November 26, 2018

Upward Hartford to expand incubator, pilot programs with $4M investment

HBJ PHOTO | John Stearns
HBJ PHOTO | John Stearns
Upward Hartford's Shana Schlossberg wants her new downtown space to be a place where startups mix with major companies.
PHOTO | Steve Laschever
Connecticut Innovations Chief Investment Officer Dave Wurzer, left, and Chief Executive Officer Matthew McCooe, right.

Upward, downtown Hartford's incubator and co-working space, will receive a two-year, $3.9 million investment to develop two new innovation labs in downtown Hartford that will focus on smart building and aged care technologies, officials said.

The investment, from Connecticut Innovations (CI), the state's quasi public venture arm, will help create two physical labs in the city -- known as Upward Labs -- that will invest in portfolio companies as well as provide support to those companies in the form of recruitment, infrastructure and other operating expenses during their time in Hartford.

Smart building and aged care companies selected for the program will work in the labs for six consecutive months. During this time, the companies will have the opportunity to pilot their product with well-known commercial, residential and senior care program partners and to work closely with established corporations to test their pilot programs.

In total, Upward Labs intends to invest in 40 companies over two years.

Upward Founder and CEO Shana Schlossberg says both industries are growing in size and demand.

"Aged care and smart buildings are two categories that no city has really taken the lead on, yet their impact spans generations the world over," Schlossberg said.

Upward Hartford is headquartered in 34,000 square feet in downtown Hartford's "Stilts Building" at 20 Church St.

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