Twelve communities have been awarded state grants to help them explore and understand ways to encourage entrepreneurs to create and develop new businesses.

CTNext, a state program dedicated to equipping startups and entrepreneurs with resources, guidance, and networks to speed growth and success, announced planning grants for the Innovation Places program.

The grants range from $24,000 to $50,000.

Innovation places are areas where entrepreneurs and innovators have access to tech talent, support organizations and research institutions.

The grants will allow communities to better understand emerging conditions, risks and opportunities, to assess the community’s capabilities, and to plan actions to leverage those capabilities.

The 12 communities are Bridgeport, Danbury, Hartford/East Hartford, Meriden, Middletown, Northeast Connecticut (includes Tolland, Killingly, Putnam, Mansfield, Windham, Storrs and Willimantic), New Britain (includes Farmington and Berlin), New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford, New London/Groton, and Waterbury.

“These grants intend to support community efforts to build out a plan that will highlight the strengths of each community, assess the needs of entrepreneurs and talent, and create an action plan that will be submitted for additional grant funding through the Innovation Places program,” said CTNext interim executive director Glendowlyn Thames.

Implementation grants will provide communities with a portion of the funding required to execute the local plan.

A total of $30 million has been earmarked for the Innovation Places program over the next five years.