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[CT Post] Stamford Innovation Center Lands $500,000 Aid

Chris VanBuiten, Vice President of Sikorsky Innovations, talks after a press conference at the Stamford Innovation Center on Thursday

Chris VanBuiten, Vice President of Sikorsky Innovations, talks after a press conference at the Stamford Innovation Center on Thursday

February 2nd 2012

By Rob Varnon

The Stamford Innovation Center, the city’s first business development collaborative, opened on Thursday with $500,000 in state support and a corporate sponsorship from helicopter giant Sikorsky.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, joined by Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia, announced at a news conference Thursday that the iCenter in Old Town Hall will receive the loan to cover capital improvements and start up costs.

“It’s an exciting adventure. Exciting to see where it leads,” said Chris Van Buiten, vice president of Sikorsky Innovations, the research and engineering arm of the Stratford-based maker of the Blackhawk.

While Sikorsky has been partnering with academic institutions outside its core business, the iCenter investment marks an important step for the company as it looks to develop new advances for air travel.

Van Buiten unveiled the company’s first-ever entrepreneurial challenge, which consists of five questions involving problems or challenges facing the aerospace industry. Anyone can enter, and winners, announced later this year, will be provided space in the iCenter and access to Sikorsky experts to help develop their ideas.

The center, which has a 10-year lease on the space, boasts 16,000 square feet on Atlantic Street in downtown Stamford, where entrepreneurs can rent a desk and access to meeting rooms for $250 a month on the first floor. The second floor is reserved for firms that have raised capital from angel investors….Read More.

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