkers in Hartford”
In all, the incubator intends to invest in a total of 40 companies and execute four different six-month cohorts with 10 companies in each.
“Early-stage companies often lack the resources and direct access to larger organisations where they can test ideas, pilot projects and demonstrate proof of concepts,” said Philip Siuta, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of CI. “This initiative will allow larger corporations to identify and connect with innovative technologies and continue to grow the talent in the city.
“We are excited to announce this investment and look forward to welcoming a host of young and innovative companies to Hartford in the coming years.”
Michael Cantor, co-managing partner at Cantor Colburn LLP and chairman of the board of directors at CI, said Upward Labs is itself an innovative example of a public-private partnership that is uniquely suited to helping transform Hartford into a thriving environment where millennials and others want to work, live and play.
“There is a tremendous opportunity to establish and foster an ecosystem of young innovators and tech-forward thinkers in Hartford, and CI is proud to support this effort.” he said.
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