October 6, 2011 | last updated June 1, 2012 12:08 pm

Malloy promotes entrepreneurship as jobs builder

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy kicked off a jobs summit Thursday in downtown Hartford by unveiling a new economic development initiative aimed at assisting entrepreneurship throughout the state.

The new program, called "Startup Connecticut," will be part of a national network of state and regional efforts coordinated by the Startup America Partnership to help young companies grow to create jobs.

The program will focus on several areas, including establishing regional centers around the state to bring technology, concept testing, mentors, funding and key business connections to firms where they are needed.

Malloy didn't not disclose where the regional centers would open, nor did he say what it would cost the state to open them.

However, he did say they would operate in conjunction with local chambers of commerce and/or universities. He mentioned New Haven and Fairfield County as two areas where technology innovation is prevalent in the state.

Malloy said one of the things he learned on his recent jobs tour was that there needs to be better organization, coordination and networking of economic development entities in the state to spur jobs growth.

He said "Startup Connecticut," will be a step in that direction by creating "a new public/private partnership that will bring sweeping changes to how we approach and support our state's startups and small business entrepreneurs."

"The goal is to launch many more startups in a much shorter timeframe, and increase the quality and levels of support for our existing base of smaller firms," Malloy said. "This will create jobs as well as a vibrant innovation ecosystem in Connecticut, which will accelerate our economic recovery."

The Startup America Partnership is funded by large companies like Microsoft and aims to bring together an alliance of major corporations, funders, service providers, mentors and advisors to increase the prevalence and success of high-growth companies in the U.S.

Scott Case, a serial entrepreneur who was founding chief technology officer of Norwalk-based Priceline is the CEO of the Startup America Partnership.

Connecticut is the third state in the nation to adopt its own regional initiative off of the national program.

Malloy unveiled the new program during a special jobs summit Thursday morning at the Connecticut Convention Center.

The summit is a precursor to a special legislative session on jobs that will take place Oct. 26, where Malloy is expected to layout an aggressive jobs growth plan. The Connecticut governor didn't disclose Thursday much of what his plan will entail, but one initiative will likely be related to providing more capital for start-up companies.

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