The Stamford Innovation Center, a city-state collaborative designed to foster innovation and spur the growth of new businesses in Connecticut, reportedly opened on Thursday with a gala celebration and the announcement of $500,000 in state funding.
In addition, helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky announced corporate sponsorship of the new technology innovation center during the event, which was attended by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia, according to a report in the Stamford Advocate.
Sikorsky’s investment in the new iCenter, located in Old Town Hall, fits in with its goal to develop new advances for air travel, according to the report.
To that end Sikorsky has announced its first-ever “entrepreneurial challenge,” which consists of five questions involving problems or challenges facing the aerospace industry, according to a press release. Ideas outlined in the application process will be judged on technical feasibility, value proposition, and team expertise. The challenge is open to everyone and winners will be announced later this year.
The 16,000-square-foot iCenter will offer dedicated desks, shared "co-working" space and all of the typical business services available in a state-of-the-art office complex, the release states.
"Most importantly, we will surround our entrepreneurs with a community... a team of individuals and organizations dedicated to their success," said Patty Meagher, one of the Founders of the Center, in the release. "It is an ideal environment in which to work, learn, accelerate, and create the future."
"The collaboration between Sikorsky and Stamford Innovation highlights the ongoing and exciting entrepreneurial spirit that exists at institutions across our state," Gov. Malloy said. "Connecticut has always had a reputation as the home for innovation, whether we're talking about companies, technology or our workforce. The partnership announced today will help our state build on that history and continue our efforts to find new ways to compete in a 21st Century economy."