FORGE Establishes Hartford, Connecticut, Operations
The company will begin providing its free services to local startups, leveraging its expertise to help innovators ensure they are suitable for manufacturer consideration, ultimately accelerating the process of bringing product ideas to life, according to state officials.
“Connecticut’s ecosystem provides a rich assortment of suppliers and advanced manufacturing offerings,” Laura Teicher, executive director of FORGE, said. “This complete, end-to-end ecosystem helps ensure a successful economic future for Connecticut.”
The project is being supported with joint funding from CTNext, a nonprofit organization that promotes entrepreneurship, and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development through its Manufacturing Innovation Fund.
“Connecticut already possesses a robust manufacturing ecosystem composed of both innovative entrepreneurs and world-class manufacturers,” Onyeka Obiocha, executive director of CTNext, noted. “Too often, our entrepreneurs and startups are unaware of the capabilities residing within the state and look elsewhere to advance their product and business ambitions. By establishing a presence in Connecticut, FORGE will facilitate new connections between entrepreneurs and manufacturers, ultimately deepening the depth and breadth of our manufacturing sector and generating new employment opportunities.”
FORGE addresses crucial gaps and accelerates path to market for these startups by making right-fit introductions to industry expertise, combined with the training and support needed to ensure readiness for the connections to be productive. Since its founding in 2015, the organization has operated in Massachusetts, where it has supported hundreds of creators of physical products.
“If we invent it in Connecticut, we want to manufacture it in Connecticut,” added Paul Lavoie, Connecticut’s chief manufacturing officer. “This program actively fulfills Governor Lamont’s mission to enhance and strengthen the long-term competitiveness of Connecticut’s manufacturing sector. We will support our entrepreneurial innovators with services to take them from prototype to commercialization. We are a national leader in innovation and are creating an ecosystem to continue to support innovation.”
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