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A Startup Scene Blooms

Connecticut’s tech sector, long in New York’s shadow, gains funding, local support.

STAMFORD, Conn.— Ahmed Khattak started an ecommerce business in New Haven, eventually moving it to Seattle. By 2014, he decided he was ready for a new opportunity and a new location.

Friends advised him to start his next company in San Francisco. Instead he choose Stamford.

“We looked around and said, Connecticut is home,” said Mr. Khattak, a Yale University graduate who now runs US Mobile, a cellphone-service provider. “I think it has makings of a great place for tech in general.”

Though it is home to well-known technology companies such as Priceline Group Inc. and its subsidiary Kayak.com, Connecticut’s dispersed startup community has operated in the shadows of New York and Boston for years. That is changing, founders and investors said, as greater access to funding and entrepreneurial programs are helping the state’s startup scene gain footing.

Hugh Seaton, chief executive of Stamford-based Aquinas Training, which develops management-training software, has been working on bringing Connecticut’s entrepreneurs together.

“There is a lot of talent in Connecticut, but it doesn’t concentrate as easily as it does in some other places,” he said.

Mr. Seaton, along with the Stamford Innovation Center, which offers office space for new businesses and hosts networking events, began in 2015 to organize hackathons, where designers and programmers get together to collaborate on projects.

Now he and the center, where he serves as operations manager, are planning a series of hackathons focused on transportation and water management. They will take place through the fall along I-95, with events scheduled in Stamford, Bridgeport, New Haven, New London and Providence, R.I.

“We are beginning to knit these communities together,” said Barry Schwimmer, founder and managing partner for the Stamford Innovation Center… Click here to read the full article

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