February 9, 2018

Slomba to manage 'Innovation Places' grant

Photo | Contributed
Photo | Contributed
Elinor Slomba

New Haven's Innovation Places initiative has a new leader, officials said Thursday.

The Elm City Innovation Collaborative (ECIC), a consortium that received a $2 million state grant this year to help the city become a high-tech hub, has tapped New Haven arts and business consultant Elinor Slomba to oversee implementation, the nonprofit Economic Development Corp of New Haven said.

Slomba, whose official title is grant implementation manager/superconnector, will serve as the full-time point person for the consortium and help programs funded by the grant develop their messages and reach milestones, EDC said. The position is being funded out of the grant.

The founder of Verge Arts Groups (formerly Arts Interstices), Slomba already has a successful track record in the Elm City as the leader of the Made in New Haven campaign, which offers city businesses a trademarked logo for home-grown products sold commercially, officials said.

She also managed New Haven's Project Storefronts, a program that connects business owners with empty storefronts, allowing them to test their ideas in "pop-up" locations.

New Haven was one of four cities statewide to win an "Innovations Places" grant from CT Next, a subsidiary of state venture capital arm Connecticut Innovations. Other winning teams were from Stamford, Hartford/East Hartford and New London/Groton.

New Haven's consortium, which includes government, business and higher-education institutions, is focusing on a "five-node" area that includes downtown/Ninth Square, WAGO (Whitney, Audubon, Grove and Orange streets), the medical district around Yale New Haven Hospital, and the emerging districts of Science Park/Science Hill and District Square, officials said.

CTNext will dole out $30 million to the winning cities over the next five years to stimulate their entrepreneurial ecosystems and help them become magnets for talent and high-growth companies.

Natalie Missakian can be reached at news@newhavenbiz.com

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