Innovation and entrepreneurship are two things that Connecticut has and wants to grow. There’s a bill this session that can help do that.

It’s been a busy three weeks since the release of SB 1, An Act Concerning Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Connecticut’s Economic Future.

GAP_Biz-Law_2016CBIA has been reaching out via Twitter, Skype, email, telephone, and snail mail to tell people about it.

Response has been strong and promising. So what does the bill do and what are people saying about it?

SB 1 Now

A modified version of the bill approved by the Connecticut legislature's Finance Committee yesterday:

  • Creates ImpaCT, a new organization within Connecticut Innovations. ImpaCT is charged with fostering innovation, startups, and the entrepreneur community. It’s also responsible for developing and implementing some new initiatives such as the Innovation District program to establish districts in compact geographic areas that have innovation and entrepreneurial potential. This will be done through a competitive selection process and grants will be available to help develop the district.
  • Establishing Startup CT, a program in which CI must certify up to six private entities as startup funds. The funds would be eligible for a CI loan of up to $10 million if the startup fund raises $20 million. Startup fund investors can receive business corporation or insurance premium tax credits for their investment.
  • Creates the Innovation Talent Fund for the purpose of increasing technical talent in the state,
  • Moves some of CI’s powers and duties to ImpaCT
  • Mandates CI move to an innovation district and invest with private partners
  • Extends the Angel Investor tax credit to July 1, 2019
  • Establishes Accelerate CT, a program to provide grants to business accelerators and certain businesses
  • Permits the establishment of Knowledge Center enterprise zones around colleges
The taking of manufacturing funds is of significant concern to the business community.
The measure is funded by raiding $157.5 million from primarily existing manufacturing fund bond authorizations (Manufacturing Assistance Act and the Manufacturing Innovation Fund) and reallocating $7 million from UConn Next Gen previously authorized bonds.

The taking of manufacturing funds is of significant concern to the business community.

So what’s the feedback so far?

There’s a lot of chatter around the bill—including a Slack Chat, a Connecticut Entrepreneur Meetup, and a number of good old fashion conversations.

We have learned that many innovative people are pleased to see the legislature focusing in on the topics of innovation, entrepreneurship, funding, and the state’s future.

People are also pleased by the legislature’s desire to hear from the communities that would be impacted by the bill.

This is a group effort by legislators and the business community to ensure that SB 1 is not only well meaning, but can bring about the desired outcomes.

We are in the process of compiling all of the feedback we have received and will share with you some of that next week, as well as next steps.

The bulk of the feedback relates to Innovation Corridors, communication to and within the entrepreneurial community, access to funding, and tax credits.


For more information, contact CBIA’s Bonnie Stewart (860.944.8788) | @CBIAbonnie