By Reece Alvarez
The Stamford Innovation Center’s annual holiday party recently attracted nearly 150 guests for a night of celebration and networking as the center celebrated three years of connecting and fostering entrepreneurs from Stamford and throughout the region.
Going into its fourth year, media content specialist Sarah Waddell said the organization has experienced exponential growth with huge increases in the amount of networking and educational events the center has hosted.
“It has been a great year for us,” she said.
The group held its first Hackathon this year, pulling together more than 100 software developers, programmers and tech-entrepreneurs to develop a 3-D map of Stamford.
The center, in the grand old municipal building on Atlantic Street, is finding its stride as seen in the ranks of entrepreneurs who make use of its co-working spaces and take advantage of business resources and networks, said Peter Propp, the center’s chief marketing officer.
“We are now getting to the point, three plus years into the business, where we are pulling things together in a logical sequence so people can get inspired by a speaker, go to a Hackathon and play around with technology, come back a month later to build a company idea at a startup weekend and maybe come be a coworker and present their idea and get invested,” Propp said.
Tree McDermot is just such an example, having originally become involved with the center as a programmer wanting to expand her skills two years ago, she was quickly inspired to pursue her own business thanks to the myriad resources and information provided by at the center, she said.
“I didn’t know if it was just a crazy idea,” she said. “I would have never even had the idea if I hadn’t come here.”
Her custom clothing design business, Tree’s Clothing, has been operational for just a few months and is navigating the challenges of a startup business, but McDermot is optimistic for the company’s future.
“So far so good,” she said. “I ran out of budget, so I am on hold at the moment, but it’s alive and I’m looking to get more word out there.”