Ignite addresses a gap in the ecosystem for connecting people, generating new ideas, and building business development skills by creating structure and support to “ignite” increased entrepreneurship and business success. This encompasses TRIP’s programming that convenes and connects people to spark new ideas and embrace innovation. There are 3 parts: 1) education 2) events and other related programming 3) business development support.
The output will be an inspired and enabled community that produces in the first year of funding three start-ups, at least two in tech, and for example, one in food/sustainability or marine science.
Community Concierge is a comprehensive program to assist employers in the recruitment, relocation and retention of employees by making meaningful connections to our local arts, culture, history, shopping, restaurants, schools, services and community involvement opportunities. While the Community Concierge is open to any business or relocating individual, the concept was developed with special consideration of the large scale hiring by General Dynamics at Electric Boat.
Connecticut Naval Undersea Supply Chain Consortium
The proposed Consortium will capitalize on the growing naval undersea business opportunities and benefit from close geographical proximity to EB; engage and strengthen the large Connecticut based naval supplier network; and leverage strengths and resources at UConn to promote innovation and workforce development. The Consortium will create significant economic development benefits across Connecticut with a strong concentration of these activities in the Groton/New London region. The Consortium is a critical component to the National Institute for Undersea Vehicle Technology which will promote innovation and sustain long-term economic growth in the region.
Placemaking Redevelopment Initiatives & Plans
Critical to the success of the work of attracting and retaining a talented base of residents in our region is the need for effective, intensified, and reinforced placemaking that meets current needs and demands. Infrastructure, within the three communities has lacked significant investment, and the resulting deferred maintenance, both public and private, has become a dis-incentive for new private investment in certain neighborhoods. Yet the multiple districts, downtowns, and village “nodes” of Groton and New London all possess an economically viable and diverse mix of residential, commercial, multi-family and industrial uses all within walking distance. Activating these diversified nodes as underdeveloped assets through the creation of a Redevelopment Plan for the Thames St/ Bridge St area in the City of Groton and the Hodges Square area in the City of New London and strengthening the connection between them by enhancing either end of the non-vehicular multi-use path over the Gold Star Bridge, is a critical placemaking project for the TRIP initiative.
The Cultivator Kitchen helps aspiring entrepreneurs in the restaurant and food space test their ideas and develop critical business skills by participating in a unique business incubator program to start and run a business as students with mentorship and classes. The commercial kitchen at Spark Makerspace in New London, CT is being redeveloped to serve as a home base for the Cultivator Kitchen activities, including cooking challenge events and pop-up restaurant nights. The goal is to cultivate viable entrepreneurs and fill vacant storefronts with successful new restaurants in southeastern CT. The Cultivator Kitchen is a private/non-profit partnership produced by Spark Coop, a sister organization to the Spark Makerspace with the purpose of helping people make money doing what they love.